“How can I help you today?”, asks a female voice.
I am calling my bank, and the customer service representative sounds friendly.
“I’d like to buy out my car”, I say.
“Well!”, chirps the woman. “Aren’t YOU lucky?”.
I listen to the rep explain the next steps involved, but the word is stuck in my head. What is it that makes someone who buys out their (7-year old) car lucky exactly?
Few years ago as I was gearing up for my 8-month trip to India, I got that a lot. “Wow, must be nice to be able to do that!”. “You are so lucky!”.
It used to make me livid. I spent a year before my trip working two full-time jobs (and a few part-time) to save for that trip.
Lucky? Bitch, please.
Today, listening to the customer service rep, chirping away, I am just curious.
Now, the overall privilege does not escape me. Yes, I am lucky to have food on my table, clean air and roof over my head. I am lucky to be able to get credit from a financial institution for something like a car. I am lucky to afford something that is a luxury to many.
Yet… this is not what the customer service rep was referring to. It was not “isn’t it great that we live in Canada and do not have to worry about bombs falling on our heads” comment.
It was an assumption of extraordinary.
I am buying out my car! I walked into a pile of money on the street, won the lottery, discovered I had a rich aunt. [Not set aside some money in order to lump few last remaining payments together].
It’s the magic bullet.
And we are SO fond of magic bullets, aren’t we?
“Wow, you look great. What have you been doing?”, someone asks a friend. A friend who is looking healthy and fit.
They expect to hear the equivalent of pile of money, the lottery, the rich aunt. They are disappointed when the friend tells them about whole foods and exercise routine.
My little Subaru is seven now, and I plan to drive it into the ground. It is the first car (and probably will be my last) that I got brand new. After it dies (sniff!), I will probably get another used Subaru – because I am impartial to Subaru and manual transmission – and drive that one into the ground also.
As I visited California last fall, I remember driving through Beverley Hills, eyeing the Maseratis, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis, knowing fully well that I will never drive one – regardless of whether I’d be able to afford one.
Those are the vehicles from space. Different dimension – a dimension where a car is more than just a method of transportation.
And hey, if Maserati rocks your boat, awesome! You gotta spend money on what you value.
I’ll stick to racing and travelling.
So today, I am wishing you luck. The kind you make yourself.
YOUR TURN: Have you ever been referred to as “lucky” for something that you made happen?