“Never marry for sex,” a man once said. Marrying for lust is like buying a car because you like the color. A cousin told us red cars get pulled over.
Women, a mechanic once told me, like cars, should be taken out and driven for one hour of sustained RPMs at least 10 miles once a week. Friday night hot-rod drag-racing is different than low Granny Smith miles to church on Sunday. Fancy cars strut and demand attention.
A woman I knew raved about her car’s newfangled features. “What about the engine?” I asked. “Who cares about that?!” she said. You assume it’s there like the man who assumed his bride had a heart, that they were in alignment, that she didn’t put her petal to the metal and that her coolant levels were adequate to prevent overheating.
Wonder what’s under the hood. Inspect the interior leg room for long jags. Kick the tires; tap the brakes –lightly at first. Gauge the willingness the ability to stop at your whim. People aren’t like the steering wheel we can grip expecting them to go where we want them to go. “Where is this [relationship] going?” Signal your intent to turn honestly.
Beware the gas guzzler, the monster truck, the road hog and the tyranny of the tranny. Hidden defects like bad habits and faulty wiring make it a ‘lemon.’ Perhaps it’s been rear-ended. Worn shocks make for a bumpy ride.
Costly breakdowns could max out your credit cards, give regrets and hasten trade-in to a classy chassis forgoing the vocabulary of forever, never, always, and happily-ever-after. Study Chilton’s Auto Repair Manual and Tabers Medical Dictionary for the burdens of car health.
Gone are the days when the odometer could be turned back, but J.P.’s father put a governor on her gas pedal. Gone are the days you could rebuild the carburetor on the kitchen floor when she blew a gasket. Blowing a fuse could hasten road rage.
Friendships veer direction uncontrollably and fishtail. An intimate relationship—like a car—has an itinerary. A mate is like car: costly, requires high maintenance, are good looking, but temperamental. You expect them to last safe and stable ‘til death do you part. A woman I knew traded in her car because the radio didn’t work. The car ran fine.
Elizabeth Ellis was born in Minneapolis, but lives in St. Paul. She is a vegetarian, an agnostic, a retiree, a letter writer, a bike rider a book reader and a grandma.