I drive a Honda Accord and am excited because in the next few days I’m getting a new car. Another Honda Accord (only slightly pre-owned). My car purchasing is like my restaurant purchasing. I look over the entire menu each time and order exactly the same thing.
But with the Honda Accord …I’ feel kinda proud. I think it’s a perfect combination of efficiency and practically and elegance. A good fit for me…and so while I was driving earlier today I glanced around to see if there were any cars around me I could feel a little superior to.
To my left was a Ford Fusion and I locked eyes with the driver–just briefly. But long enough for his look to say to me, “Honda Accord? Nice. But I’m a little bit better in my Ford Fusion.”
And he got my message back, “Ford Fusion? Not bad. But I prefer the Honda Accord and think it’s just a little bit better.”
It was a mutually respectful exchange that we both could live with. I didn’t mind letting him think he’s a little better and he didn’t mind granting me the same privilege.
But then to our right barreled forward a large shiny black Mercedes-Benz. I didn’t look at my friend in the Ford Fusion. I didn’t have to. I knew what he thinking. We both were embarrassed for the guy in a Mercedes who felt so insecure he needed something that extravagant just to be noticed and to feel like he fit in.
And we both–my Ford Fusion colleague and I— felt just little superior to the guy in the Mercedes. Not because of the statement our cars made. But because of the statement they didn’t make.
I let the Mercedes pull in front of me and speed away. But kept thinking to myself, “Poor guy. He doesn’t need a Honda Accord or Ford Fusion. He needs a hug.”