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Wheels.15

Do You Judge People By What They Drive?

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{Wheels.15.4}: MJ {sfbayarea} Sun, 19 Sep 2004 12:30:19 CDT (47 lines)

Jil...you hit the nail on the head.  It's the attitude I sometimes
sense from other drivers that makes me uncomfortable, and prompted me
to ask this question.  I drive a BMW...but I hope I'm not
the "asshole in the Beemer"! I certainly try NOT to live up up to
that stereotype anyway.

I sometimes feel uncomfortable in my present car, because for the
past 30 years I've always driven small economy cars.  I learned to
drive on a Chevy Vega (remember those!), went off to college with a
Ford Pinto, bought a Toyota Corolla when I got my first job, bought a
Nissan Sentra after that, and last drove a Honda Civic.  I never
really thought too much about cars...they were basically just
transportation.

For the past couple of years though, I kept noticing the BMW 325i on
the road, in a beautiful color called Metallic Steel Blue.  Every
time I saw one, I jokingly thought "that's my car".  I never really
had any intention of actually buying one! When it came time to buy a
new car earlier this year, I was planning to buy a Honda Hybrid.  I
test drove one,liked it...felt almost exactly like the Civic I had
been driving. Someone in my office, who knew I liked the BMW, asked
if I had ever considered buying one.  I said no way, I didn't want to
have to worry about really taking care of a nice car, didn't want the
added expense, didn't care about cars.  He said to just go test drive
one...just so I wouldn't regret it every time I saw "my car" on the
road.  I went for my test drive...and was absolutely blown away.  The
car felt so solid and heavy, yet handled incredibly easily.  It
turned on a dime, had unbelievable power...I had never experienced
anything like it before.  I was now in love with it, but went home
and wrestled with my decision...do I make the sensible choice or
treat myself to my dream car just once in my lifetime.  I was
hedonistic and went for the BMW.  It was so out of character for me,
and people at worked teased me incessantly.

I don't regret it for a moment though, because I commute about 1 1/2
hours everyday and now I enjoy the drive. I live in the San Francisco
Bay area, and there are tons of luxury cars on the road, so I don't
feel too conspicuous.  Still, I do feel sometimes people judge me
because I'm behind the wheel of a BMW. It's probably my own sense of
guilt, knowing that I indulged in something extravagant, and knowing
I tend to judge people too. But I also know I'm the same person who
has always driven economy cars, and could be just as happy (well,
almost as happy!) behind the wheel of a Honda Hybrid right now. It's
taught me a lesson not to jump to judgement so quickly...although
that's much easier said than done!  Every time I see a Hummer, I
still think to myself "what a selfish ass!"...I guess old habits die
hard!

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