From Jane's World
The whole wide world, as far as I can see from my wraparound deck, is green! I’m surrounded by trees of all kinds in my valley and am loving the greenness of summertime. Green seems to bring out the best in me—unless it’s the green of envy.
That whole “Do not covet your neighbor’s wife” thing seems silly to have to mention. You can adore her and admire her, but coveting seems a bit pushy. Not nice. But when it comes to Sally’s green car, I’m green with envy! I covet it.
You can be faster than me (even turtles are), smarter than me, or more determined, and I’ll be pleased and ready to cheer you on. But for some reason, I find myself envious because of a car.
All my cars have been “previously owned.” In over forty years of car ownership, I’ve never had the privilege of picking out the color or even the type of automobile I’m going to buy. I usually come limping onto a car dealer’s lot looking for the cheapest and most dependable vehicle available.
I’ve been known to say enthusiastically, “All that matters is that it gets me safely from point A to point B!” But then one day, I noticed Sally’s car.
It’s compact. It’s cute. It’s green! I’ll bet it gets great mileage.
I’ve never been a car person. I can’t even tell the difference between a Porsche and a Volkswagen. My favorite boss once asked me if I had seen his new car in the parking lot. Of course I had. For years I’d parked my car every day next to his car and the one belonging to my other boss. The three of us shared that designated parking area.
“Well, what did you think?” he persisted.
I wasn’t sure what he was looking for but felt safe saying, “Oh, it’s beautiful!”
However, he didn’t stop: “It’s a [insert some year here; I can’t remember useless information] Porsche! Come on, I’ll give you a ride!”
Oh brother, I was thinking, just what I don’t need. But he was enthusiastic, and I wanted to be supportive. So back outside we went, where I walked right over to my other boss’s car, a Volkswagen. Hey, they were both black!
Needless to say, I burst my favorite boss’s bubble of pride and joy.
I sure wish he could see Sally’s car!
My most expensive car came from Clucker’s in Westby, where I have bought a string of cars, insisting to no avail that the tenth one should be free. I couldn’t tell you the make or the model, but it was a shiny cranberry color with no rust or dings. The day I purchased it, I drove all over town looking for someone I knew to show it off to, with no luck. Only weeks later, three thousand dollars poorer, my newest set of wheels came to rest in Sheldon’s junkyard. I had discovered, the hard way, the dangers of black ice.
Now my silver Kia is dying. It needs…well, everything fixed. The back wiper doesn’t work, so I’m rendered helpless in rain or snow. The hood won’t open, making it difficult to do any repairs. The brakes need to be replaced (again), the undercarriage realigned, and the darn CD player chews up but won’t spit out my CDs. This is only the short list.
Sally’s car is pretty and perfect. When I see it parked at the co-op where she works I want to lick it. Or at least kiss it, or even just touch it. As usual, I don’t know the make or model, but it’s my favorite color, and that color is synonymous with envy!
Being envious takes up too much energy.
I’m going to go back out on my deck, relish all the green surrounding my tiny home, and be thankful if my Kia can last another few years!
Originally Published July 12th, 2018 in the Crawford County Independent & Kickapoo Scout