IS IT JUST A CAR OR A FIRST IMPRESSION …
The neighbor kid, Jimmy, a scruffy-looking 19-year-old, who seemed to favor faded black T-shirts with numerous holes and well-worn dirty jeans he liked to wear for a couple of weeks before washing, came over to borrow a rake. He couldn’t help but notice again, the care I was giving to detailing my car. At the beginning of every Spring and Autumn, I give my ten-year-old
And then there’s Jimmy’s car. A prematurely aged ’98 Ford Fiesta, a British import. Dirty, dented and rusting, its cherry red exterior had oxidized to the point that the cherry had abandoned the car a couple of years ago. Jimmy’s idea of taking care of his car was running it through the $2 car wash once a year, at the end of winter, “whether it needs it or not,” he liked to say. This despite the fact that Jimmy works at a car wash.
Jimmy liked to think that people shouldn’t make judgements based on outward appearances. And while I agree that people shouldn’t make judgements only on outward appearances, first impressions are inevitably made on what people, places and things look like.
Jimmy thought it was a waste of time, money and effort keeping my
This time I thought I’d try a different approach when he asked me why I work so hard at “keeping up appearances”.
I asked him why he always borrowed his dad’s ’06 Dodge Viper (yes, a red one) when he went out on a date.
“Dude,” he said, “It’s the snake, man. Look at it. Girls love it and I look so good in it.”
“But why not just use your car,” I asked. “All you need is to get from here to there, right?”
“Mr. E, you can’t be serious,” he said. “I’m not gonna impress a girl in a Ford Fiesta. I don’t want her to think I’m a total douche on the first date.”
“So on what date do you want her to think that of you,” I asked.
“None,” Jimmy said emphatically, like I was some kind of nut for even suggesting it.
Suddenly the candle flickered inside his brain, signaling some activity. I think he finally got it.
A couple of days later, he asked if I could give him some tips on “restoring” the finish on his Fiesta.