When I was younger, I had dreamed of owning sports cars and expensive luxury vehicles. I had seen my peers attracting beautiful women while they drove off in their status symbols. I had conflated the idea of needing such status in order to attract beautiful women. To some extent this is true; however, as I matured I learned that such people who are attracted to external sources of happiness will never achieve true happiness as they will always be in search of the next thing from which they can derive joy.
Since most of us start off relatively poor, we have to make do with what options we have available to us. My first vehicle was a hand me down station wagon. I loved it! It represented freedom. While it took me everywhere that I wanted to go, it certainly was not a status symbol. I think it was an ingenious device that was devised by my parents to keep me a virgin for as long as possible.
Over the years, I've driven a number of vehicles, but nothing quite like my 4runner. I knew I wanted this exact model for some time before I purchased mine. I have a friend who used to buy vehicles at car auctions who let me tag along to search for a good deal. In order to attend these vehicle auctions one must be a licensed dealer so it was definitely a learning experience. I saw a lot of beat up trucks with too much wear and tear. Most people don't take care of their vehicles properly.
I also went to a few dealerships in my spare time, but nothing special stood out. In my professional life, I was excelling rapidly with increasing commissions each month. I paid off most of my debt as well as my car at the time which I planned on keeping as my recreational car (it was a fun little convertible). Then one cold day in December, I was asked out by a really cute tall girl at the bank where I worked. We set up a date for the weekend. My co-workers gave me high-fives, but teased how I was going to get her to fit in my small convertible. That same day I received a call from one of the dealerships that I had visited earlier with the salesman boasting that he had found the exact model and color that I was looking for. After work, I stopped by and saw my 4runner standing majestically in the showroom after a fresh cleaning and detail. Five years earlier, I sat in the same showroom filling out a finance form while I applied for my first vehicle loan; however, with fate and new fortune I confidently told the salesman to arrange the purchase. When he asked me how I would be paying, I told him, "Cash".
I felt like a gangster with my suit and paying cash for a car as young as I was, but I knew that I was making a sound decision with this purchase. I know vehicles are terrible but necessary investments*, and having worked for financial institutions for many years I didn't want to give them any more interest than they already stole from my money in the first place. This truck was to become my faithful work horse which after extensive research I decided was the best candidate to achieve my desired life span of 250,000 miles before I would seek to find a replacement. The odometer read 67,000 at the time of purchase since it was a few years old, but incredibly well maintained as I compared it to the many others I had investigated before.
Now over 10 years later, I am amazed at how well it has aged even at this much mileage it has been such a faithful truck. I still split my drive time between my recreational vehicle (my motorcycle) and the 4runner which helps keep the annual mileage low. It is no longer regarded as a higher status luxury SUV as it once was in its prime; however, this helps to keep my profile low and not attract the wrong attention. The wrong attention consists of materialistic women/people who conflate expensive cars with status and attraction or even thieves (as was the case for my old Harley Davidson).
Oh and as far as the date with the tall cute girl, she turned out to be engaged and was looking to fool around before her fiancé moved into town. Thank God nothing materialized from that; however, I attribute my good fortune to being looked after by angels and of course, The Almighty.
― Romans 8:28