Yes indeed! I am tired of trying to hide under a cloak of averageness, and am ready to burst forth into full public view while proclaiming that I am one of the few, the 1%.
Yes, the hated 1%. One of the people everyone looks upon with jealousy. One of the people that all of you make fun of, but I know the truth – you wish you were like me.
Wait – did you think I was talking about the top 1% of wealth? No no no, I am far away from that exclusive club. I am, however, among the 1% who has lived the lifestyle of parking two cars in a two car garage.
I was not raised this way. Although I grew up in homes with two car garages, very seldom do I remember them being inhabited by two actual cars. The rule seems to have been that one car lived indoors while the rest of that space was taken up with . . . well I’m not sure.
There were lawnmowers, garden tools, bicycles, and even firewood. The first winter that teenage me owned a car we squeezed it into the garage, but that luxurious lifestyle did not last long. The death of my grandma (and the accumulation of some of the contents of her house and garage) filled up that space and that was the end of that.
But fast forward a few years and I became a homeowner myself – a small 1920’s bungalow on a forty foot wide lot. A narrow driveway ran from the street and up past the house to a two car wood frame garage – that sat sideways.
As one who has always been into cars, I had two of them when I bought the place. An everyday car and a cheap old beater pickup truck. Because I was just moving in, there was room for both.
Cars came and went but one constant was that there were two cars there, except only times when one of them was spread out across the entire floor for some project or other.
Early in my marriage my Mrs. and I got up to five cars – three were playthings that lived in the garage (one of them in a rented space in the garage next door) while the two daily drivers lived outside.
Kids came, cars went and we moved to a bigger place. Even during the move-in phase we got two cars in.
A lesser man might have given up when it became necessary to squeeze a full-sized Ford van and a 1968 Chrysler Newport into the same relatively petite 1950’s garage – along with bikes, a lawnmower and the kinds of things that a suburban family accumulates. During that phase of life the Mrs. refused to move a car in or out if the other was there, such precision was involved in the operation. The secret was in keeping the drivers side of the van skinnied up to the wall, requiring us all to enter or exit aircraft style through the passenger side doors.
Life got easier when we went to smaller cars, but even then I have remained spoiled by not having to scrape ice and brush snow or having to run through the rain on the way to or from work.
I have, however, temoporarily lost my spot in the 1% club. My daughter, it seems, needed to stash a bunch of furniture from her student apartment during a summer out of state. So here I am with our two daily cars outside.
Which makes me wonder about priorities. The combined contents of the garage at present is worth far less than the value of the cars that sits outdoors in the weather. Yet that stuff luxuriates in dry comfort while two of our cars get the rain, sap and tree-trash coating them with great regularity. This makes no sense.
But the end is in sight. As our daughter prepares to come home she has confirmed plans for moving into her own apartment – a living situation that will result in Mom and Dad getting our garage back.
And it will not be a moment too soon. I have had quite enough of living how the average person lives. I crave re-admittance to the 1%.
The featured photo is *not* my garage, fortunately. This unaltered photo comes from the Flickr page of Unnar Ymir Bjornsson (found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/54771619@N05/6791821471) and is available via a Creative Commons Attribution License.