I recently overheard a conversation between strangers about how many cars one woman’s family owned. There is one for each of the kids, one for Mom, one for Dad, and oh yes, the Porsche. Reading the judgmental expression on her friend’s face, this woman quickly followed up to explain, “But that’s just for date night.” Phew, that was a close one! She almost looked like a pretentious “bougie” snob but she totally saved it by explaining that her expensive luxury car is basically just an accessory. “Don’t worry, we don’t go driving that around on a daily basis like rich people, blech! No, no, we barely use ours.” I don’t know about you, but I think that makes it worse. If I drop tens of thousands of dollars on something, I make damn sure I use the crap out of it. A Porsche is an expensive purchase to trot out just for date night. I don’t have so much as a matching pair of underwear for special occasions and you’ve got a dedicated vehicle?
But it’s really not the idea of the spare car that bothers me. I know lots of people with a spare ‘fun’ car that they take out only for joy rides or date nights or what have you. People work hard and can spend their money however they want. Just own it! I hate when people act like they are embarrassed by their wealth. If it is so embarrassing to own a Porsche, why did you buy it? And why did you tell me about it? If this Porsche is your deep, dark, upper-middle class secret, keep it in the garage and only take it out at night with the headlights off. Or, man up and be proud of it! Stand behind your choices! When you say you have a spare Porsche, don’t apologize for it, as you suppress a shit-eating “I’m so happy for me” grin. Just let it spread across your face and with a sigh, acknowledge the elephant in the room, “Yup, guess I’m pretty fucking rich!”
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Hi, I just found your blog and already I have an opinion. No apologies on this one! 😉
I can tell you why I feel the need to be apologetic about anything that is good in my life..
I am from Hungary though I am living in Thailand at the moment…
In Hungary my friends do not have more than one car. Most of the people I had a conversation with when I lived in Hungary has never stayed in a five-star-hotel. I do not know anyone who can afford a pair of UGGS boots. I hope my examples help to see how different it is for non-Westerners. So people are pessimistic and they feel rotten about their lack of money. And if they hear someone can afford luxury items or a second car (I am not even talking about a third car…) than that person is either very, very, very lucky or a criminal or a prostitute; someone who has no morals. Why?
Here is the way Hungarians think (unconsciously):
“I did not become rich but she/he did. One of us is a loser. Surely I cannot be the loser, I am the good person! She/he must be insanely lucky. 1 in a million. Maybe she/he is a bad person. I think she/he is doing illegal activities otherwise how could a trustworthy person have this kind of money?!”
So when I made a lot of money because I worked my a… off in the evenings and weekends I am sure everyone thought I am one of those women (thought badly of) who are using their husband’s credit card. My husband of course being the lucky one for him everything is easy (because he does not have to do anything just use his secret good luck charms). 😛
Thank you for inspiring me to share all this…
Thank you for sharing that perspective!
I have only one car, and it is an old 1998 Neon I’ve driven for 13 years. I am prouder of that car than any Porsche owner has ever been of their little toy, and people think that’s weird since its far from a status symbol. I definitely “own” my lifestyle, which is “I can get by on anything that is functional, thankyouverymuch!”
I think that is awesome!
Actually a lot of people are embarrassed about the wealth. Its never the rich rich ones or the new rich ones, they own it…its the normal folks like us who save up and buy then who I have seen most embarrassed about it. Say I have extra quid to be used on barely used luxuries, I never feel embarrassed about it..or say I am a new stinking rich, you bet I will be rubbing my porche in your face but when I’ve bought that luxury after saving up my hard earned money, I tend to get embarrassed. Most of us do. I think its cause we are afraid to tread over from the sensible middle class to the stinky rich class. We feel apologetic for our friends and rest of the family unable to afford it. Don’t ask me why, I’ve never saved up enough to even buy myself a proper holiday! 😦
That is a good point. I think it also depends on who people are talking to. If you are talking to someone who can’t afford a Porsche, you feel guilty for having one. If you are talking to your rich friends, you feel proud.
Haha! The last line killed me! Oh how I long for the day that hiding my Porsche is my biggest problem!
I really liked this post!
Haha, good point, that is one of those “good” problems to have. Poor poor rich people
I love the last line especially! Rich people (I live by MANY, and possibly the douchiest, in LA) piss me off. That could be because I’m unemployed yet again, while rich a-holes profit off my layoff, but….wait, sorry, my bitterness is showing! Let me tuck it away…there, that’s better.
Anyway, very funny!
