Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cars and Relationships...

My sister Kate blogged the other day about unreliable cars. On my way to the store today, I was thinking about that and the problems that some people have with relationships. Well I'll be darned if I didn't have one of those epiphany things! I thought maybe I was having a stroke, but luckily it turned out to be an epiphany. Well, as Kate would say, "Far be it from me to keep my wisdom to myself" so I'm sharing this with all of you.

Kate recently bought the car of her dreams. Or what she THOUGHT was the car of her dreams. It had buttery-soft leather seats that were heated, and it drove like a dream. At least for a while. It was the car she had dreamed of since childhood. Alas, only a few months later, she discovered that this magnificent car was a lemon. It was costing a fortune, not only for regular maintenance, but also, every time it broke down it was exceedingly more costly than she had ever thought it would be. Yep, she was in a quandary. Should she stick with the car she thought was the car of her dreams and pay the price, or should she dump it and take her losses? Being of a sound age - meaning she's over 40, she decided she would be best off to cut her losses and go back to a more reliable, sensible model that wasn't as beautiful or exciting as the other.

I just happen to know some people in the same situation - except they're in relationships just like Kate had with her car. Now far be it from me to think I've got all the answers, but as I've gotten older, I've sure learned a lot about life.

Some people are smart enough to buy the "reliable car" from the beginning. It lasts them forever and they're completely content to watch other people driving the fast, exciting, beautiful models which will eventually break down, and become very costly. Some people know they've bought the wrong car, but stick with it simply because they feel like they have too much invested and just don't see the sense in taking a loss on it - even if they're miserable. They continue to think "If I just fix this ONE MORE THING, than I KNOW this will be the car I've always wanted." Unfortunately, they keep dumping resources into a piece of junk they should have gotten rid of a long time ago. Some of us, have to try a lot of models (I'm included in this bunch) before they come to the realization that the reliable models are the way to go. It took me 4 marriages to finally settle down with Elmer even though we had started dating when he was 16 and I was 18. We've now been married 22 (very interesting!) years.

When we're young, we seem to need the exciting cars - even if they break down all the time and deep in our hearts, we know we're putting way more into them than we're getting out of it. A nice reliable vehicle is just boring. But fortunately, as we grow older and wiser (and trust me, I'll happily grow older every year because I'm SO MUCH more content in my life now that I'm wiser) we realize that in order to be happy, we need that comfortable car we know will be reliable and be right there when we need it. And we discover that we don't need to try every model out there in order to know what we really need and want.

So I leave you with this thought. Listen to your HEAD, NOT you're heart when you're buying a car or looking for a lasting relationship - you'll be so much happier, and life will be so much more rewarding, when you realize that in order to be truly happy in life, you have to give up a bit of the excitement you think you need when you're young. If you're willing to find the reliable car, you won't have to buy a new one every few years.

Yep, it's nice to know that Elmer and I will be hitting the junkyard together...

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very insightful and well put. I too went thru several flashy relationships before I figured out what love was really about. Gary and I will be going to the junk yard together also. Too bad the young people that need this advise won't really listen to it!Sheri

Dee said...

That was really profound and I'm glad you realized it wasn't a stroke.
Yes, the "cars" that are real keepers are the ones that make us happy, content, are reliable and give us the care and support we really need. The gorgeous "cars" are just all about themselves and take and take. God bless the keepers !!!!!!!!!!!!

JACKI said...

yep! Luckily I found the good, reliable 'car' right away. I think I'll keep him... oh, I mean 'it'!

jpogue said...

Yep Jacki, you were one of the lucky ones. I'm glad you realized at a young age, how important it is to have someone who's eternally loyal and by your side no matter what. Not only are YOU lucky, but your kids are truly fortunate that you and Tim are so good to eachother.

boisecommaidaho said...

Amen sista', and I just LOVE that someone of the female persuasion so eloquently compared relationships to CARS!

jpogue said...

HA! You notice I didn't use any technical terms about engine parts or anything like!

kate said...

Wow, I'm so glad it was an epiphany and not a stroke!! And I love the analogy; it so, so true.

But I think the only way to get to this point (of knowing to avoid the "flashy" cars and relationships) is to learn it yourself. Most people (aside from Jacki) take several knocks upside the head to figure it out. And then it makes you so much more appreciative of "Ol' reliable".

I love this post Jod; I think it's your best one yet!

dadintheheadlights said...

Very well said. Thanks for the deep thoughts.