Friday, May 12, 2006

Concealed Consumption

As I pulled in to a parking spot outside Starbucks (#5 on the latest rankings), an employee on break nodded approvingly and, as I stepped out, asked if that was my car.

It was. But, for some reason, I told him otherwise. I said that I was borrowing it from a friend while my own ride, a Malibu, was in the shop. Considering that I'm still not entirely sure why this happened, I'm surprised I delivered the line confidently. But, I'm no compulsive liar and I have always believed truth and trust to be among the most important qualities a person can possess.

So, why did this happen? I'm not entirely sure. I guess at this point in my life I'm just not quite ready to be a conspicuous consumer. It still feels awkward to be driving a BMW. Even if I did, technically, earn it.

I wasn't raised on a farm and I'm not that guy who enjoys only simpler things in life. I honestly can't wait to live in a big city and I work hard now so that I can afford new things and experiences later. Still, there was some hurdle about acknowledging this in an exchange with a guy I'll never meet again. Is it possible that I was embarrassed? How can that be? This is a consumer culture. I love capitalism. I certainly don't trumpet anything resembling collectivist ideals. Yet, something about the situation made me feel less than completely comfortable - and I don't think I'll ever completely be at ease "flaunting" what I've got.


At 2:35 AM, Anonymous PG said...

Would you have felt differently if, instead of its being an inquiry from a Starbucks employee, it was a question coming from a lawyer about to get into his own BMW?

At 4:14 PM, Blogger SLS2L(@YLS) said...

That's a good point. Maybe I would have felt differently. But, certainly not "comfortable."


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