I’m a practical guy. The color of the car I drive is not that important to me. I say that because I drive a pink car. Not just any pink car, mind you. I drive a pink Cadillac Escalade.
My wife started her own business 34 years ago. When she surprised me one day by telling me she had become an Independent Beauty Consultant for a well-known direct selling company, I said, “That’s fine. Just don’t expect any help from me.”
Some months later when she told me that she was going to earn the use of a company career car, I said, “I’ll believe it when I see it in the driveway.”
Thirteen months later when I was sitting inside that car which was sitting inside our garage, I inhaled the new car smell and said, “Honey, I always knew you could do it!”
Think about this. My wife has been driving career cars for over 32 years. All but that very first one have been pink. She has not made one single car payment in 387 months. Do the math. It’s a significant achievement on many levels! And by many levels, I mean it saved us about $200,000 over the years.
Here’s how it would work: After my wife, along with her team of Independent Beauty Consultants, achieved a certain required sales production over a certain required period of time, the company would send her a brand new pink Cadillac. We would head over to the local Caddy dealership, sign a few papers, shake a few hands, take a few pictures and return home with a brand new car – ours to use for the next two or three years, depending on the model. During her 14 years as an Independent Sales Director, she would drive each car for two years before exchanging it for a new one.
Early in her career when we had three small kids and she was traveling a lot, those pink trophies on wheels would often look a little worse for wear when she turned them in. After two years, it wasn’t unusual for her to have driven 75,000 miles or more. It also wasn’t unusual for me to have to scrape melted Skittles off the back seat, wipe chocolate finger prints off the back windows and steam clean the carpet which had turned from grey to black thanks to three kids and their dirty shoes.
I’ve driven pink Cadillacs for a lot of years, and I’ve gotten a lot of attention. It’s not unusual for people to stop, pivot, point and smile as I drive past. Some people squint or lift up their sunglasses as if to say, “Is that car pink?” Some people will flash enthusiastic thumbs-up. Some people take pictures. Some people drive past and do double takes before smiling and nodding their heads! Some people leave notes on the windshield that say things like, “Love your car!” Or, “Here’s my number; I need some moisturizer!”
Over the years, I’ve had mostly positive interactions with people who comment on my wife’s car when I’m driving it. It depends on where we are and who makes the comment, but conversations like this are not uncommon:
If we’re in the Midwest and somebody says, “Is that car pink?” I’ll say, “Oh, yah, fer sher. It’s my wife’s company car, but I drive it every chance I get.”
If we’re in the South and somebody says, “I love the color of that car, y’all!” I’ll say, “Well, shoot, that’s awful nice of you to say. It sure is purdy, i’n it?”
If we’re on the West Coast and somebody says, “Dude, that car is awesome!” I’ll say, “Yeah, dude, it’s a rockin’ whip for real!”
If we’re on the East Coast and somebody with an attitude says, “Are you aware that the car you’re driving is pink?” I’ll say, “Hey, buddy, why don’t you mind your own business!”
Finally – and this happened recently when I was filling the car with gas – a guy said, “I wouldn’t be caught dead driving around in a car that color,” insinuating that somehow I was letting down the entire male species by driving a pink car. I looked at him and calmly said, “So, what you’re saying is that if your wife’s company gave her a free $80,000 car to use and paid 85% of the insurance you wouldn’t drive it just because it’s pink? Yeeaah…I don’t think we can be friends.”
I have to laugh, because he paused for a second and then said, “Well, when you put it that way, maybe I would!”
During my wife’s career and up until two years ago I always kept my own vehicle. Over the years the colors ranged from red to gold to white to silver to black – the color didn’t matter. Not really needing two cars at this stage of life, I sold my last car two years ago.
I was at the car wash the other day cleaning the pink Escalade. While I was wiping down the vehicle, one of the workers walked over and started polishing the rims. As I got into the Caddy to drive away, he said, “Man, this is one beautiful car!”
This time I smiled, and in all seriousness, said, “Thanks, buddy. It sure is!”