Manuel was the older guy who lived an hour and a half away and wanted to spend more time with me but his car seemed to ALWAYS be in the shop. After a month of telling that lie, he had to come clean and tell me his license was suspended. He paid his cousin to drive us on our date. He was 26 at the time. I was 18. It didn’t work out.
Niko was the ‘round-the-way’ guy. Tons of fun, caring, driven, a manly man. We got pulled over on our first date. The policeman said something about the car being reported stolen. Years later it came up in conversation and he sheepishly admitted that he had been driving his cousin’s car (not stolen) but using his brother’s license since his own was suspended.
Dallas was a middle school crush who at 23, I figured might be as amazing as I thought he was in 1999. He wasn’t. He lied a lot and his car STAYED in the shop for about a month. About a year after I stopped talking to him I found out that his car had not in the shop but in a police impound lot. He too had a suspended license and no car. AT ALL.
And finally, Marcus. Good grief. Marcus. Nothing about him was right. He was a bat who thrived at night and slept all day barely completing college. He drank/smoke and drove… on a suspended license… with unpaid parking tickets…and warrants out for his ARREST because of those unpaid parking tickets. None of this came clear until I heard him joking about it with his boy. I wouldn’t leave it alone so he unwillingly spilled the beans.
Besides my poorly judged, hit-and-miss dating history, I didn’t catch the interesting commonality surrounding vehicles until I sat in reflection all these years later. Each of those guys was able to become very vulnerable with me in their own way. One revealed a prior arrest to me. One told me about how he wept as a new college freshman being dropped off on move-in day. Another told me how lost he felt having been adopted and not knowing who he truly was. One told me how he was struggling so badly, working overtime trying to make ends meet. Another told me about his gang banger past.
They all opened up with these embarrassing, take-it-to-the-grave secrets that most guys would take forever or just never tell but not one of them could come right out and tell me that they had been forbidden (by law) to drive or that they simply didn’t have a car. They would have rather used their brother’s license and risk jail time; pay their greedy cousin some obscene amount to chauffeur; or LIE incessantly and badly than just to tell the truth from the gate. I didn’t understand completely. Did they think I would be turned off by their lack of transportation? Did they peg me for being just that materialistic? Honestly, if anything turned me off it was the lying, sneaking and illegal activity all done to keep the truth from me.
That got me thinking: Is a man’s car the ultimate material symbol of his manhood? If a guy has his own transportation, even if he is still living at home with mom and pops, he seems to feel better about himself. He can pick his girl up and take her out. He can get away to play ball with his boys. He has options, choices. But take away his car and – at least in my experience – it’s the end of his world and one of, if not THE biggest blow to his self-esteem. Again, in my experience, they fear that it proves them weak or that they have little or nothing to offer.
Why? Do we, as women, give off a materialistic air? Are we not understanding enough? Is wanting a man who at least has his own vehicle in his 20s, asking too much? Or is it all just an internal male pride thing? What say you?
La Truly is a late-blooming Natural-haired Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. Armed with the ability to purposefully poke fun at herself and a passion for young women’s empowerment, La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change through her writing. Check out her blog: www.hersoulinc.com and her thoughts/jokes/rants on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
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