New Lovers, New Cars.  A Dating Checklist. By A.K.A. Darla

New Lovers, New Cars. A Dating Checklist. By A.K.A. Darla

. 4 min read

Summer is a time when those of us who are single find ourselves out and about a lot. Walking on the beach, cocktails on the deck, pickleball, walking the dog ... all opportunities for bumping into the next potential date.

Where some people are turned on by newness, I am turned on by comfort and dependability.  These are qualities I seek out in dogs, friends, lovers, and cars.”

Getting a new lover is always exciting.  So is getting a new car.  For me, both events are strikingly similar, though fully loaded with challenges. Here’s what you need to know before that first test drive:

  1. Safety inspection. To detect defects, ensure proper working condition, and prevent accidents that may result in injury or death. Make sure this is performed annually, without fail.
  2. Mileage.  Bear in mind the more mileage on the odometer, the more baggage has been stored in the trunk.
  3. Body type. Most people are attracted to a car by its body type. There’s compact (functional), hatchback (rear door swings open to provide access to a cargo area), sedan (always comes with a traditional trunk), luxury (very cushy with lots of options), SUV (built for comfort, not speed), sports (main emphasis on performance), convertible (for the fickle), and minivan (Gurl, let the eighties go already!).
  4. Mechanics. Look under the hood.  Always look under the hood.
  5. That “new car” smell.  I breathe it in and immediately my olfactory nerve stands at attention. My brain says, “Yes, yes, I remember that. I love that. Let me get another whiff!”  Secretly, I wish the scent would linger forever but slowly, over time, it fades away. Or perhaps I just become used to it.
  6. Starting the ignition. I once preferred the traditional-style key. Simple and straightforward.  Just insert, give it a twist, and it’s good to go. Only recently did I encounter the battery-operated fob (as employed by many of today’s younger models) and found it quite interesting. Merely hold it in your hand, push start, and it’s ready to drive. It may take a while but I promise you'll get the hang of it.
  7. Getting familiar with the gear shifter. This is the gadget that sticks straight up at about arm’s distance. To the untrained eye they all appear similar, however, upon close inspection, no two really look or feel alike. Perhaps it’s the gear knob that sets them apart. Be sure to acquaint yourself with how it feels in your grip. Whatever your first impression, trust that in time you will master it.
  8. Settling in. Here’s the part that’s always most difficult for me. The moment I sit in the driver’s seat of a new ride, I notice that everything is in a different place. I find this completely disorienting. My hands can no longer easily find things where I once knew them to be. Buttons, dials, and gadgets have been relocated. Seats must be raised or lowered, moved forward or backward, or tilted to an optimum position. My ass never feels like it’s in the right place. My legs don’t know where to go. I suddenly fear I will blurt out, “Where the hell is everything?”  It’s always at that very moment that I ask myself, “Why did I get rid of my old car?”
  9. Adjusting the mirrors. Be sure to get this right because once you’re moving, you won’t want to miss a thing.
  10. The test drive. Truth be told, the first ride always sucks for me. I’m always uneasy about the uncharted road that lies ahead. Will I make a wrong turn? Will I miss an exit? What if I run out of gas? After a few spins around the block, it really does get better. I just gotta break it in.  
  11. The brakes. This feature is very important. New brakes can sometimes feel too low or too high. Occasionally, when conditions are slippery, you’ll have to pump them a bit. Pump them enough and eventually you will come to a stop.
  12. The cigarette. You can’t smoke and drive anymore. No lighters, no ashtrays. Anyway, don’t smoke. It’s bad for you.

Safe travels, my friends.  And fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.

If you love me as much as I love you (and I really do love you!), then please help me grow by forwarding this {love} Letter to a friend!  And I'd love to have you join us on instagram, facebook & twitter.

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