She Laughed at My Car
A few weeks ago, I had to drive a few teenagers (2 guys who play football, and 1 young lady who plays volleyball) somewhere after school, and then bring them back. I knew the guys, but I had only spoken to the girl in passing.
When she got in my car (which is older than 90% of the football players that I coach), she asked whose car it was. I told her it was mine.
Then she started laughing.
And this is how our conversation continued:
Me: “Are you laughing at my car?”
“Because it’s ugly.”
“You think so? Yeah, I guess you’re right. But that’s ok.”
“You need to get a new car.”
“Because this one is ugly.”
“You want to know something? That really doesn’t bother me. It gets me where I need to go. That’s all I need it to do. And besides, I have no payments on this. Except for gas and insurance and stuff, it’s free.”
“You can get a new car for nothing.”
“Just find one in someone’s yard, and get it.”
“But that would cost money, wouldn’t it? To buy it and fix it up. Like I said, it doesn’t bother me what my car looks like. For some people, how their car looks is a priority, and that’s ok. But for me, it’s not. I’d rather use my money for other things.”
“Going places and doing things with my family. Going out to eat with them.”
“You should take me out to eat.”
“With my family?”
“Can’t do that.”
“Because that would mean you’d have to ride in my ugly car. And you don’t want to do that.”
“I would if you took me out to eat.”
“See that? PRIORITIES.”
By then, we had arrived at our destination, and the conversation ended. After they were done, the four of us climbed back in the car. What she said next showed that she was trying to make up for calling my car ugly. Not sure if she felt bad about what she said, or if she was trying to butter me up.
“Your car is ugly, but it’s clean though.” [Not true, but I appreciate her effort.]
“Thanks. You think so? My kids are responsible to clean it a couple of times a month.”
“You pay them?”
“We give them a little money each money.”
“How much? Like 50 dollars?”
[Now it was my turn to laugh] “No. Waaaay less than that.”
“You need to give them more money.”
“I don’t think so. Besides, they do responsibilities around the house not for money, but because they are a part of our family. A family is supposed to work like a team. We each have important roles to play, and our family works best when everyone does his part.”
That was it. I was thankful for the opportunity to communicate to this young lady (and the two young men who quietly listened to our conversation) my perspective and values about priorities, money, and family.