My father-in-law just bought an impulse Porsche.
This is on a plane of impulse purchases to which I cannot relate. My impulse purchases involve highly-caloric pastries and clearance shoes at TJ Maxx.
I have tried to impulse buy more extravagant things–Louis Vuitton handbags and Jimmy Choo shoes–but I’ve never been able to go through with it. I stand there with my plastic in hand, knowing the card can handle the purchase, but then I hear this voice in the back of my head (it’s probably my mother’s) telling me to not be so irresponsible. And I leave, overcome by a mix of relief and disappointment.
Knowing how tortuous it is for me to stand there considering a $900 handbag or pair of shoes (and never going through with the purchase), one can imagine that the mere thought of spending upwards of $40,000 on a car in the blink of an eye literally makes me nauseous. If I visualize myself in that position, standing at a car dealership saying, “Yes, I’ll take that red turbo 911, thank you very much,” I could actually make myself vomit.
To be fair, it wasn’t entirely an impulse purchase. He’d been mulling over this car for a few days and also considering the possibility that his current 911, which is getting up in mileage, might need thousands of dollars of work soon. But, he didn’t need the car, and the fact is that he just really, really wanted it. And so he bought it. Just like that.
It isn’t the first time–he has a long history of buying impulse cars. In fact, there’s a great story about him pointing out a car to his wife while driving past a dealership in the 90s, and she responded, “it’s cute,” and he came home with it later that day to her shock and horror.
Maybe it’s because I don’t love cars or maybe it’s because I’m not flush enough to contemplate spending so much so quickly, but I’m mildly shocked and horrified myself right now.
Maybe someday, but for now…well, it’s back to chocolate croissants and marked-down pumps.