Haha, aw, I don’t blame you! Hopefully the tables will turn soon!
Too funny! I don’t get the whole car thing; I can schlep around in anything reasonably reliable (like my 8 year old Camry), but I do like big honking jewelry, so…I’m not sure I can start throwing stones from this glass house….
Nothing wrong with having nice things! It is just annoying when people have nice things and make excuses for them or act like they aren’t that nice so they don’t feel too rich
Yes, the apologizing for it just makes it feel like someone actually does feel better than me…isn’t that what the apology is for? “Phew you saved it” and the car as a luxury item were two of my favorite parts.
haha, I agree, it’s an insult. Thanks for your comment!
I long to one day say, “yup, guess I’m pretty fucking rich.” Although, I won’t do it as I own a porshe. I’ll just sit there using $100 bills as napkins and tissues. Because I’ll be so fucking rich that cash money will just be convenient paper for my discretionary use. Oh, and I would also fly all of you around in my jet. 🙂
Haha it’s a fun goal isn’t it? And thank you for sharing your future jet with us!
Yeah. God, I hate those douchey people. We live in a town chock full of them. Let me clarify that we live in the OTHER section. I once overheard a group of women at a kids’ birthday party discussing the finer points of “the company Lear jet”. Really. I really did. Blech.
Haha, I would have screamed!
Ugh. Argh. Boo.
I can’t stand it when people do that – flaunt their wealth and then apologize for it or worse, make it act like it’s not a big deal. For people who have so much less and still work so hard, that’s a BIG DEAL.
Exactly! Don’t they know it is insulting to act like it’s no thing? To trivialize it like everyone can get one so easily… um no!
No, indeed! Your post got me all riled up, haha!
Woops! Think happy thoughts haha
Of course it’s just an occasional car. You can’t fit groceries and the dry cleaning in a Porsche. Everyone knows that, silly! Thank you for this post. I’ve been looking for a benchmark for my own mediocrity and I think I’ve found it. May I please steal “bougie.” That’ll be the name of my new band after I learn to play guitar.
Haha I can’t wait to hear your bougie band! You are right, what was I thinking, you can’t do anything with a Porsche but show it off! Excellent point!
A few years ago I needed minor surgery. The day my surgery was scheduled we were supposed to get nailed with a snowstorm. I said to my surgeon, “Will you be able to make it to the hospital if it snows?” He looked at me strange and said, “Of course. I’ll just take the ‘benz.”
His Mercedes was his snow car!!!
Haha, yeah who cares what happens to that hunk of junk right? It’s just a benz!
Exactly! And we all know Mercedes are rear-wheel drive, which means they are HORRIBLE in the snow.
“we barely use ours” is definitely worse. Give it to me, I’ll find a use for it (probably sell it haha)
Haha I like how you think!
I am never ashamed of my lack of funds. I own that every minute.
It’s the only way to be – yourself!
I loved the line: “I don’t have so much as a matching pair of underwear for special occasions and you’ve got a dedicated vehicle?” And you’re spot on about that attitude. If you have the cash and want to flaunt it, go right ahead. If you have the cash and want to disguise it, go right ahead. But, please don’t get smug. And don’t give me “that look” when I park my car too close to yours, okay? Like you, if I had a Porshe, I would drive it everywhere and wave at, well, everybody.
Related or not, I don’t know, but your story reminded me of this – I used to live downvalley from Aspen, Colorado. In 2007 the private Aspen airport was experiencing record traffic, and there weren’t enough parking spaces for all the private jets. Some of these people had to fly to another airport, leading to complaints from some of the jet owners. This led to an Aspen resident commenting in a letter to the editor “It’s hard to feel sorry for anyone with a private jet.”
No kidding. Poor you – you had to park your private jet at a different airport!
Hahah, thanks for sharing this story, it’s perfect! It really is hard to feel sorry for someone inconvenienced by lack of private jet parking. Park wherever – your hired limousine service will pick you up!
If I ever own a Porsche, trust me – I will OWN that Porsche. People will know. There will be a blog series on how I came to own that Porsche – and probably a subsection on how I felt I got a good deal on it.
I figure if you are going to buy a status symbol (’cause that’s what that mainly is) – you need to own it. So I’d focus on feeling good about owning it; not feeling back that you don’t. A good read and agreed. Thanks!
Exactly- isn’t that one of the reasons people buy a Porsche…to let people know they can afford a Porsche? It is what it is! I appreciate your thoughts, thanks for commenting!