The first time my weekly radio show, Shop Girls on myTalk107.1, broadcast from Sears Imported Autos, my mom (also my co-host) and I acted like dorks (i.e. People Who Do Not Own Mercedes), taking selfies in a sleek silver convertible we were afraid to breathe upon. We’re doing another Shop Girls broadcast at the Minnetonka dealership this Saturday (the sales department sells live broadcasts; I just show up where they tell me and talk about shopping and fashion for two hours). This time, the dealership asked if my mom and I would like to do a test drive before the show.
I said no. Because, well, I’m busy, it’s not part of my job, and, who am I kidding: I was crazy scared to be responsible for a car that probably costs more than my salary. But they told me not to worry. And there was sunshine in the forecast. And hey, sometimes you’ve got to just throw the top down (at the press of a button!) and live a little.
So here’s what I learned while driving a Mercedes E550 convertible.
1. It’s easy to adjust to being fancy. I was super nervous pulling out of the lot, but the smooth ride, the leather seats, the purr of that engine —it’s intoxicating. Yes, people looked at me differently behind the wheel of a luxury sports car, and no, I didn't hate it.
2. It’s more than branding. I’ll admit, I always figured the price of a luxury car had more to do with look and brand than function. I know nothing about what’s under the hood. But this car has features I’d never even dreamed of wanting: It vibrates if you try to change lanes too close to another car! It knows exactly how much brake pressure to apply! The windshield wipers come on automatically when it rains! Really, I barely needed to be awake. Scratch that—it wakes you if your eyes close. I mean, did you ever?
3. Children take to luxury quite easily, as well. My kids, who have never expressed any interest in motorized vehicles whatsoever, literally squealed in delight when I picked them up with the top down. “Do we look rich?!” the 10-year-old asked. I got no complaints from the backseat when I made a few extra stops.
4. I no longer think people that take up two parking spaces are assholes. Not as much as I used to, anyway. I found myself looking for the most remote spot, away from careless door slammers, or at least near other luxury vehicles that would “get me.”
5. Errands are much more fun in an amazing vehicle. That is all.
6. My children will not die of starvation on the ride between school and home. My Rav-4 doubles as a small pantry with bags of Pirate Booty and boxes of granola bars for emergency snacks, which they seem to need on every ride, no matter how brief. Not in the Mercedes! I wouldn’t even let them chew gum or sip water, and they didn’t whine a bit.
7. It's so quiet! No joke—the Mercedes was quieter with the top down on the highway than my Toyota is with the window cracked on a side street.
8. I'm a better person in a better car. I felt like I had to dress up for my Mercedes. I was patient with pedestrians and slow moving vehicles. I wouldn't dream of texting. I felt energized. Like I should volunteer more. Cure a disease. Just to be worthy.
9. I don’t have optimal convertible hair. It got bigger and more snarled with each glorious ride. But that’s nothing a little Moroccan Oil can't fix.