B (Hubby) is in the parking lot on his lunch break the other day. Parked a few spots away from him is a co-worker's car, same make, similar model to his. B's car is a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am. Hers is a 2008, I think.
Small talk ensues about stuff to get their minds off work, if only for a moment. Similar Car Lady (SCL) says to B, "You should take better care of your car. It looks like crap."
For the record, B's workplace, in my opinion, is so bad for rumors, badmouthing others, and general pessimism, that the employees have taken putting others down in any way possible to a whole new level. It's awful, and I wish I could get him out of there!
B is momentarily stunned at that comment, and then asks what she means by that. SCL says that the paint on the car is scratched badly in areas, and fading in others, with bits of rust showing up in other areas. The trim on his vehicle is broken in spots (thanks vandals!) and or coming off.
He replies that yes, his car is imperfect, it's not exactly like he just drove it off the lot, but it is aging. He points out that her car has no working back-up lights, and she has dents, not just scratches on hers. B suggests that she worry about her own vehicle and leave him to worry about his.
He told me that story last night after dinner, and how it bothered him that his coworker would not only talk about how he treats his vehicle, but that she commented that it probably smelled like smoke all the time.
I listened, and understood why this would bother him. I agreed with him.
Then I mentioned that it may not look perfect, but it runs great, and we do take care of the essential parts of the car. It's safe to drive our family around in. We do routine maintenance and care on it. It's clean inside and out. It does what we need it to do, even if it is 9 years old.
And then I said something that made him smile.
"Yeah, she may think it's a piece of crap, but it's our piece of crap! Besides, I'll bet her car isn't fully paid for."