We have to accept it: as we are mortal, so we are weak.
IMHO we shouldn’t hide our weaknesses – evolution has made a pretty good job of us, by and large. No, we should embrace them; we should enjoy them, just as we should recognise that in women, and in men, they take different forms.
We don’t, though. Between these two celestial bodies is an expanse of interplanetary space inaccessible to most of our species. Those exceptions who do cross the Great Divide are regarded with suspicion, even thought to be slightly dangerous: although those who travel away from the Sun are more generously treated. A woman on a Kawasaki Ninja SX may generate admiration, a man in six-inch heels sensations of a different kind… These are generalities; I’m not saying either exception is ethically wrong, merely that we typical herd members have to think more carefully about how we strike up a conversation.
So the balance of traffic across the void is not entirely equal: the astronomically-informed will claim that’s because Venus is rather larger than Mars, whilst critics will point to an abundance of harmful gas. Mars, by contrast, is drier and colder and, continuing the same analogy, anyone wanting to be nasty might suggest a lot smaller than it pretends. To return to the subject…
Most of us do stay on our own side of the divide. ‘Most’ women understand little about football, care for it even less. ‘Most’ men (illogically) spurn the offer of a handbag, despite its obvious uses. And it is well that it should remain that way – imagine the chaos if husband and wife were to fight over who wears the brogues.
The other point to make about these weaknesses is the total absence of logic that drives them. The word ‘fetish’ gets bandied about quite liberally and with good reason. How, for example, can you justify spending half a month’s salary on a pair of heels that prove so uncomfortable they cannot be worn for longer than half-an-hour? How can I prove a case for buying a car that will reach sixty miles an hour in seven-and-a-half-seconds on roads where it is rarely possible to go faster than fifty?
In vain our SOs plead the case for car ownership as simple transport. It’s all about luggage space, enough doors for the installation of kids, enough cubby holes for baby bottles, drinks cans, paper tissues (endless paper tissues), maps, magazines, and various motley items such as ice scrapers and medical supplies.
Such justifications count for nothing with me. I am male. I do not choose a fresh car, the car chooses me. The car that will be my companion in life sits on its car lot with paint brightly shining. It teases; it flirts, it flutters its headlights demurely: I fall in love.
There is nothing ‘fresh’ about it, actually. It has a dent in the side – that can be beaten out. When I steer, it resolves to take no notice. How capriciously feminine is that? It will stop – sometimes; but then, sometimes it won’t start. There are moments of sheer joy, unparalleled elation when man and machine are as one: they usually last ten minutes, before they end in a hedge or a pointless argument.
There have been many cars in my life, the greater proportion of which have been old. Dignified antiques? No. Tragic basket cases? Well….yes, I suppose. And the more I think about it, the more I realise they compensate for the stability in my life and the happiness of my marriage. The car is The Other Woman. I have affaires – covert relationships as tempestuous as they are brief. Wow! That’s deep!
In case you live nearby and are worried, the car I have now is sensible, soulless and almost new. The cars I describe above, well, they are from my past, and I have spent thousands down the years in making them safe, because I would never drive a weapon.
To conclude, I would like to attach this picture of my last Great Love. A Volvo, as you see. She is, sadly, no longer with us, having succumbed to a long illness – an incurable oil leak which left a series of Ronschach images on my driveway – my best and enduring memory of her, and, I firmly believe, her plaintive attempts to communicate. She knew her pain..
Therefore let us all be proud. Do not disguise your weakness, or bite back those spontaneous outbursts of emotion that visit now and then. Having a friend for support, that is important; yet you must not lay blame upon them because they dragged you screaming away from that shop window, or frog-marched you, tearful, from that car mart. They recognise, as do you, the great emotional harmonies of life, and one day you will be able to do the same for them.
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