I’m not big on brand names. Never have been. Until such a day when I get paid to be a walking billboard, I will actively avoid wearing things with a discernable logo on it. Every single thing in my closet is logo-free and more or less brand anonymous, and that’s just how I like it.
I’d like to think my subversive shunning of popular brands in favour of the no-name is apparent throughout my life, but I’m finding that this isn’t true. I made a distinct choice when selecting my cell phone and outside laptop – I could have kept my random Samsung phone and grabbed the first Acer piece of shit that I came across, but I didn’t. I made a conscious effort to go with Apple, and while the hipness factor wasn’t the first or 10th reason for buying Mac on my list, it is on there. The marketing worked on me – I wanted both an iPhone and a Macbook, so I cheerfully took my seat on the bandwagon and never really looked back.
It’s different, though. It’s not like I carry a Coach bag and use Prada dental dams, right? I’ve still got indie cred! Just look at my old sneakers and patch-covered messenger bag and scooter!
Wait, don’t look at my scooter.
Okay, fine. I own a Vespa.
I love my shiny little (huge) scooter, but I can’t help but feel a twinge of shame when I think about it. I’ve been an advocate of anything-but-Vespa for such a long time that now I actually own one and love it, I kind of feel like a hypocrite*.
And worst of all, I feel like a big dumb stupid bitch.
When Ali got her Lexus, I snarked at her. I snarked a *lot*. To me, a Lexus is the ultimate indulgence in car form – what, a Honda isn’t good enough for you? You have to go big and fancy just because of the Lexus name? I hope you enjoyed paying that extra $30k for a glorified station wagon! Way to be a yuppie, you yuppie!
Ali is clearly some sort of saint for not telling me to go fuck myself every time I opened my mouth (fingers).
I’m getting the exact same wash of negativity because of my Vespa, and I’m finding out firsthand how much it sucks to have people roll their eyes and dismiss you because you went with the expensive flashy version, regardless of why.
Yes, the Vespa was expensive. Yes, I could have gotten a similar machine for nearly half the price if I was willing to sacrifice quality. Yes, it was pure indulgence on my part – Oscar is fantastic and a great ride and I love him and I totally did not need to buy another scooter.
There are dozens of arguments against Darth Lola, but they can all be countered with one simple point: she makes me happy.
My Vespa makes me happy. How can anybody argue against that? You can’t; not without being a total dick. Who the hell was I to make fun of Ali’s Lexus if it makes her happy? As beautiful (and extremely inconvenient) as it would be to live a care-free life in the forest with no possessions, we all have lives and families and jobs and commitments. I need to be able to get around. Why can’t I do it in style?
Just as I’ll never understand the appeal of a Porsche Cayenne Turbo or Manolo Blahnik shoes or Birkin bags or anything in the Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, there are those who don’t get the whole Vespa thing. And that’s okay. It’s not their thing. I would never want any of the aforementioned items, but that’s okay too – they’re not *for* me. Somewhere out there those brands make someone very happy, and good on them. Yes, I think it’s silly – but what exactly did I think the average person thinks of the things that are important to me? What do you MEAN you don’t understand why I would pay $100 for a video game I already own just because it comes with a lunch box? Can’t you see how AWESOME it is?!
Ali, I am very sorry for being such a horrible friend with regards to your choice in vehicles. Why you still talk to me is something I’ll never understand, but I’m very glad you do.
Hey everyone, look at my shiny awesome Vespa!
*: coming soon; the requested “what makes your scooter so great and how does it compare to others and why do you still not recommend Vespa as a first scooter” post.
she walked like a woman but she talked like a man