Lately I’ve been having car and men troubles. Malibu has a problem. Check engine light came on and the overheat light came on — BUT — it doesn’t stay on, and when you open the hood, it doesn’t appear to be running hot. In fact, engine feels quite cool. So I’m thinking it’s the coolant sensor that is making it have a “false” reading of overheating, but until I know for sure, I’ve parked it. But it got me to thinking: How much alike a car (and all it’s bells and whistles) is similar to many of the men my friends and I know (and love/like for the most part) between the age of 40 and 48.
We have a theory that this particular age man interprets the lights on the dash of a car kind of like he does his relationships. When the car (relationship) is new, he seldom worries about watching for any warning lights other than maybe the gas light or change oil light. Most men this age, jump in a car (relationship) and hit the gas. They want to go fast, they want to take the curves at dangerous speeds, and most importantly, they LOVE the ride. But then, the car (relationship) gets a little older, has a few miles (weeks/months) on it and maybe a little of the "rush" of "driving" has worn off. Then one day they take it, and they are driving, and they are blissfully happy, and then it happens. The check engine light comes on (as a reference — just consider the check engine light to be the “check my relationship status” button in their brain). So what do they do? They hit the brakes, pull it over, park it and begin imagining the worse scenarios, and they start obsessing on what could be wrong. They begin taking the car (relationship) apart. They even start replacing things that really don’t need to be replaced “just in case” that might be the thing causing the problem. Until finally, they throw up their hands and say — I give up - it has to be something MAJORLY wrong with this car (relationship). They don't understand the idea of maintenance - so they trade it (her) in and start the process all over again.
Now you may wonder why I picked that age of a man. Well, it’s because a man between 21 and 39 will just haul ass in his car (relationship) until he blows the motor, and then he usually calls on his friends for advice on how to fix it. Usually, it's his FIRST car, and he thinks he should put every effort into it to get it back on the road. Unfortunately, many men this age get a "lemon" (i.e. selfish person) for their first "car" and lose patience. (This usually happens at the age of 40). lol.
Now a man 49 and up, well, now that man has usually had a few cars. The really good ones have usually only had one car, and they have lovingly maintained it. They realize that when the check engine light comes on it is not necessarily catastrophic. They understand that you can’t ignore the light, but they also acknowledge that sometimes it is just an indicator to stop and take a good look at things. Fix those little things that might need fixing like a sensor (or a hurt feeling or mispoken words). But the main thing this particular age man understands is that after you’ve had a car (relationship) a number of years, there are just things that can’t be fixed. But a lot of these things like little leaks you can still live with. In fact you don’t even mind it because you love that car so much. A man this age will keep the car realizing that as long as you pay attention and never forget that it’s all about patience - that car will get you where you want to go, in style, with grace and all the time making him look damn good!
As for myself, well, I realize that I have handled all my relationships like I’ve driven my 1986 CJ 7 Jeep, which I lovingly named Lucille. Other than the speedometer and gas gauge, I don’t have any other gauges or bells or whistles to warn me of trouble. No light to tell me she's hot; no light to tell me she's low on oil. (Actually no heater or air either – hehe.) But I’ve learned that if I am attentive and daily keep check on things, she’ll run for me. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if men could be like Lucille — fun and uncomplicated — living life and enjoying being happy without the gauges that tell us something is wrong. I, personally, want to “feel” what’s wrong — not be told. For example, everyone knows that I’ve had an ongoing problem with Lucille's clutch (yeah, I don’t do well in a clutch when it comes to relationships either — haha). But the fact of the matter is Lucille’s clutch problem boils down to a 99-cent plastic piece that sometimes just gets in a bind and breaks. Here’s the kicker — now that I know what it is — I can actually feel the “stress” in the clutch when it’s about to happen (it’s like a little flutter). So now when I feel that “flutter,” I ease off the clutch, put her in neutral and coast until I can feel the pressure relieved under my foot. Hmmm, wonder if that would work in a relationship: When you feel that “flutter” of stress or binding or that feeling of being "trapped," if you could just slip the relationship into neutral and coast until you felt it ease off. Maybe I’ll have to try that.