Do Things Don’t Own Them

Picked up this little truck for $500 a couple days ago.

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” – Will Rodgers

One late night downtown Boise I was rounding up inebriated friends outside the Grove Hotel. Now if you’ve had the pleasure of being a designated driver you know that this process at the end of the night is the equivalent to hearding cats…loud cats…that can’t walk straight…wondering where one of their shoes went.

It was one of those kind of nights and as I pulled up in my beat up 92′ Volkswagen Jetta and hollered to my buddies to get in. One of the partygoers frustrated with my attempt to break up what I’m sure was a very enlightening conversation hollered back at me
“Why didn’t you save twenty grand on your tits and buy a new car?!”

Say whaaa?? Annnddd it hit me – this guys alchol lubricated tongue had said outloud what I’m sure many others have thought for years. I’ve been driving p.o.s. cars since I got my license, in fact I have a philosophy on cars; I won’t spend over $500 on a vehicle then I proceed to run it into the ground, zero maintenance required. I don’t worry about potholes or loose gravel and when it dies I recycle it at the scrap yard often making back the initial investment. Some only last 8 months others have lasted years. The Jetta lasted three years and had it’s fair share of memory making quirks, like every time it rained the battery would die restarting my clock constantly which is how it got its nickname, or the front bumper that would sometimes fall off, or the missing passenger door panel.

While my peers are spending there Saturdays washing and vacuuming their vehicles, cursing every inevitable ding and chip and working their 9-5 jobs to pay for the pleasure, I am able to use that would be monthly car payment on something I enjoy doing.

There are many studies on happiness that prove experiences make you happier than material possessions. The research shows that when you make a big purchase, say a new TV you get a rush of dopamine and you think “we’re going to enjoy this for years,” then next month a bigger, higher resolution TV is released and yours is outdated (Waa Waa Waaa). Let’s say you spent that same money on a 4 day vacation you get the same rush of dopamine planning it but here’s the kicker for the rest of your life when you so much as reminisce on the memory’s created on that vacation you get that dopamine release again! Indefinitely!

That’s the moral of this little blog post my friends, when you have the choice choose the experience over the possession. As for my response to the drunkard on the street, I snapped “They’re REAL and it’s a Time Machine A**HOLE!!!”

Categories: Philosophy | Tags: , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Do Things Don’t Own Them

  1. Dan Leavitt

    Very well put. Some of the things people say when they’re drunk make me want to punch them in the face. Lol. Very thoughtful, thought provoking blog. Totally agree. So many people chase things that don’t make them happy long term and they never see it. So many people cannot see what will truly bring them peace of mind.

  2. larry jolliff

    hon you have it figured out…..first of all don’t listen to drunks, as i am drunk now…….every vehicle i have owned has been a used and many cost under a thousand in my earlier days (lets get closer , usually about 100 and as much as 200………seemed my cars kinda got to know me and my situation and hung tight by my side, with very little maintaining and unbelievable reliable. remember one i had in billings when i first got back from the war. a dodge lancer…..(dont tell anyone i had one of those, Ha )……push button on the dash. kinda looked like a bullet…as i drove it it for a spell it started using boo koo fluids…….we are talking at first a quart of tranny fluid a week, two quarts of oil…….then it started getting really thirsty….found a station on the south side of billings where you could buy fluids in bulk…from a 50 gal. drum for damn cheap…..did not have much money and saw a car as transportation from point A to point B still do……anyway this lancer started getting more thirsty and i was working as a union laborer at the time… day i thought to myself, no more fluids in the lancer. i drove it til the oil light came on, the transmission started howling at me and the rear end was not happy……..on central ave and all seized at the same time. pulled it over, took the plates off, got my hard hat and tools and hitched to my apt…….have had many cars for cheap hon……it is for me a mode of transport to get where i want to go…….i am the main attraction and never got caught up in such a petty ego car appearance.
    must add……i am now on my number five subaru and totally amazed……not sports car but so dependable, who could ask for more….have not had a new car…..closest i have come is my 07 heritage soft tail……………..the moral of the story is………the car is ok, but i am the main attraction, don’t like my ride, don’t ride in it ………my priority’s are way more important than a drunk mouthing off about my good nature…………smile……..and to all a good nite……………

  3. Kristie you didn’t even talk about the thing everyone wants to know. Your boobs. People…. they are REAL. They have been there ever since we were in eight grade. Just so ya know.

  4. I absolutely love this post!

  5. Girlfriend, I think I need to adopt your way of doing cars, I love it!

  6. Mark Starr

    I completely agree with this post…..I have a tendency to wear things out myself and have no qualms about doing it. –I drive this STUDLY beige 2001 Ford Escort, and before that a 1973 puke green Ford Ranger………Awesome;). People don’t make things last anymore like they used to – and I mean in more areas than just their material things. It’s a very “me” world out there right now. I should know….I, despite my best efforts to avoid it, am going through a divorce from someone who thinks like this. The way I was brought up (my parents are both teachers too by the way) was to value the things that matter most and hold them close. It’s refreshing to see someone so beautiful (hope you don’t mind me saying so) that doesn’t fit that mold. Thank you!

  7. Kristie your posts are so down to earth and truly motivating. Not only are too many people spending $ they don’t have, most do it to impress or for status.

    As for the A..Hole, next time leave him there and let him stumble home! JK I can already tell based on your genuine kindness that you would still pick him up.

  8. Andrew

    This is awesome

    What has your experience been so far with the safety on these cars?

    • Well I’ve certainly blown a few tires or had the brakes go out but I’ve never been in an accident. (Knock on wood)

  9. Anson- That Pierogi Place

    My sentiments exactly. Why buy new when the old can be repaired. I have been living this theory for years. Hopefully everyone will see the light and realize there is only so much raw material on the Earth. I would rather spend my money on living rather than fancy stuff. I kinda thought no one understood as this is not considered sucessful. I am poised to make alot of money but have no idea what to do with it as I am not materialistic. I just cant wrap my head around the money some people waste just to impress each other. I am so happy I have no ego to feed. I believe people treat you better when they think you have little. Ayn Rand says it well in Atlas Shrugged.

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