Cars, girls and architect
“In less enlightened times, the best way to impress women was to own a hot car.
But women wised up and realized it was better to buy their own hot cars
so they wouldn’t have to ride around with jerks.”
Cool luxury cars are a banal stereotype usually associated with the rich people. “Rich-people-driving-luxury-cars” stereotype is in its turn quite often (and unfortunately mistakenly) affiliated with the architects. Following such primitive logic an average architect “naturally” must look like that:
Not enough?… you can add this… What the hell, chicks dig cars and architects… we know that!
Anyway… why all of a sudden I talk about the cars? I hate cars; I don’t understand anything about the technical parameters of the automobile. Well… maybe these personal episodes can provide some explanation for my weird escapade…
TODAY: Ugly reality
First episode, which is chronologically the last one, has happened this morning… That’s what probably has triggered my emotions.
Every month I receive an architectural magazine from my professional organization. It’s a poor edition printed on the average quality paper with month-old news and tons of silly ads. This worthless publication (available by the way online for free) is the only reminder of my professional organization’s existence. At least I know how those thousands of dollars of my membership fees are spent…
In the last half a year or so my architectural journal arrives with another magazine in the package. That second magazine has nothing to do with the architecture. It’s called “Autovision” and it’s about… you got it right… CARS! Now, as my professional magazine gets thinner and poorer “Autovision” thrives. It’s printing quality gets better with every issue (glossy paper, great color prints) and the content becomes more interesting than ever (analytical articles, informative reviews, dramatic photos). And finally… the vehicles advertised and described inside are getting really luxury. Two first pages of today’s issue feature “the all-new Audi A8” and “the new Land Rover LR4”… Pretty cool, huh?
As a main centerfold “Autovision” features “The all-new BMW6 Series Cabriolet”. (Price is not shown)
Put it briefly by now “Autovision” is way more appealing content-rich magazine than its ugly architectural “old brother”. Apparently “Autovision” issuers think of the architects as a “target market”. Probably they got a deal with our architectural organization that allows them to attach their magazine as an “additional materials” to the main piece, i.e. to our pathetic professional journal… And definitely they believe that architects can afford to drive all those fancy cars. Funny isn’t it?
I don’t think there’s much to comment here… unless of course you know many architects riding the all new BMW 6 Series Cabriolet which is “designed for driving”… DESIGNED!
10 YEARS AGO: Romantic 90-s
When I was a student I had a rich girlfriend. Of course first I had no idea she was rich. I met her at the architectural class. She had a great smile, curly hair, great sense of humor and a knockout body… What else do you need?!
On our first date we just walked up to the students’ pub, got drunk and made love all night long. No cars were involved. The second date she planned to be more “official”. Her dad (here comes the daddy) got her tickets for the modern ballet show and she invited me. The theater was far from the campus. Obviously we had to drive there, obviously I had no car, and no need to mention that I had no money for a long taxi ride either. I shared my fears with her. My new beautiful curly girlfriend told me not to worry: she’s got a car and she will come to pick me up around 7 from my dorm…
I assumed she has some flivver and relaxed. At 7 o’clock she showed up in a brand-new red convertible. No kidding! Red! Some fancy model of Mitsubishi. I was floored.
I told you I don’t understand in cars… So I think she was driving something like this: Mitsubishi GT 3000 1995 – I found it on the web…
As we were driving she told me that she comes from a very wealthy family and that’s why she has a car, the tickets to the preem and many other things I could never imagine. For example she lives in her own penthouse where we will go after the show… I really liked her; she was cool, curly and unpretentious… Although I must say I was a bit scared. I’ve never dated a millionaire’s daughter before… The drive went smooth and I started to enjoy the effect of the warm wind coming into my face. Remember it was a convertible!? My shock was over and I said dreamily: “What a great car! Once I finish my studies I might buy something like that… Hell, why not, I’m gonna be an architect not some kind of a boring techie…”
She looked at me.
“Albert, my dad’s a boring engineer who owns a large construction firm and makes tons of money. He’s is a brilliant businessmen. And he keeps telling me that a car like this one will never come from the “sketching buildings on the paper”. He keeps saying me that I should drop my illusions about the architect’s lifestyle…”
Great advice… I’ve never dropped the illusions though. I haven’t listened to the “rich dad”. And probably that’s why I never got a convertible.
My former girlfriend is a shrink in NY City today (Thank you, Facebook)… She still looks fantastic and I bet you she drives a convertible.
3 YEARS AGO: Before the “Lehman”
3 years ago, when words “crisis” and “financial” had nothing to do with each other, I had a number of business meetings in Ukraine, in one of the country’s major cities with the population over a million people.
I think that was my third meeting with a very solid potential client – an industrial group owning a huge lot for the future building development. CEO of the group was running late so I was waiting for him in the reception area. I had my presentation ready and was confident that things will go smoothly. Who would know that few weeks later that stupid “Lehman Brothers” will collapse? Not having such a knowledge I’ve peacefully chatted with CEO’s personal assistant. She was a stylish young lady with a Bachelor Degree in economics. We discussed a gorgeous weather, terrible traffic, European soccer (Ukrainians are crazy about the soccer) and other “serious” issues.
Once we mentioned the traffic she naturally asked me what car do I have back home. I answered that I lease BMW X3. And let me assure you: it’s a very very high-standard car for a Canadian architect. But she was clearly disappointed… There was an awkward pause and then she understandably smiled and said:
Oh… I get it! This is your recreational car. I meant what’s your business car, the one your chauffeur drives…
She was dead serious… I swear! She had no doubt that personal chauffeur is a norm for a Western architect.
You wanna know what I answered? Well, I didn’t lie about my fleet of Rolls Royce’s I just told her that little story about my rich girlfriend…
So much for the personal chauffeur and the luxury cars… Next time I should write about private jets and yachts…