Friday, July 31, 2015

test drive

When I was seventeen I started dating my first real boyfriend. For three sweet months, I floated through life in a daze of love, lust, and teenage hormones. News of this quickly traveled south to Los Angeles, where my grandparents lived, and one day I received an envelope from my Panta (my paternal grandfather, named for my inability to pronounce "grandpa" as a toddler), containing an article he clipped from an automobile magazine.

Test Driving a Car Before Buying it is No Longer Necessary, the article proclaimed. The piece made the argument that if a car fulfills your basic requirements, a professional inspection is all you to know whether it's worth your money--no need to take it for a spin before committing. Paper-clipped to the article was a note from Panta that read, "I heard you have a boyfriend now, so I wanted to send you some car advice. Love, Panta."

Since the only car in my life at the time was my parents' 1986 Volvo station wagon, it became clear to me that his intention wasn't to educate me on the art of buying a car, but rather to suggest, rather humorously, that I consider not having sex with my boyfriend until marriage--i.e.: skipping the test drive. I called him to thank him for the article, and told him that, though nothing had happened yet, if it did, I wouldn't be telling him. "I only ever bought one car!" he told me. "And she was the only one for me!" This exchange became one of his favorite stories to tell.

Sixteen years and several boyfriends later, I finally found the car I want to spend the rest of my life driving. Despite Panta's suggestion against it, I did ample field research to eventually find it. Like a twenty-first century Goldilocks, I test-drove everything from pick-up trucks, to Maseratis, to Subarus, Priuses (Priuii?), and even a couple of skateboards.

Test driving eventually shifted in meaning. At first it really was primarily about figuring out sex. As I grew older, I began to learn the value of test-driving a relationship--feeling for myself where my connection with a potential partner drove smoothly, and where it could maybe have used a better turning radius. With every spin around the block, I learned how to better gauge if a relationship seemed like a good fit--or if maybe it was time to put on the brakes. My driving skills got better and better.

By the time I met Evan, I had done my fair share of driving. I had learned to recognize worn tires and crappy paint jobs, as well as great cars that just weren't right for me before I even turned on the gas. Evan and I took our time test driving our relationship, gingerly approaching inevitable sharp turns and bumpy roads together, catching our breath each time we came out of them OK. Eventually the bumps and turns became easier to predict, and we learned to trust one another to navigate our way out of them. It became clear to us both that this was how we wanted to drive for the rest of our lives.

I'm thankful for every other car I test drove, though. With each one, I became a better driver, and from each one, I learned another rule of the road. And even though I didn't follow my Panta's advice, I'm pretty sure he would have loved the car I ended up with.


17 comments:

Miss Patisserie said...

Hi Gabi,
This is such a beautifully written post! I really enjoyed reading it. I love how you were able to tell your personal story using the driving metaphor. I'm looking forward to your next "out of the pantry" post! :)
-Lisa

Jane Rose said...

Online Driving Schools help people, be they teenagers or busy professionals, to complete their driving lessons without ever having to attend stereotypical classroom lessons and examination centers. Driving test tips

John Rembo said...

It looks fun. Pretty fancy, you know. I think essaywritingservice-s.com that I would like to know more about the old things of those times.

Eon Mech said...

wow , thanks for sharing

red hat linux training in chennai | rhce courses in chennai | red hat training in chennai |red hat certification in chennai

Fra Son said...

nice post. Keep it up.

Mila Ralls said...

You're welcome! I received my driving license when I was 22 years old. I was so happy that I was so young and I could finally use the live buzz car and make the life easier. From that time I changed 3 cars and I'm still so happy. If I don't have a chance to use my car I use taxi or go be feet. I newer use public transport.

juru kunci said...

a pride for me to be able to discuss on a quality website because I just learned to make an article on
cara menggugurkan kandungan

Rilon Welding Coimbatore said...

Wow Very Nice !! Article providing here very nice information am getting from your website.. very nice information am getting from your website.. Again Very Nice

lara11231 said...

can you guide me about did you have faculty to give Automatic Driving Lessons Coventry?

bd marketing said...

I enjoy, result in the found Compass Claims exactly what i used to be looking for. This is such a great resource which you providing and you give it away for free. Thanks!

Gokul Ravi said...

nice blog
android training in bangalore
ios training in bangalore
machine learning online training

Gokul Ravi said...

useful blog
python interview questions
cognos interview questions
perl interview questions
vlsi interview questions
web api interview questions
msbi interview questions

Gokul Ravi said...

laravel interview questions
aem interview questions
salesforce interview questions
oops abab interview questions
itil interview questions
informatica interview questions
extjs interview questions

Gokul Ravi said...

sap bi interview questions
hive interview questions
seo interview questions
as400 interview questions
wordpress interview questions
accounting interview questions
basic accounting and financial interview questions

Nokia Hp said...

There’s noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made certain nice points in features also. learn Racer Simulator

Indian World Packers and Movers said...

Thanks for your great article. Totally super evrything you said. Kindly visit us @ Packers and movers nagercoil

viswanath said...

AWS Training in Bangalore - Live Online & Classroom
myTectra Amazon Web Services (AWS) certification training helps you to gain real time hands on experience on AWS. myTectra offers AWS training in Bangalore using classroom and AWS Online Training globally. AWS Training at myTectra delivered by the experienced professional who has atleast 4 years of relavent AWS experince and overall 8-15 years of IT experience. myTectra Offers AWS Training since 2013 and retained the positions of Top AWS Training Company in Bangalore and India.


IOT Training in Bangalore - Live Online & Classroom
IOT Training course observes iot as the platform for networking of different devices on the internet and their inter related communication. Reading data through the sensors and processing it with applications sitting in the cloud and thereafter passing the processed data to generate different kind of output is the motive of the complete curricula. Students are made to understand the type of input devices and communications among the devices in a wireless media.