Today, Number One Son became the proud owner of a long-term financial obligation.
And, he abandoned his first love.
This is not about marriage; this is about cars. For some strange reason, he has always liked VW. The first car he bought was a Bora, which surprised me. Eighteen year olds usually life something more flashy. He said that he chose it because it was the only small car with a V6 engine. Not being interested in cars, I could not criticize or advise. Again, I was merely surprised by the brand choice. His next car was a Golf GT in college, which made more sense. The next choice was a Passat, which seemed a bit odd for someone his age, because that was the kind of car I might buy.
Finally, he has moved to the other end of the automobile spectrum and redeemed himself (in the car image category, at least). Become and airline pilot has inspired him to move beyond VW and provided the needed salary. His new car is more suitable to a young, single pilot. His mother thinks that he is foolish, but I cannot criticize. When I was a young, single pilot with no obligations for anyone, I bought a Porsche 911. That was one of the better decision I have made in my life. I do not miss the money, but would miss the memories. My wife would never be shallow enough to admit that this car turned her head (and, perhaps, blinded her to my many faults), but that car did contribute to my happiness.
Although one wishes that his or her children will have a better life (or at least as good), that is never possible. Life changes, so a comparison is difficult and foolish. A car will always be a vehicle to get a person from point A to point B, and all cars can do that. The intangibles are what makes a car special. Enjoying a fine car, as I did years ago, is not the same, because roads have become more crowded and gas prices have exploded (it was 18 cents per liter in my time vs. 1.70 euro per liter now). The inflation rate in automobile prices has been similar, but salaries have also increased.
In the end, a car is a car, and car payments are car payments. One must decided how to spend his or her money, live with the consequences, ignore others’s comments, and take the bad with the good. At the moment, he has a rather decent set of wheels...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.