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Shannon Brady

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Think upgrade? Nope, I think not

volkswagen-VW-logoOpened my inbox this morning to an urgent message from my neighborhood VW dealership/service center: “HURRY Shannon! We are in desperate need of pre-owned vehicles just like yours!”

Wow. Has my little 2007 manual transmission Beetle suddenly gone retro badass cool? Am I the owner of something special?

Alas, not after reading further. The second sentence revealed (in classic marketing schlock-speak) the real message. Trade in my current Beetle (which they so desperately need!) and, “think upgrade, Shannon!”

Apparently, my not-so-retro badass cool after all Beetle could be traded in for a brand spankin’ shiny newer, better Beetle with absolutely “no initial investment”.

Interesting timing, this email.

We just paid off the ‘full’ investment (aka final car payment) made a year ago on my Beetle purchased after relocating to the east coast.

I just turned 44.

So no, desperate dealer in need of my pre-owned Beetle, I am not interested in jumping back on the monthly car payment bandwagon (or in your case, Volkswagon). And I, like my 2007 Beetle, am used. 44 years of wear and tear, a few dings and dents, and a longer warm up required to hit full speed. But with my used status also comes a hell of a lot of road traveled and wisdom gained.

What is it with the daily media assault to trade in; buy new; think upgrade? We are emailed, texted, screamed at through our living room TV (notice how the commercials are 12 decibels louder than the program you’re watching?), blinded with a massive overuse of exclamation points, neon hues and bold-face fonts urging us to…

Trade in. Buy new. THINK UPGRADE!

If nothing else, my email message this morning got me to thinkin’ about the beauty of owning something used. And I don’t think I’m alone.

Baseball players smack the crap out of their gloves with a ball to break them in. Used.

Ballerinas whack the toes of their pointe shoes hundreds of times to soften the landing. Used.

The first few weeks on my yoga mat feels like a date with the slip and slide. But a healthy accumulation of sweat, love, and commitment has molded it into a work of wonder. Used. And glorious.

My neighborhood VW dealer desperately needs my “pre-owned” Beetle. Pre-owned? BAH! I’m keepin’ it. And it’s magnificantly used, and not pre-owned anytime soon, as long as this 44-year driver can help it.

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