I returned last week from my fortieth Indy 500 weekend. My daughters and I went down on Friday evening and joined a group of twenty plus people who get together once a year to attend the Greatest Spectacle in Motor Racing. We make a weekend out of the adventure: golf on Saturday, nice dinner out in an accommodating restaurant that has to be able to handle our rather raucous group, and of course there’s the race. We load our bus early Sunday morning, head south to the track and after sufficient tailgating, we enter the track. We are greeted by four-hundred thousand of our race friends and settle in to watch thirty-three cars, aka rockets, average 225 mph as they circle the two and a half mile oval for two-hundred laps.
When I explain how I spent my Memorial Day weekend, I get one of two responses. The first, “that sounds incredible.” The second response, much more forcible, “I just don’t get it, that sounds really boring.” Now I am not about to tell people they are not entitled to their opinions, but a little consideration might be in order. We are all unique and our tastes in entertainment are no different.
If you told me you spent the weekend pitching a tent and then sleeping on the ground as critters scampered about, inches away, separated from you and your person by a thin piece of nylon, I might ask you why. Hotels have such nice amenities and a free buffet breakfast. Or say you spent your one free evening at the theater watching ballet or Shakespeare. Sorry, not my cup of tea. Sci Fi flick on the big screen, now that I’d spend my evening on.
I am a speed junkie with a hunger for adventure. When it comes to being with people, the bigger the crowd the better, and again I can hear the judgement as you are reading this. I have a huge case of FOMO (fear of missing out) and love being part of a party. Put that all together and how could I resist cars going so fast you can barely see them as they pass all the while watching it with a record setting crowd. Throw in the party atmosphere, reunion with friends, and just the shear size and scope of the adventure and, well, the Indy 500 is my cup of tea.
Let’s agree to disagree. You go camping and I won’t question your love of sleeping on the ground and cooking your breakfast over a smokey campfire as long as you let me love a seemingly boring weekend at the races. After all, one man’s cup of whatever just may be another man’s cup of tea.