How the other .02 percent lives

Look for La Jolla resident Inga’s lighthearted looks at life in La Jolla Light. Reach her at inga47@san.rr.com
Look for La Jolla resident Inga’s lighthearted looks at life in La Jolla Light. Reach her at inga47@san.rr.com

One of the advantages of living in such an upscale community as La Jolla is that you get to see – and yes, sometimes even ride in — a lot of cars you could never afford.

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Look for La Jolla resident Inga’s lighthearted looks at life in La Jolla Light. Reach her at inga47@san.rr.com

Personally, I never buy a car I don’t want someone to steal. While my husband and sons definitely have it, I was somehow born without the car gene, the one where your heart beats faster at the smell of new leather and state-of-the-art gismos. Ever since I (and my little Jetta) were crushed on I-5 a few years ago by a drunk driver, my fantasy car is a Hummer Bug. Pure parkable steel.

I have a friend who actually owns a fleet of high-end vehicles including several Ferraris in what the Ferrari-scenti call a “stable.” The cars reside in a garage that has its own air compressor (for daily checking of tire pressure), not a micro drop of oil on the floor, and nary a fingerprint on the gleaming hand-waxed auto bodies. It is actually hard to imagine that this woman and I are friends since people frequently write “Wash Me” in the dust on my 2005 Toyota in our driveway.

Of course, one of the reasons her vehicles remain in such pristine condition is that you can’t actually drive them anywhere. After a tour of my friend’s garage, I couldn’t help but inquire, “So which one of these do you take to Vons?” I thought I might have to call the paramedics when I saw the stricken look on her face. One does not take these cars to Vons. In fact, they are only driven on certified nail-free roads pre-screened for lack of rocks, construction, potholes or other potential Ferrari-verboten impediments. You do not take these cars anywhere without pre-arranged parking.

The vehicle one takes to Vons is a crappy late-model Lexus barely able to hold its hood up in this stable of flashy Italian steel. Although it’s a bit of a misnomer considering the parking requirements, one of the lesser Ferraris (oxymoron?) is deemed a “daily driver.” I have a daily driver, too. It’s called my car. I confess I am positively enchanted by this term. The idea of having a vehicle deemed “the daily driver” made me realize that even in my own little community, I sometimes feel I live in a galaxy far, far away.

Of course, there were occasions when both my friend and her husband required the Lexus at the same time. Hence came the purchase of the “rain car.” I learned of this when a coffee date was confirmed with – in caps - IF IT'S NOT WET OR RAINING. My driveway is generally considered acceptable pre-arranged daily driver Ferrari parking (although the neighbors would fall over dead to see one sitting there) and is within walking distance of the coffee shop, but as was replied to my query, even the daily driver Ferrari does not come out of the garage “in wet.” Doesn’t have to be raining, just look like it might. Hence a “rain car” was added to the stable, which is defined as a car that is NOT a Ferrari, but can be driven should it rain and the Lexus is busy. I so love the idea of having a rain car in this perennially parched climate.

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