By Jeff Mesnik
When my kids were younger I would sing to them, before they went to sleep. For my oldest daughter I would sing Frere Jacques, and I couldn’t remember the lyrics so I would end the song with “Daddy wants a Beemer, Daddy wants a Beemer, how about you, how about you”.
(I decided to not attach an audio file of my singing to protect the innocent)
I was young, I just became a parent! My life was not cool, I was a picture of normality, changing diapers, cars seats, Minivans! In what seemed like a split second, my life went from carefree Jeff! to responsible family man Jeff. And of course, the answer to the humdrum family dude Jeff, was the excitement of “German Engineering” and to dream of the day I would get a BMW!!
Fast forward 9 years, I got myself a BMW328i, it was fast it was nice and it matched what I thought was my persona, my image! But was it practical?
Three kids, fitting in the BMW?
My wife hated how low it was to the ground.
But, I wanted the BMW and I wanted it small and sleek, cause the brand promised I would be cool. And, it worked for a bit. “Nice car Jeff”, “Look at you Jeff! driving the BMW!” Guys, even started to talk to me more about cars, because if you drove a BMW you know quality!
But, after a number of years, I began to realize the car while fun, was not a great decision for my family. The repair bills were starting to build, and neither my wife nor kids really wanted to be in it. So it was time to move on.
I decided my next car was going to be a Dodge Charger! Black with black tinted windows, I would drive it around town while playing AC/DC back in black. This would be the car to match my persona now.
Yet, reality sunk in, my wife looked at me and said she would look silly driving it, and I couldn’t disagree. While the car is much bigger, the back seat for three girls, and some of their friends was not practical.
After much consideration I had to do a reversal. I needed a car that was going to match who I am today, and had to match what I need, and a bit of what I want.
I decided I was gonna go American!! I am going to buy a Jeep Grand Cherokee. “YES!!” That would be it!!
But, after a conversation with my father and a check on Consumer Reports I came to another realization. While cool the Jeep was seriously an under performer compared to the other cars in its class.
So where am I now!?
My dreams of the BMW dashed (for now) my dreams of the HellCat dashed (for now), and my dreams of the Jeep Dashed (for ever, probably).
So I relented, okay lets test drive the Toyota Highlander, and The Hyundai Santa Fe (The Hyundai was to make my wallet happy)
The Toyota Highlander was nice, and hey its a Toyota. My persona could live with that, right!? Toyota practical, Hylander a little cool.
Okay this is good!!
But, I still needed to test drive the Hyundai Santa fe. It was my wallet telling me, the ratings were good, and you have kids going to college soon, it couldn’t hurt to save some money. So I needed to compare it, but really am I gonna buy a HYUNDAI!?.
The dealership was old, they made me fill everything out on paper. The salesperson was old this was not a cool place. I turned to my wife and after 30 minutes of sitting there and I said “Lets get out of here, no way in hell am I buying a car from this place” She said, just wait, we want to drive it.
So we get in the car, I wanted to hate it, I needed to hate it. But I got in, Leather Seats, great acceleration, keyless entry, and it was a really smooth ride. It was better than the highlander! “CRAP!” And then came the negotiation, the price was WAY better!. But, Seriously a Hyundai!? how can I live it down.
Then the realization hit me, what am I? I am NOT a HellCat driver (not now), I got three kids, I drive to work, soccer, performances, and family vacations.
I realized my true persona is “I am Chevy Chase from Vacation!”
So here I am now driving the Hyundai Santa Fe, and it is actually a really nice, car. A nice car that almost didn’t get the time of day from me. It tops the consumer reports, it is almost as fast as the BMW, it has more features, and is faster than the Toyota Highlander, and it’s rating say it’s much more reliable than a Jeep.
Unfortunately Hyundai is challenged by their brand!
The look I got from a friend said it all, after I told him I traded the BMW for a Hyundai. He didn’t say a word, his look said, “Wow just like that you gave up your manhood”
But, perhaps I didn’t give up my manhood? Maybe choosing to not let a car’s brand reflect my virality, is more manly than anything else.
That being said, one day I will have that Dodge Charger!
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