Nicole has been saving all her life for this moment. She was denied an allowance growing up; instead she spent summers working as a camp counselor and weekend afternoons tutoring bratty kids. Now she has enough to buy a car. She’s not sure she’ll have a chance like this again to make the right choice.
She starts to research cars exhaustively. At first, it’s the pricey and shiny cars that catch her attention. An Audi TT perhaps, or a Mercedes SLK. But reality intrudes as she learns more about cars, and she realizes that those cars won’t give her the stability she ultimately wants. She lacks the credit to lease a car, and she’s always envisioned herself owning a car anyway.
She doesn’t want to waste decades’ worth of savings just to become carless once more. The glitzy cars steadily lose their luster, as it becomes clear what a liability they are, and how quickly they depreciate. No, she realizes, she needs a car that can remain reliable for decades. She starts to pore over the Toyota Carollas, and the Honda Civics, cars she had initially reject out of hand. Their reputation for reliability and low maintenance costs slowly win her over. Their low initial cost, plus their low ongoing maintenance requirements, virtually ensure she’ll always be able to afford running them.
Sure, those Japanese econo-boxes may look a little hum-drum. But she won’t go broke keeping one around. Nor will she get stuck on the side of a freeway one night, feeling alone and abandoned. She spends many hours deciding on choosing a car, thinking logically and calmly about which one will suit her needs for decades to come.
Finally, she chooses one. It doesn’t make any of her friends jealous. Her rivals have a quiet laugh at her. But that’s okay, because she’s content to just have a car all to herself, to enjoy for a long time. And while all cars lose value over time, to her it’s just the opposite; with each passing year her attachment to it grows.
Nikki – a name well suited for this free spirit. Growing up, her father always gave her what she asked – she was his princess after all. Daddy showed her that working to get what you want is just something losers do, because they don’t have a Daddy that loves them.
As her sweet sixteen approached, she knew she HAD to have a car. Among her circle of friends, she’d be a nobody without one. And it would be even worse if she came to school in something as hideous as a Toyota. Even a Lexus would be questionable. It had to be European. Nikki didn’t want to have to come early to school every morning, just to hide the modest car she drove.
To show what a unique individual she was, she had to get a car that none of her friends had. Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes GLK – all old hat. It wasn’t long until she settled on one – the Range Rover. She had vaguely heard of them being unreliable, but she found that with enough begging and pleading, Daddy agreed to sign the lease for her.
Years pass, and Nikki keeps leasing new cars. As she gets on in years, Daddy starts to get fed up with her dependence on him. Not to mention, his retirement accounts aren’t getting any bigger, while Mommy can’t help renovating a kitchen she never uses. Daddy gives less and less money to Nikki for her new car leases. One day, after Nikki complains that “all the good cars are taken” by people spending more, Daddy decides he’s had enough, and cuts Nikki off completely.
Nikki despairs. She can’t afford a new car lease, or even insurance payments on a car. Without the crutch of her shiny trappings, her friends aren’t too fond of keeping her around either. She shudders, but eventually concedes: she must buy a bus pass.
She starts to take the bus every day. She comes to befriend Jules, a retarded homeless black man, who is enamored of his own incontinence while aboard the bus. But even Jules isn’t enough to tide her over – the despair of a lush life lost is too much for Nikki. Depression takes hold as she sees no end to her life on public transit – she has only her siamese cats and pints of Rocky Road to console her now.
Read More: Open Letter To American Fathers