Monday, April 16, 2007


when i go to work, i usually leave our main car at home for my husband. we work opposite hours so i leave him with the carseats and the big comfy ride for our kids. our second vehicle,a 13 year old car was a nice, older looking car until about 4 months ago. the husband was rushing home from work and sideswiped it on a pole coming out of his parking garage. it looks like crap now.

since we own it outright and only carry liability insurance on it, we left it that way. we both agreed that we didn't want to put $500 into it because of it's age. but now, i am so embarrased to be seen driving it. i haven't felt that way since i was in middle school going through the "embarrased-by-what-my-parents-drove" phase. in my 19 years of driving, i have never driven a "bucket". i know it's only our back-up commuter, but still. it is NO indication of where we live, our credit (we have perfect credit) or how irresponsible we might be. now, when i drive it to work, i park way far away so that other co-workers don't see it, or see me get out of it. there goes my "image".

when i'm driving it though, i feel so humbled. all the times that i saw someone driving a crappy, beat-up old car, and unwittingly made assumptions about their bad credit, no job, or irresponsibility, it has come back to bite me in the ass. i see people looking at my car, and i know they're probably thinking the same things i think of when i see people driving cars like mine. i don't even come close to what i probably look like driving that car.

look at that black girl in that bucket. she's probably on welfare with 5 kids and no husband and no car insurance. things are just not what they seem. i'm still learning to try and remember that.


lalawren said...

Aw! don't feel so bad about your car! Driving around portland or any city is really really hard on cars.

I gave up trying to maintain my 10 yr old honda - it's full of dings and scratches. Thankfully no serious body damage, but I for one have stopped judging people via their autos.

Unless they are being a buckethead in traffic - then I will make fun of them

Natalie said...

I like buckets, I think they have personality. Then again, I haven't had my own car since college 1981 two door rusted out volvo with a crank open sun-roof(it was 2001). It just isn't needed in Chicago. I think you make a really good point though. What we have really doesnt always say who we are.

Anonymous said...

You should see my husband's car. It is simply awful, 13 years old, rusty, dinged-up...why does he keep it? Lord knows. He seems to love it. He never drives it except in dire emergency. Oh, and he too is a homeowner with perfect credit. You never can tell by looking at someone what the full story is!

D said...

I drive a 1993 Honda that was recently in two accidents, and I've gotten some comments like "hey, looks like it's time to get a new car".

Yeah, it bothers me, but I'm spending my money on remodeling my bathroom right now, so the car will have to wait.

But... a car seems to be important to you, and if you talk to your husband, maybe both of you can decide to move a new (or newer) car a little higher up on your family's priority list. Maybe he feels the same way.

In other words, don't torture yourself. And as a white guy driving a beater, it's not a race thing. Or it shouldn't be.

And yes, I'll get a new car one of these days.