Becoming the Joneses

Matt & Alice, November 23, 2015

We were the last of our friends to get a flat panel TV. We didn’t get cable television until 2012. We were the last to trade our pre-paid flip-phones for iPhones (used, of course). We’d never bought a new car and the ones we did have, I mostly fixed myself—when we weren’t busy renovating some part of our house… by ourselves.

We reused everything we could and were very careful with every penny. Keeping up with the Joneses— HA! Let them run up their credit cards on fancy toys without us!

Then I drove a Tesla. Then my wife drove one.

Maybe we’d both just grown weary of repairs and patches and wanted something shiny. After all, we had just moved on to our second house and the renovation clock had reset, the kids were in need of constant car pools and approaching middle age had primed us for something fresh and new. It was time for something that would bring back some “swag” (as the kids say) to our busy lives. We ran numbers and equations, estimates and assumptions—we looked at the math every way frugal-minded, debt-averse, long-term focused “cheapskates” could. In the end, buying a Tesla made perfect sense for us. See the Tesla Math here.

Not like it mattered. The Tesla had haunted us – in a good way. We labored over the implications of buying such new technology—before everyone else we knew—and what did that mean, really? The Tesla loomed large in daydreams and my endless pondering conversations with my wife became a blog, to spare us both the indignity of repeating the same pros/cons. Everyone was excited when we broke the news, though many were dumbstruck at first. Our reputations had lulled them into thinking we never bought anything new.

We took delivery in May of 2014. Serena is still the very best thing we have ever bought and over a year later, is still the very nicest thing we own. We’ve spent many hours demonstrating the car and urging others to go test drive one—so that a Tesla could haunt them until they finally buy one, too.

Every morning, Serena is ready. She goes everywhere quietly, effortlessly; a shark among prey during commutes and smooth as a magic carpet on trips. Equally at home hauling members of marching bands, soccer teams or detritus from the hardware store—plus the grit and grime of them all—then being shined up for glamour pictures at Cars and Coffee or an elegant date night. She’s a true sport-utility vehicle.

Serena hasn’t let me down. She doesn’t break.The one time she rode the trailer for her first annual service, I was given a brand new Tesla to keep me company. Serena was returned better than new—and continues to improve, getting software updates during her beauty rest in the garage. The few times we’ve called upon the Rangers, we’ve received concierge level treatment and it was like having a friend stop by.

Owning a Tesla will become a legacy in our family. Prior generations were the first to have indoor plumbing or color television, but we’ve stepped forward-- the first among our peers—and now gently urge them to join us in going electric. For once, the Joneses have to keep up with us.

Tags: Model S, Ownership, family car