In Search of New Wheels and New Love

Car buying and online dating are kindred spirits that can drive you crazy.

Posted Feb 19, 2021

Olga Zhushamn/Unsplash
Source: Olga Zhushamn/Unsplash

I’m in the market for a new car and new beau. The process of finding a smooth ride and fine fella share many pitfalls, challenges, and rewards.

Faced with overwhelming choice, I need to get clear on features and options that matter most. Transportation-wise, my fashionable sedan is well suited to sophisticated city life, but these days I’m called to adventure, nature, and practicality.

I want cargo space for gear and a rack for bikes. Something less delicate and more brawny. A hybrid would be nice.

Condition matters to me, in vehicles and males alike. I want all internal systems — physical, mental, emotional — in good running order. My priorities have shifted to favor character with a splash of pizazz over a reinforced chassis and tight suspension. I do, however, still appreciate aesthetics.

Armed with more specifics about what I’m looking for, on the lot and online, I reach out, investing time, care, and finances. I test-drive vehicles, Zoom with man matches, refine my list of sought-after attributes.

Given current inventory levels, it’s hard to select. I whittle down deal-breakers and fine-tune what I’m okay shelling out. The novelty of each possibility is exciting, so I monitor my fantasies and ground myself in reality.

Even so, many targets are fickle and erratic. They might engage enthusiastically at first, then turn evasive and unpredictable. The dealers are the worst of all. They like to think they’re in control, when everyone knows it takes two to come to an agreement.

Sarah Cervantes/Unsplash
Source: Sarah Cervantes/Unsplash

I remind myself I’m in no rush. I throw punches and parry with the best of them, though I’m not skilled and detest the artifice. I’d prefer no nonsense, to show my hand and open my heart. I’m much happier when settled.

Yet bugs can mar the way when navigating from point A to point B. While compromise is viable, posturing and salesmanship alienate. I’m a mediator, after all, and know the difference. It’s easier to apply my skills when I’m not a party to the action.

There’s something compelling about boldness, and to begin the dance, somebody needs to extend a hand. Worn down, I consider caving, but I already know where that leads. Sometimes the drive isn’t as smooth as I’d like. Or an offer is rejected. Or someone else beats me to the finish line.

Still we advance, then retreat. Agree, rescind. Repeat. One side lacks motivation to consummate a deal. Or something comes up, and the whole shebang derails. Once in a blue moon, the ghost reappears, but it’s never as sweet as when a clear path leads to a fair vista.

Chris Liverani/Unsplash
Source: Chris Liverani/Unsplash

Yes, there are bumpy roads and inclement weather ahead. After all, my suitors all come used, some gently, others with mechanical issues and structural instability. So I pop for that nothing-like-it new car smell and aim for a guy with integrity.

Bottom line, either one might break down after I commit. But both can take me places I’ve never been before.