Wednesday, April 19, 2006

More to a Man than his Car....

I was checking my e-mail the other day when a news article link caught my eye. It was to an article on MSN regarding signs that a guy would exhibit were he ready to get married. Intrigued, I clicked over to the link and began to read the story. I was surprised to see much of what was being described was a fairly close description of me and where I am at this point in my life. I felt a little better that my search for the right girl was at least partially going in the right direction. However, towards the latter half of the article, they included some details on how to tell if a guy wasn't ready for marriage. Further intrigued I continued through to the end. Thankfully none of those applied to me save one. One of the items on the list was "He buys a Porsche: nothing says he's unready for commitment more than spending money on a sports car."

I couldn't believe what I was reading! Making a blanket statement about what car a guy drives is an instant reflection on his status in life or his level of commitment to a relationship? I think not.

A bit of background. When I was much younger, my dad and I were talking about cars and at that point he told me that I would one day own a Porsche. I don't know how our conversation ended up at that point, but that statement he made stayed with me. Years later, I was driving my practical Civic when it started giving me some problems with the rev limiter and other minor issues here and there. I decided to look about trading it in for something else. A Porsche was always on my mind but after doing the analysis and taking a look at my expenses, I realized that the Boxster was not out of my realm of affordability.

I have been a commuter since I started driving. I drove to campus the entire time I was at the University of Maryland. I commuted from Maryland all the way to Virginia through the dreaded Mixing Bowl of Springfield for close to two years and I continue to commute to my current job in Chantilly. Needless to say I spend a lot of time in the car and as such I came to realize that I wanted to drive something I would enjoy spending time driving. After a test drive I was convinced that the Boxster was that car. A year onward, I still agree with that statement.

There's a stigma attached to pretty much anyone who owns a sports car, and that too, an exotic. Guys who own them are often considered snobby and pretentious and otherwise all-around jerks. Girls who own them are often considered snobby and pretentious and otherwise an all-around 'Daddy's girl' who got the car to impress her friends. We owners, because I myself am one, are often seen as being rich and beyond mingling with mere mortals, we are assumed to have an air of superiority around us. That may be true to some extent in a small bunch of people, but not with every one of us.

I bought my car because I enjoy driving it. I love driving and I love having a fast responsive car in which to drive. In this age of rising gas prices could I have gone in for a more economical gas-electric hybrid? Sure I could have! Would I have enjoyed it as much? Probably not! Make no mistake, I could care less if people see me as a snob, I know in my heart that I'm not and I'm comfortable enough to realize that I'm good guy. I have never considered myself to be superior to anyone based solely on what car they drive versus what I drive.

Making blanket statements about people, that too about guys and their cars, as signs that they are unreliable, untrustworthy, or are not financially sound are not accurate at all. Want to know if a guy is any of those things based on what car he drives? If the guy has nothing more in his car other than CDs, sunglasses and a few peripherals for his phone or other equipment then he obviously has a home. If you see excess clothes stuffed into any and all nooks and crannies in the car, razors, toothbrushes and the occasional single sock, that probably means the guy has spent all his savings on his car and every paycheck now goes to paying his de facto mortgage... i.e. the car!

By the way... in case any of you are wondering... I own my own home! ;-)


At 11:28 AM, Blogger Heather said...

Whoever wrote that article you referenced clearly doesn't understand true passion for automobiles... And besides, in your case, it sounds like you were just following Fatherly advice in buying the Porsche: if you can respect the wisdom imparted to you from a loving Father, then clearly you must be mature enough for marriage, right? Ah well, let them think what they want to think (I had to learn that real quick with the BMW, even though it's just a 318i.) And while the nay-sayers are tut-tuting your decision, drive off real fast and laugh hysterically. Or pity them, because they aren't experiencing the wind in their hair and the roar of a fine German engine. Mmmmmm, good times. :)

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think what the article mentioned and especially the last point that bothered you was totally mis-interpreted. That statement was to say that you are commiting yourself to such an expensive car and then maintenance to follow along and that you are financially committed to the car and that you might not be in a position to get committed (and bare expenses) for the marriage. You may be mentally prepared to get married but are you financially prepared, was the gist of the topic. Also, I am glad that you own your house.

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well you have clearly shown have it all ;-) Car, house and a relationship! Touchwood!


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