Tuesday, April 17, 2007

What Does Your Car Say About You?

Here's what mine says about me:

I'm a sixteen-year-old girl, a sophomore, I work at Del Taco, my daddy loves me enough to have bought my car for me but not enough to fix my broken passenger side window, I like hardboiled eggs and leave the shells in the cup holder, in which there is an inch-thick hardened chunk of fossilized Diet Coke. I also have a tattoo on my lower back that I think my parents don't know about, but they do. I want to be a dental hygienist when I graduate, though I have no idea what they do. I use the phrase, "Like, that's so totally gay," more than is warranted.

That's what my car says about me. If someone looked at my car in a parking lot, that's who they would imagine as the owner.

And...I'm fine with that. Really. This is my steed I will ride until my debt is paid off. I've begun to love this car. It runs like a champion. But while I'm fine with it, the people in the region I live in, whoo-boy - they are not fine with it. Because these are the people that Define Themselves By What They Drive. (Cue horror music)

Who are these people? I've never understood this. "Hi, my name's Brock Handsome. This is my Mercedes XL4569 Turbo. I'm a man." And all the other shallow people think Brock's a man. That's the freaky part. Brock is a man because he drives a Mercedes XL4569 Turbo. Now, Brock might be impotent, Brock might cry during Grey's Anatomy, Brock might be up to his alligator belt in debt to drive his Mercedes, but the people he's trying to impress don't know that. It's all so surface it makes me want to puke. I've never seen so many Mercedes, BMW's and Hummers in my entire life. And the Mercedes and BMW's? All silver. Every one of them.

"Oh, Basil, my good man. Is that a touch of jealousy I detect?"

Um, no. The following comes from the New York Post:

"IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad, ranked 4th richest man in the world, drives a 15-year-old car and always flies economy class, in part to inspire his 90,000 employees worldwide to see the virtue of frugality. "

Cheers to Ingvar. Listen, if you're in deep with the credit card debt, I don't see why you should have a nice car. If it's paid for - great. But if you've got twenty grand left to pay on a "sweet ride," or a "German-engineered safe family car," and this is on top of your substantial credit card debt, that is saying something about you. And it's not saying something nice.

The bottom line is if I'm in debt, I don't deserve anything nice. I gave that up when I got into debt. Nice things are for people who respect money and are smart with it. We seem to have forgotten this. We think just because we grace the world with our princely presence we need to have things, that we deserve them. When I'm out of debt, maybe I'll get a nice thing or two. But a car isn't going to be one of them. I'm not defined by leather seats and a Bose sound system. I'm defined by me.

What does your car say about you? Are you still paying for it? It it more car than you should have? Do you think you deserve the car? Why? Do you ever talk to your car like Michael Knight to KITT? Does it ever talk back? Are people who ask a bunch of questions at the end of a blog entry annoying, or kind of sexy?


Zachary said...

My car says, "Thanks God for grandfathers." My car is a 1989 Chrysler LeBaron that belonged to my grandfather. In fact I was with him when he bought it in 1989 when I was eleven years old. Now I'm 29, a college professor, and that old car still faithfully takes me to class every day. My grandfather also co-signed for my own first car loan for my last set of wheels, a little Ford Escort. I sold that car when I moved to New York, but I am happy to have my grandfather's old car now. It only has 109,000 miles, so it should last me quite a few years yet still. I'm not sure if its a good thing or a bad thing that he's not around to see the car, though. He'd be happy to see it's still running, but he's probably rolling over in his grave at the cake of dirt on the paint and the pile of junk I keep inside. Maybe I just inspired myself to clean my car this week, in his honor!

Anonymous said...

As mine is my city's outstanding public transit system it says both "getting her tax dollars worth" and "a lot more cash in the bank than she might have".

Frugal Babe said...

Hmmm. Not sure what my car says about me - I've never thought about it, since I only see my car as a means of transportation (although I do talk to her when we're making our way up a steep hill and she's working hard to keep up with traffic - I tell her she's a good girl). I drive a 1990 Honda Civic wagon with 211,000 miles. There's a homemade bike/snowboard rack on top, and a bunch of camping and snowboarding gear in the back. We paid $2300 cash for it 4 years ago, so I figure right now that works out at a monthly payment of $48 since I've owned it. And I plan to keep it until it just won't go anymore. Since it still goes just fine, and I'm going to do a bunch of tune-up stuff on it this spring, that should be a long time. I'm shooting for at least 250,000 miles.

Jags Mollu said...

My car tells me - you lucky woman, you got me for free. Yes, that's right I have a car completely expensed for by my company. And just for the records it is a VW Golf 2007 model with full options. Also every three years or 70,000 miles, which ever comes first, I can choose a new car for myself.

Left to my own devices I would not buy a car here in London. The public transport system is way too good.

Lisa said...

Mine does a lot of whining about being left at home in favour of public transit. And it complains that when I do take it out, we only ever go to boring places like the discount grocery store and the library. Like, bo-ring.

Silverbax said...

We live in a society that teaches consumerism, and that you're 'better' than other people dependent on the car you drive. Utter nonsense. All it shows is that you're a fool who thinks a material possession somehow alters your personality and character.

Money Honey said...

In reality it probably says we're BORING.

But, I sure hope mine says that I'm both concerned about fuel economy and that I'm cost-conscious. It's a 2001 Toyota Corolla... I'm a bit obsessive about tracking it's real MPG... comes out to 33-36 MPG usually. We just couldn't justify the extra cost of a Prius.

As to your last question... sexy, definitely! rowr!

DB said...

Mine whines a lot because I never fixed the dent in the fender that I smashed into it when it was only a few months old. I remind it gently that body work is expensive and unnecessary, but all it can do is worry about what other cars must say behind it's back.

This is an issue because every day I take it to the auto park by my train stop so it gets to cavort with the other cars while I'm at work. At least I don't leave it at home.

On the other hand, it is a bright grass green so it's my "color of money" car. Which reminds me that a) I paid too much for it and b) I'm so thankful I got that car paid off early.

Basil Bizarro said...

Nice! We love not having any car payments. And whenever I want to feel "cool" I drive Bianca's car. Which is rare since she's very protective of her baby.

bandick said...

Until she finally died last November, this was what my car said about me...

Now, I drive a 1997 Honda Accord. Woohoo! I'm moving up in the world!