I live in a lovely neighbourhood. Older homes of varying sizes, from small (mine!) to large. There are one or two monster homes, recent (and unfortunate) additions, but for the most part it’s a nice, tasteful mix. Homes have porches, so people sit on them in the evening and chat. There are young families, families with older children, a few retirees. There’s a river nearby, complete with grassy verge and footpath. Though my drive remains car-free, there is a fair smattering of nicer cars, beemers and such, mostly the quiet, understated kind.
And then there are the less understated. Some vintage, some brand-spanking-new. Now, I notice a nice car, sure, but I don’t NOTICE. Not like some of my charges.
A while back I had a little boy who was a true Car Guy. At two, he could identify a few cars by make, and had a clear eye for the good ones. The regular cars he didn’t much comment on, but let us pass something high end, and he NOTICED.
It wasn’t the colour that drew his eye. There are a few bright red and brilliant blue regular cars in the vicinity. No comment when we passed those. But when we passed the subdued grey vintage soft-top Mercedes? The one whose owner is outside, lovingly hand-buffing his beauty?
“Wow, Mary! That is a FANCY CAR!”
The owner doesn’t appear to notice. Probably too engrossed in the fondling.
“Yes, it sure is.”
“He’s making it all clean!”
“Well, when you have a fancy car, you want it to look nice, I guess.”
Tyler, wanting to be part of the conversation, interjects.
“MY daddy has a fancy car!”
I look at him. One wants to be kind. One doesn’t want to quash such sweet family loyalty. One doesn’t… oh, who am I kidding? I’ve been handed this one on a silver platter. But before I open my mouth, my small Car Guy speaks.
“No, he doesn’t. Your daddy drives a Volvo.” Junior is not being mean. He’s not intending to insult. He’s just stating facts. Educating Tyler, who is clearly in desperate need of guidance. “Station wagons are not fancy.”
Car Guy snorts into his shammy. And shoots Junior Car Guy a big grin. Because Car Guys, they know stuff.