Today, I'm mourning the passing of Luke Perry, at the very young age of 52. The show Perry starred in, Beverly Hills 90210, influenced so much of my teen years, especially when my parents moved us my Senior year of High School to Bellevue, Washington, an affluent suburb of Seattle.
I think the theme of that year's yearbook was actually "Bellevue High 98004."
It was quite the MONEY shock going from my high school in Arlington, TX to this school. At my high school in Texas, it was cool, if you just had a car when you turned 16. My first car was a 1972 BMW Bavaria that I bought for $1000, with the help of my grandmother. It had an 8 track! Not that that I had any to play in it, but I loved having this antiquated feature in the car because it reminded me of Skee Lo's I Wish. Part of the lyrics go like this:
I wish I had a brand-new car
So far, I got this hatchback
And everywhere I go, yo, I gets laughed at
And when I'm in my car I'm laid back
I got an 8-track and a spare tire in the backseat, but that's flat
Unfortunately, that car broke down underneath a freeway underpass in Dallas' West End one night. A group of friends were in the car, and when my car started puttering towards it untimely death, they started screaming that we were going to get killed! Um, can you tell that many of my friends were in theater?!
Now, at my high school in Texas, we had our share of rich kids who drove BMW's and other fancy cars, but there were a lot more pick-up trucks than Beemers. So, it was quite a shock when I moved to Bellevue, and practically every kid had a BMW, Mercedes or even a Porsche. I soon also realized you couldn't have just any car, at Bellevue High School, you had to have the right kind of car. And my car was definitely not the right kind.
After experiencing my car breaking down under a freeway underpass in downtown Dallas after dark, I wanted a brand new car. But I was in high school. I had a bit of money saved up from my summer jobs, but still the only thing I could really afford was the Geo Metro. Do you remember those cars? It really was like that Skee Lo song, where "I got a hatchback that...yo, gets laughed at!"
After leaving for college, I left this car to my brother, who also got mercilessly teased about it, which probably affected him since his next car, after this green Geo Metro, was a BMW.
For me, getting made fun of for a car didn't affect me as much. I was more surprised than hurt. However, I even stopped being surprised when I went to one of my classmates' house. Her dad worked for Microsoft, and at that time, before Google, Apple, and Facebook, Microsoft was the company to be. The early employees all became multi-millionaires, and this classmate's father was no exception. She showed us around a very modern concrete mansion that had an architecture style I had never seen in Texas, and while showing us around her probably 7000+ square feet house, she casually mentioned that there were 2 other homes on the property that were their houses when they didn't have as much money.
Now, getting back to the cars. My current car is a 2003 Volkswagen Passat. I love this car. I bought it brand new, shortly after I transitioned from working in news to entertainment. It had everything I wanted, at the time, including a sunroof, leather heated seats, and a CD player! It also STILL has a CASSETTE player! Do I still have cassettes I can pop in once in a while? You betcha I do!
I know that this car can't last forever. It's starting to show it's age, and I try not to drive it on the freeway. It's my around town car. (My husband and I also have a Jeep Grand Cherokee we bought in 2016, and that's the one we take to most places.)
I don't like thinking about what kind of car I'm going to get next because 1) cars lose their value as soon as they're driven off the lot 2) I hate getting gas...it's my least favorite errand to run, but most hybrids or electric cars are not that appealing, aesthetically, except for the Tesla Model X or the Tesla SUV, and see my #1 reason for not getting a Tesla. I just can't imagine spending a small down payment on a house for a car. 3) I love that my husband and I don't have any debts, besides our mortgage, which I don't really consider bad debt.
Now, car payments can be good when your interest is super low, like 0% or 1.9%. The "installment" factor helps increase your credit score, if you make your payments on time. Car payments can also be considered "good debt" when the length of your loan is 3 years or less because you'll have the car paid off before too much wear and tear on the car decreases the value even more. However, it's just so damn nice to not have any debts, besides the house. As you probably know, there's just a lot of freedom when you're debt free.
Well, I'd love to hear what your first car was, and also what kind of car you now own. Do you love your car? If so, why? Help me with some suggestions please! It will make it easier, when I finally have to give up my amazingly awesome Passat (that's never been in an accident and still looks quite new, especially after a car wash)!
Just a reminder that I have two workshops coming up in the Los Angeles area. On Saturday March 16th from 10am-noon at a cozy coffee shop, the San Gabriel Valley Women's Writers Group has invited me to speak. Click here to get all of the details. For this one, let's dispel the myth and release any limiting beliefs around how artists and writers need to stay poor and hungry.
Then, on Sunday, March 24, I'm hosting with two other powerhouse coaches in a 1 day workshop that'll help you to release stress, stop worries, and recharge your intentions and goals for this year! The other coaches include Laverne McKinnon, who owns her own TV and film production company with Kay Cannon (who wrote Pitch Perfect). She specializes in empowerment life coaching, core value work, and grief counseling. The other is Sandie Bass, an executive and leadership coach who's an Ivy-league School graduate and headed up marketing and H&R at Fortune 500 companies. Super charged day! Click HERE to sign up! Space is limited!