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If you are what you drive, I’m screwed

Hummers, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

This is going to be a controversial post so brace yourselves.

I come from a long line of sensible car owners. My parents drive a sensible car, my brother drives a sensible car and I too drive a sensible car. By sensible I mean used and Japanese with really good gas mileage. Now earlier I wrote about the penchant for washing cars in Petworth. Now I’d like to take it one step further.

As you can see in the picture above, it looks like a Hummer has given birth to a baby Hummer. Well, I see these cars all the time in Petworth. I also see Lexus, Mercedes, BMW, Cadillac and all the finest automobiles on the road. My question is: why? We all know that Petworth is a working/middle class sanctuary in Northwest DC. Frankly, the cars just don’t fit. So, I get it – this is an image thing. But sometimes these cars are parked in front of houses that to put it mildly can use a lot of work. So does it really make sense to need a new roof and have a Bentley parked out front? I’m aware this is America and it is our choice to do as we please. And thank God for that. But it makes me wonder: are these cars being purchased or leased? Is this the wisest use of money for a middle class neighborhood. Does it spiral into a “keeping up with the Joneses”? To me it just doesn’t make any sense. Does it trickle down into children wanting the most expensive clothes just for image. I’m not saying drive a Pinto and wear rags but be sensible. What is the lesson for the children?

Sure if you are wealthy and doing fine and paying your bills and saving for retirement etc buy whatever the hell you want. I expect to see these cars in Georgetown but in Petworth it always makes me shake my head. I realize people are going to go crazy so I admit there are exceptions. Not every fancy car in Petworth fits this mold. But I would say an awful lot of them do. All I’m saying is that America has a terrible problem with buying things they can’t afford and going into terrible debt. For medical bills, unemployment, food I can understand and am saddened by it. But I’d hate to think that families in our beloved Petworth are going into debt just for image.

Am I crazy?

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