Leather Seats and Peace of Mind; For Sale, $3000
I bought a new-to-me car last fall. Six months into driving this Honda, I’m happier every day. Having bought and then gotten rid of many cars over the past forty years, I realize that the graph of that satisfaction will rise and fall, maybe more than once over the next (hopefully) ten years or so that I will drive this mech-beast. I’ve studied the owner manual and learned the kinks and quirks of this make as well as discovered an idiosyncrasy or two special to this particular machine. All’s well.
However, two larger car mysteries have been planted in my mind.
First, what is the big deal about leather seats? They are a cliché to describe an expensive car; I myself have used those words to describe a Mercedes in my novel-writing. I toured a luxury auto show; leather, chrome, and hardwood interiors were de rigour. The salesman for the Honda bragged on the leather seats in this car, along with the bug guard, mud flaps and a trailer hitch I don’t expect to ever use. My friends, upon seeing this car, say instantly “ooh, leather seats.” The dog and I just don’t care.
Secondly, much to my amusement, the dealership’s deal closer tried very hard to sell me a three year maintenance warranty, beginning at a cost of $3000. She insisted she could sell me “peace of mind.” Well, I’m not a worrier; as a person with one peaceful mind, why would I need another? And if I were a worrier, what would be the cost of that peace? No one could possible afford it.
This goes along with that cartoon I used to keep on my wall, someone in a hammock and the words “No one could ever afford to pay me for what my time is worth.” Seems always to be true in the best of times that money can’t buy you love or peace or time. I can live with that.