Why is this a big deal? Well, it isn’t. Not to me, anyway.

But, right or wrong, it does have a profound effect on how I’m perceived by my co-workers and others that work in the same office building.

BMW Z3 Roadster

See, I haven’t taken this car to work since, hmmmm, probably sometime over the summer in 2005. And even then, it was for just one day.

But I’ve had the car for 9 years. That’s a long time.

People knew I had it back when I first bought it. I drove it, maybe twice a week, but then it disappeared from view. Rather…their view.

Though it was rare for someone to ask, “Hey, you still have that little convertible?”, it would happen on occasion — maybe once every six months.

I’d be honest and say, “Yep, it’s the elephant in the garage.”

But today, as I peered out my top floor window down at the lot to make sure no one parked “too close” (I’m paranoid of that sort of thing), I couldn’t help but notice people turning their heads in confusion as they walked through the lot…

That’s where Brainy parks… Someone must’ve taken his spot…

I caught one woman, who I don’t even know, take a picture of it with her phone… That was little weird — it’s not a Ferrari or anything…

But I can’t tell you how many people have made their way past my office today — many who I haven’t had a real non-work related conversation with in months — to say *something* about my car in the lot.

Some are as simple and innocent as, “Nice wheels” or “That must be fun to drive!” or “Does it have stinger missiles behind the headlights?”

Others are laced with jealousy, saying things like, “Must be nice to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth,” though they have no idea where I came from or of my background.

Still, others make stuff up like, “Yeah, my brother in-law’s friend’s cousin raced the M5 version with his bitchin’ Camaro and smoked it…” to put it down as if to boost themselves or something through an imaginary acquaintance.

And some are just plain obnoxious, “Wow you must get some nice tail driving that,” or “Trying to compensate for something?”

(Thankfully, there are select few at work that know the truth — that I worked really, really, really, really, really, really, really hard to be able to buy that car. But even they were shocked to see that I *still* had it.)

Comments like these are the main reason that I don’t drive this car to work. I don’t want the attention. I don’t particularly like the attention. Actually, complementary or rude, they all make me really uncomfortable. It’s embarrassing.

But I will say one thing — it’s refreshing to know that all it took was driving a different car to no longer be thought of as the guy who sports a “home haircut” and shops at Steve & Barry’s (and is willing to admit to both)!

Now to some, I’m Ricky Schroder.

To others, I’m the guy who’s “gay” because I prefer euro-cars over muscle cars.

And still, to some, I’m just the guy who has a car shaped like a penis.

But if I’m lucky, maybe one or two people will make the connection that yes, wearing $7.50 t-shirts and knock-off sneakers and working hard, five days a week, does have its perks…

Now to count down the two hours until 5:00 when I’ll drive away with the top down trying my best to look un-cool even though to some, now, as of today, I apparently am…

Another couple weeks, well, people will forget and my image will be back to being that “cheap” guy again…

Oh, and how come no one takes pictures of my daily driver? Sheesh, its book value is almost double that of the BMW

Oh yeah, perception is a mysterious thing

22 COMMENTS

  1. I just had to pop in to say I read your blog from time to time and a few weeks ago you mentioned Steve and Barry’s so I made a note to check it out. I looked it up and there is one close to my house so finally last night I checked it out! WOW I’m just blown away by this hidden treasure! Mine is a little dumpy but not dirty and everything in the store is $8.98 (except the “bloopers”) and but cheap quality. Thanks for the info!

    I had to say something because you mentioned it again today!

  2. Thanks for stopping in Chedderfish!

    Yeah, I have about a 50/50 success rate with Steve & Barry’s.

    Some t-shirts are most excellent and some are a little, well, thin and then too small after a couple of washings…

    That said, I have about the same success rate with the slightly higher-priced Old Navy clothes too…

    But hey, at prices that low, I’ll take a few duds every now and then…

  3. It’s it funny how peoples perception of you is? I bought a Civic Coupe a couple months ago – my F150 finally died and I’m doing a lot of commuting so I got a little car to save on gas (not necessarily due to gas prices)…

    At work people couldn’t believe I could afford a new car… I was like, geesh, it’s a Civic Coupe – not a Lexus LS Sedan… but it might as well be – we’re state workers and even tho the “newness” of it has worn off… I’m still getting comments from people everyday! “How can you afford a new car” “Wow, whatcha doin in the bosses office” etc etc!

    But I too worked hard… I carried a second job for a year to save for that car since I knew my truck was on it’s last leg. Lots of days with little to no sleep, working 7 days a week, never getting to do fun stuff – but it paid off!

    Haven’t caught anyone taking pics with their camera phone yet tho! :)

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