A Car Simile For Valentine’s Day By Guest Blogger Jennifer Maher

The Street Hustle

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 bodywork 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.

— Jennifer Maher

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