I am a fairly self-sufficient woman who can change her own oil and has. I can change filters, tires, spark plugs, and I even have a spark gapper. If you don’t know what it is, ask your dad. I bet they have one on their key-chain. But, I don’t “get” cars.
While I can take care of simple things to do with my car, I don’t enjoy doing them. I choose not to do them myself now that I am no longer a poor college student. I don’t understand the passionate love of one brand over another, or the fond memories of a car that seems to be akin to remembering an old lover.
by [email protected]! via Flickr
I have never named a car, though I know many men who have. It seems to me an odd thing to do, like naming a refrigerator, or a washer or a stove. I love my table top range and my fridge is where I keep my beer and chocolate and so is deeply appreciated, but I haven’t named them. They do what they were made to do, and I don’t need to assign them personalities that would go along with a name. I appreciate them, but I don’t love them. I think about my car the same way.
To men, cars have personality. They gift them temperamental emotions and desires that maybe are part of the mystery of the internal combustion engine. It makes me wonder when I hear someone refer to their car by name is they have ever seen the old Stephen King movie “Christine”. To me, that way lies scary badness.
byIM SNOT REAL via Flickr
I think of myself as a thoughtful consumer, and I believe most women in modern society are. If one model of car seems to be the better buy after looking at consumer reports, safety ratings and gas mileage, well, it just doesn’t matter to me if it’s a Ford or a Honda. I know a lot of men to whom it really does matter, and they will have dozens of reasons as to why.
by Bally Hoo via Flickr
Its un-American, its bad for the environment, and on and on. When pinned down it comes to “I just don’t like them, okay?” An emotional response. A favorite car on the other hand, can do no wrong. After parts recall, after recall, after recall my brother in law will still swear by Ford like his car is a member of the family. That car can literally do no wrong even when it’s broken its more like a sick child than an appliance, and I suppose that’s fine.
While I don’t “get” cars, or the relationship that men seem to have with them, I can appreciate them. It’s like I can appreciate cubism, even though I don’t “get” it. While to me cars are simply a necessary part of existence in rural America, I can appreciate the vintage car shows that my brother likes to go to, or the parades that show off the very latest in really old. Like so many things, I don’t need to “get” it. It’s fine that others are passionate about it, that some need of the soul is fed. My husband doesn’t “get” knitting. We are all okay with it.
Other little things by Me: