Valentine’s Thoughts from the Motor City

This originally appeared as guest blog on The Zola System (www.alexzola.com) in February 2012

Valentine’s Day has us all thinking about love, whether with jubilation or bitterness
may shift from year to year. It’s nearly impossible not to have an opinion, so I have been
giving it some serious thought.
New love has that amazing intensity that makes the rest of the world fade into
insignificance. You spend the time apart focused on how long until you can be together
again; like a junkie waiting to score the next fix.
Coming from Detroit, where if you cut us, we bleed motor oil, I can’t help but think
in terms of cars. The shiny, new car that looks amazing, all that power under the hood….
Sitting in the driveway listening to the radio because you just don’t want to get out yet.
Some of us are so addicted to that newness that we trade for a new model as soon as the
new car smell fades. Love is the same way; some people are so addicted to falling in love
they are constantly finding a true love but never want to commit to the next stage.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are those relationships that have lasted for
decades, that show us how close people can grow over time. We’ve all seen some
relationship or marriage that we looked upon as the ideal we might aspire to. We look at
these pairs the same way we watch the cars in a Dream Cruise.
My heart beats a little faster when I see a candy apple red, ’58 ‘Vette with its chrome
shining in the sun, or a ’69 Cougar hard-top with the paint buffed to a high gloss. I envy
those drivers the same way I do when I see a couple who have clearly been together for a
long time, and just as clearly, still enjoy each other. Whether they are holding hands while
walking and talking together or laughing while they are eating out, I always think “I want
that.”
But somewhere between a brand new car and a cherished classic auto, is an old car.
I think the key to get from that brand new love to the love of a lifetime is in being able to
appreciate that old car. Maybe the body work isn’t pristine anymore and it sucks down
more than its fair share of gas, but is it dependable? Can you trust that it is going to make
it through your day to day trips? Count on it? Maybe it isn’t as fast off the line as it was in
the beginning, but you can still enjoy the ride if you focus on what is good about what you
have instead of what has changed.
Of course, if you love and care for your car from the start you have a much better
shot at winding up with a classic to enjoy later on than if you are careless or abusive. Most
important though, is to pick what you would like to have for a long time and not think of it
as what you can get by with until something better comes along.
Choose wisely and enjoy the ride!

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~ by friendlycurmudgeon on August 29, 2012.

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