Qualified Condition

July 20, 2008

Slow Down, You Move too Fast

Filed under: Getting Around — Tags: , — qualifiedcondition @ 5:56 pm
I remember a movie in the 80’s staring Dudley Moore where he played an ad exec who went crazy and started writing honest-if not too honest advertisements for stuff.  One of them was a Volvo ad that read “Volvos, they’re boxy but they’re good.”  I guess the honesty really hit me at a young age because I’ve always been into the boxy little Swedes (keep in mind I grew up around hot rods and race cars, not hipsters with veg-oil diesels so liking Volvos was probably just a little worse than liking other boys).

To satisfy this 20-year itch I bought a 1979 242 last weekend.  It’s kindergarten green (though a keen eye will observe it was originally rusty brown/orange).  Both of these colors remind me of tupperware we had when I was little and so they are both rad.  Why are all cars no longer colored in tupperware fashion?

As much as I love that the car has all kinds of east-side-hipster-I’m so cool my Volvo has round headlights-cred; and as much as I love that this will let me get rid of a car payment; I really bought the car to facilitate some kind of lifestyle change.  

The car is slow.  

I’d like to slow down myself.  I’ve realized that I’m missing a lot, like enjoying each day, cultivating my own character, being present… (insert any other cliche yet relevant touchy feely phrase here) by being stuck in hummingbird-hyperdrive.  I need to slow down and better understand what the heck I’m doing half the time.  If it takes a Scandinavian two-door that pops out of first gear every now and then to help me out, so be it!

The car is my age, and requires a lot of care.

Okay, it’s a year younger, fine.  Basically, I feel like the discipline of keeping this car going is similar to the discipline of keeping myself running on all four cylinders.  I like to think of the car as a reminder to keep my eyes piqued for my own oil drips, grindy gears and sputtery morning starts.

Growing up evangelical/pentacostal has taught me that you can spiritualize the bejeezus out of anything, so there it is… the Spiritual Discipline of owning an old Volvo.



  1. Somehow i prefer the evangelical spiritualized version of volvo maintenance to the “zen art of volvo maintenance” cliché. I guess its just my narrow western mind *smirk*.

    hot car dude, i think you’re in luck too cause hipster dudes are magnetically attracted to volvos. you’ll have to brush em off the windshield with a broom in the morning if i’m not mistaken.

    Comment by seth — July 21, 2008 @ 5:19 pm

  2. yay! finally a post.

    a lifestyle change can be good. it’s a tough thing to learn to relax…. hopefully the volvo is a step in the right direction..

    Comment by xie — July 21, 2008 @ 6:54 pm

  3. Thanks, there’s only one dude I’d like to broom off my windshield though. Wait, that didn’t sound right.

    Comment by qualifiedcondition — July 21, 2008 @ 8:08 pm

  4. The new car sounds like a Spiritual Director. What happened to the Mazda?

    Comment by Una — July 25, 2008 @ 2:36 am

  5. “We’re doing mighty fine I do suppose, in our streak of lightening cars and fancy clothes…”

    You should tell ’em about the part where Ingvar or Soren, or whatever you’ve named it, decides to only let you finish one half of your errand running…”What’s that Ingvar? You want me to walk home with my groceries? Ohhhhkay.”

    Comment by Brother Chris — July 25, 2008 @ 6:27 am

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