Friday, September 22, 2006

Vroom vroom.

I had an interesting conversation with one of my guy friends the other day over a plate of rojak and lemon teh ping. He was having problems with his long term girlfriend. His father, probably hoping to shed some light but failed miserably, asked him, “Why don’t you just find another girlfriend?” Actually, his exact words were more like, “No other girls out there meh?” but I’m trying to make it sound less…Hakka.

Upon which my friend shook his head in disbelief. “Why does my father think that finding another woman is the answer? What happened to working things out? It’s just like buying a car,” he said.

Okay. It SOUNDED like a callous chauvinistic remark but, God bless his soul, he explained before bodily damage was done.

“Everyone needs or wants a car right? So you get one. Something to suit your needs. Something you are happy with. A good ride you can afford,” he sneaked in a smirk here but quickly wiped it off once he saw my ‘not funny’ expression. “So anyway, you get a car, you take care of it and it takes you places. But it’s gonna have problems now and then right? Doesn’t mean at the first squeak or engine trouble, you chuck it and grab a new car. You fix it. Maybe it just needs some attention,” he concluded.

Like a girlfriend. Or a boyfriend for that matter.

It made so much sense. See, maybe today you can only afford a Kancil (small Malaysian car – so lightweight it only takes four men to lift it. I’ve seen this). One day it breaks down. Too much effort to fix it. So you see a newer model on the road, the Kancil Supreme (less lightweight. Takes five men to lift). Now you want THAT one. So you trade in for something supposedly better. And then this breaks down too. Soon you decide you can afford a BMW after all! But six months down the line you realize: It breaks down too.

Moral: Cars are cars. There are going to be squeaks and scratches. The top range of Mercedes can break down just as suddenly as your dad’s old minivan. Like relationships. It’s not a matter of finding the ‘best’ car. But the one that best suits you and your needs. If I have a family of six, I’m not gonna buy a 2-seater right? Same rules apply. Sometimes, cars and men look good at first glance. They still have the showroom shine about them for the first couple of months. But when you really put the pedal to the metal, only then can you test their true performance.

And trust me, only the worthwhile ones will prevail.

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