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Souza: Drive a Subaru? Congrats — you’re in a cult

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Collegian | Preston Box

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

Subaru drivers have formed a cult, and I have been inducted.

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There’s a whole bunch of stereotypes about Coloradans that range from inaccurate to spot on. People here are supposed to be adrenaline junkies, nature freaks and Patagonia obsessed. No stereotype, however, is as perfectly detailed and beautifully accurate as Colorado, the Subaru-driving state.

Moving here for the first time this past August was like being transported straight into a Subaru car dealership. My family and I flew down Interstate 70 surrounded by blurs of Crosstreks and Foresters, each branded with the most absurd bumper stickers we’d ever seen: “Don’t tailgate me — I’ll bite!” or, “Just trying my best,” accompanied by a picture of a crying cat.

And if another owner is there at the same time, my aunt and the driver will trade knowing looks and laugh in some secret, elitist code I don’t yet know.”

My dad drove practically 20 miles an hour over the speed limit, but every Subaru driver was going at least 15 mph faster than us. They’d sneak a glance as they passed, eyes glinting with mischief, engine revving in sync with a booming sound system.

That was when my dad knew. Three months later, when his Ram truck irreversibly broke down, I came home for Thanksgiving break to see a 2019 Subaru Crosstrek sitting in the garage in its place.

The initiation happens fast: One minute we were a family with regular cars, and the next we were Subaru owners. This change did not go unnoticed; every time I drove the car, I couldn’t go a single trip without some rando singing praise: “I love mine!or, “Do you like yours?” or, “She’s so durable.”

These conversations happened outside a grocery store, in a nail salon and even at the gym. I couldn’t go to my friend’s house — an assumed safe haven — without her parents noticing the hottie parked in the driveway.

I would assume having a Subaru would be normalized in Colorado because almost every other person drives one. But no, it’s even worse out here. I actually think that Subaru drivers have formed a genuine cult. Every time I go on a hike with my aunt who drives a Crosstrek, we have trouble finding which is ours in the parking lot afterward. And if another owner is there at the same time, my aunt and the driver will trade knowing looks and laugh in some secret, elitist code I don’t yet know. “Just another day of being a Subaru driver!

Like most cults, the Subaru one is impossible to leave. Every Subaru driver I’ve met is insistent on driving these cars for the rest of their life. The two are soul tied. Subaru drivers also don’t know when to quit; regardless of how banged-up, flat-tired or sputter-engined the car is, they will drive it until it’s on its last legs — or tires. If that thing is driven off a cliff into the ocean, I think they would rather drown with their Subaru than try to escape.

Reach Emma Souza at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @_emmasouza.

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