Man, I loved my first car. I treated it like total crap.

The Grey Ghost was its name. It was a 1987 Chevy Cavalier. Technically, it was my brother’s car but he was off at college, so I inherited it for a year. The Ghost was a fine piece of machinery. It had cloth seats, air conditioning (sometimes) and a tape deck which made it capable of “installing” the Discman that was turned vertically and jammed between the seat and the parking brake. The back right speaker was completely out, the back left was muffled, the passenger side made a twanging sound, but the driver’s side….it would play Fire Woman and She Sells Sanctuary at full boom.

I once played a mobile game of paintball with about 4 other cars in a subdivision that was being developed. I drove while my triggerman tagged the other cars and trucks out of the window. I left the paintball stains on the car until the sun bleached spots out of the paint.

I used to put the gas pedal to the floor, get going as fast as I could, yank the parking, and cut the wheel. I loved to spin it around and make dust fly.

Another time, I ran the car about 60 miles an hour through a wooden traffic barricade because I had seen it on the Duke’s of Hazzard. Lemme tell you, it is much less dramatic to do it in real life. It also scratched the hell out of the hood of the car.

My brother was highly pissed when he saw how I had treated the car. I, of course, lied about having any knowledge of what could have possibly happened to the Ghost. I would have hated for him to know how poorly I treated it.

When he came home from school to take the car back, I was terribly sad. After all, I loved that car.

I guess I didn’t really fully appreciate it until someone else came and took The Grey Ghost away from me.

It’s not that unusual, I don’t reckon. We often treat the things we love like crap. We start believing that we have ownership of them, so it’s ok to bump and bruise them, to ignore them and not care for them. We just assume that they will always be there and we don’t appreciate them until someone comes to take them away.

On the flip side, I don’t think it’s uncommon that we allow others to treat us the way that I treated my first car. We know that the other person cares for us, so we continue to allow them to trash us and use us up. We start to believe that since they are such a constant fixture in our life that we can’t cut them loose and search for people who treat us better.

It’s easy to get comfortable with being treated like crap. Sometimes, it takes awareness and inventory to realize that you always feel worse after spending time with someone instead of better. The Grey Ghost was better off in my brother’s possession. It didn’t really have a choice, and we often feel like we don’t either…but we do.

Cut the crap.

Hang with those who treat you right and make you feel good; ditch those who don’t.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,