I Need to Talk to You About My Car

All right, here’s the deal: I drive an Audi TT convertible.

Given that I’m sort of a loudmouth about poverty and privilege and materialism and minimalism, that may seem a little hypocritical. So before you go all TMZ on me and hire someone with a drone to scope out my (non-existent) multi-million-dollar ranch, I want you to know something about my mid-life-crisis-mobile: Jack talked me into it.

Okay, okay… that’s not really what I want you to know (even though that’s absolutely true).

What I really want you to know is that it’s 15 years old, it had 36K miles on it when we got it (June 2016) and we couldn’t find another car with so few miles for so little money. Little money is relative, I realize, but for real: The only other option at the time was a 2006 Taurus or something, and who in her right mind would choose a Taurus over a TT?

Not that there’s anything wrong with a Taurus.


Upon discovering what I’m driving these days, a longtime friend said, “Kelley, that looks really bad.” (We’d just been talking about poverty.) I KNOW, OKAY? I KNOW! But it’s not bad. It was actually a wise economic decision. And no, I am not just rationalizing the purchase of my dream car, but that’s fair of you to wonder. (Dream car? Really, Kelley? You have a dream car? But you talk about battling consumerism? Seriously? That’s impressive.*

*That is actually not at all impressive.)

Given that perception is reality, I’ve considered putting a sticker on the back: “I didn’t buy this new. In fact, I’m like the 12th owner. Yes, it takes the most expensive fuel, but it also gets stupid-good gas mileage. And we paid cash for it. And I care about poor people, okay? I contribute to multiple charitable organizations, all right? And, for the record, the interior smells like the middle-aged dude who drove it before me, and he was clearly a very sweaty guy.

But here’s what I really, really want you to know about this whole TT thing: It turns out I’m pretty judgy toward people who have fancy cars. I’ve been known to calculate how many months of affordable housing a Porsche Boxster could provide. I have a bad habit of assuming people with lake homes and/or in-ground swimming pools and/or designer purses and/or Banana Republic credit cards are, by default, selfish and materialistic.

I realize that describes some of you who are reading this—and some of you are my actual friends. I am so very sorry. 

I’m appalled that I’ve caught myself judging people by their outward appearance and their material possessions. What in the heck is the matter with me? Why would I think it’s wrong to judge people with little but it’s just fine to judge people with a lot? And what does it say about my character that I’m only just figuring this out because I don’t want you to judge me? It says I’m pretty self-centered. That’s what it says.

I’m actually not 100% certain what my point is, here. But I do know that I needed to talk to you about my car.