Monday, July 18, 2011
I sold my Mini Cooper two days ago. We had put the ad over a month ago on craiglist and only 3 or 4 people contacted me to see the car. They never did. Six days ago a guy contacted me. He said he was really interested in the car.
He was so interested that he was willing to drove for 2 hours and brought cash. He lived in Giddings, TX. Initially, I thought it was a scam, but the guy was genuine and just like that, my beloved Mini is now his. Our bank account now looks so much better, but the Mini is no longer mine. Sigh.
I was kind of crushed when I had to finally let the car go. It was strange to me, because I always think of myself as a person that does not really care about material things. When people talk about new and expensive cars, or just cars, most of the time I am clueless about that topic. I don't really shop for expensive clothes, or bags and shoes either. I am content with our small town house and I am OK with not having jewelries. I don't even like gold or diamonds. I don't care about getting new cellphones or ipad. That is why I found it strange for me to feel sad about letting the car go.
I tried to analyze my feeling. I used the word "love" to describe my feeling about the car. Letting it go made me feel sad. I even shed a tear. Or two. So it must be real love then? But when I think about the last 15 months that we had the car, I did not really show any signs that I am truly in love with the car. Sure, I avoid road bumps and holes, I washed it myself, I did not let it get messy or stinky. I took care of it, but I don't think that it was love. I was just raised to do those kind of things to cars. My dad used to be a car addict. I would get yelled at if I brought food or liquid to his car. And I learned to love old cars from him. I am more articulate in talking about old cars, rather than new ones. I love Volkswagens. I love Mini Coopers.
When my husband bought me the Mini Cooper it was because he knew that I liked that car and he liked the model. I did not ask him for it. I enjoyed the car so much, but in reality we didn't need two cars. One was enough, because my husband's office is only 5 minutes away and I don't have many activities. Even with two cars, I mostly just drop him off and pick him up at the office. With the three dogs that we have and the folding bikes that we use in weekends, we always use our bigger car for transportation to parks. Basically, we only needed one car and it was not the Mini.
I think I loved my Mini, because I loved being in it. I loved being identified as a Mini owner. I loved the feeling I got when people look at the car. I loved the feeling of having a cute and unique car. But it was not love for the car. I just loved the way it made me feel. And I think that was a totally wrong reason to feel sad about losing something.
Humans tend to identify themselves with the things they own. A Mini owner, a Porsche owner, the person with the big house on the curb, the kid with PS3, the Gucci lover, the Macintosh guy, the ipad addict, the necessity to own, the need to have the newest model of everything. More than that, people also identify themselves as their role in the society or relationship. I am my husband's wife, I am my wife's husband, I am an accountant, I am a CEO, I am his girlfriend, I am her boyfriend.
Identifying oneself with an external or material thing is dangerous business. It's serious and it's dangerous. Well, mostly because those things do not last forever. As cliche as it is, it is absolutely true. And when that happens, a strong attachment and identification to a material thing could let to the serious question of "who am I?" and even the feeling of lost and the need to attain other or more material things for the sake of identifying oneself.
Detachment is important, because strangely enough, people who don't think they're attached to something are actually attached to something. That something could be just a nickname (that sticks like a glue to one's forehead) or the self confidence that he or she is different from all the rest.