Porsches, Vomit And Poop
Here’s one for you.
When my wife was pregnant, when we were preparing for the children, we needed a new family vehicle. It’s something that many new parents go through: the old wreck is fine when it’s just you going back and forth to the store but you want something reliable with the kids. She was driving a Saab that had a nasty groan from deep within the engine block and I drove an old Isuzu Trooper that reeked of mold. Neither was something we felt confident about. My car worked but smelled musty and we were just waiting for hers to give up the ghost. We needed something reliable and able to carry the wagon load of junk that new parents need to meet any need or want of the wee babes.
Mal and my older boy looked at several cars but nothing was quite right. I finally chimed in and wanted a Porsche Cayenne. Hey? Who doesn’t want an SUV that does a 190 mph? We found one that I liked, drove it, and loved it. It’s an SUV on the outside and a 911 sports car on the inside.
I was set to buy it but Mal grabbed me by the elbow, smiled, and wanted to talk. We stepped outside of the dealership and her smile faded to that serious look that she gets. “Look,” she said. “I would give my right arm to cart the kids around in this car. But it’s expensive. And I know you.”
“I know you,” is one of our codes to say that I’m teetering on the edge.
“I know you,” she said. “And I know how frustrated and mad you will get when someone throws up in the backseat or blows out a diaper on the leather. And it’s going to happen. So here’s the thing: if you want the car, I am totally on board. But the first time you complain of vomit or poop or fries stuffed behind the seat, I’m going to drive this thing to the nearest dealer and trade it in for something that we can use without feeling bad about it.”
And she was right. It was a silly idea to buy something special and pristine and shiny knowing full well that the seats would be stained with who knows what after a couple of months. It was a smart decision not to buy the car, knowing how I am. It would have been smarter for me to remember that things are things. When we forget this, when I forget this, and use things for some kind of personal badge then we’re already on the wrong side of the line.
So, today’s take away? Know yourself and use that knowledge to make good decisions.
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