When Malinda was pregnant, and before the girls were born, we needed a new family vehicle. Mal was driving a Saab that had a nasty utterance from deep within the engine block and I drove an old Isuzu Trooper that reeked of mold. We needed something reliable and able to carry the wagon load of junk that new parents need to meet any need or want of the little ones.
Mal and my older boy looked at several cars but nothing was quite right. I finally chimed in and wanted a Porsche Cayenne. Hey? Who doesn’t want an SUV that does a 190 mph? We found one that I liked, drove it, and loved it. It’s an SUV on the outside and a 911 sports car on the inside.
I was set to buy it but Mal wanted to talk. “Look,” she said. “I would give my right arm to cart the kids around in this car. But it’s expensive. And I know you.”
I know you is one of our codes.
“I know you,” she said. And I know how frustrated and mad you will get when someone throws up in the backseat or blows out a diaper on the leather. And it’s going to happen. So here’s the thing: if you want the car, I am totally on board. But the first time you complain of vomit or poop or fries stuffed behind the seat, I’m going to drive this thing to the nearest dealer and trade it in for something that we can use without feeling bad about it.”
And she was right. It was a silly idea to buy something special and pristine and shiny knowing full well that the seats would be stained with who knows what after a couple of months. It was a smart decision not to buy the car, knowing how I am. It would have been smarter for me to remember that things are things. When we forget this, when I forget this, and use things for some kind of personal badge then we’re already on the wrong side of the line.
So, today’s take away? Know yourself and use that knowledge to make good decisions.