Thursday, April 18, 2013

Buyer Beware or Buyer’s Remorse: A Conundrum By: Karen Pilarski

In life one of the early investments made is buying a car. At sixteen the ideal dream is the own a hot car. The horn blares to let others on the road know to get out of the way. Giggling friends gossip in the backseat and dish about what went down at school. It is symbol of wealth and popularity. Usually what happens is the teen gets an old jalopy that clunks and squeaks.  No matter if it is a hunk of junk or a brand new car the age of sixteen is sweet. The refreshing inhale of freedom and the jingle of car keys in denim pockets made life pretty damn awesome. The engine revs up and wheels start to spin. The car sputters at first and then takes off like a shot.  The wheels spit dust in the tire’s wake.  In the driver’s seat, the person is in charge of the direction and path that is taken.

Another big investment is in relationships. In both cases there is a desire for something fancy, brand new and fast. The first big relationship is often where caution is tossed to the wind. Nothing is too good for the beloved. Money is spent keeping the vehicle of the relationship in shape so that it keeps on moving. Vision is often obscured by rose colored glasses worn while in the driver’s seat. Slowly over time scratches and dents become increasing larger. Love’s newness dulls the heat of the engine. Once running like a race horse now has stalled like a stubborn mule. On a frigid winter’s eve, it dies like crushed flowers under frozen snow. The impact of the death is felt in financial and emotional strain. 

Fast forward a few years and suddenly reliability, durability and stability are sought after attributes. It is reassuring when some coins and a washed five dollar bill are found in worn out pants. Due to change in direction, the investment is in a used car. Not as fancy or fast but it gets a person where they need to go. There is still an electrical charge and heat is felt on the engine. Care is taken to try to make it is treated like brand new. For some reason all the work has made this experience much better than the first car. 

Relationships are the same way. Sometimes love conquers all or it expires along the road. If there is a chance to try something new or switch gears, hopefully it would be met with support. While the past like the first car may have been fancy, fast and exciting, it now resides in the past. It may be tempting to refuse to make room for new memories. From my own personal knowledge, it gets a person as far as a dead car on a winter’s eve.  In matters of the heart, It is not about the destination but about the journey to be happy in the driver’s seat.