Interpretations of: "Our Own Car"

One of the things I've noticed while here in Michigan is that sometimes, people hear you incorrectly, in the interest of creating a story for themselves that they think is believable, and that they want to tell to others.

For example, upon our arrival in the Lapeer train station, my brother and I told our grandmother and our aunt Lisa about how we had our own train car for a portion of the journey. It went like this: "Yeah, we had our own train car from Durand to Lapeer." Our aunt heard it this way: "We had our own car for the whole second leg of our trip, from Chicago to Lapeer." Our grandmother heard it this way: "We had our own car for the whole trip."

That has caused a few misconceptions. Our grandmother is now absolutely convinced that Amtrak is doomed to death, as a result of their "very low" ridership. Lisa is now pretty sure that Amtrak has been run at a loss for one or two years before, and somehow the same thing is happening again.

The complete and total inaccuracy of this amuses me to no end. To start, Amtrak has never turned a profit since its operation started in the 1970s. In addition, ridership is up a record amount this year, it's been a bigger increase in ridership than Amtrak has ever seen before.

While this misunderstanding has caused much hilarity to ensue, it's frustrating because I don't think this is the only misunderstanding of the trip. Others, such as my misunderstanding of the term "vacation" have caused me to wrongfully believe that I wouldn't be asked to help anyone with their home improvement projects. More on that later, I'm sure.

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