I never should have picked it up. I never should have opened it. But I couldn’t resist. Surely this was a sign. It wanted my attention. Who was I to refuse?
Call it spring fever, if you will, but The Consumer Report for Cars and Trucks – Best and Worst has the same effect on me as the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition did on my pack of boy pals back in high school. Okay, maybe not quite the same effect (so many punchlines), but there is a comparison to be made here: eye candy, false hope and glossy images of goals beyond my scope, with just enough inspiration to think that maybe, someday, that 2022 Acura NSX in flaming orange with black accent colours is just a lottery win away. With a base price of $221,500 a girl can hope, right? Right. It’s orange. It’s fast. It’s sexy. I need it. I would drive slow just so people could see it (Lying. Eat my dust, onlookers).
The Carpenter doesn’t understand my automobile obsession. Cars and trucks are just a means to an end to him; a necessary expense that gets you to and fro. So long as his truck does its job so he can get to his job, it’s enough. He doesn’t appreciate vehicles with gadgets, flashy colours, aerodynamic features, sleek design and engineering feats that have evolved over time. Old classics, new cars, beautifully restored trucks, decked out vans, gleaming chrome and rumbling engines – none of it inspires him to care. This baffles me. Freak.
Mind you, he gets no pleasure from the Ikea catalogue either, so I’m not even sure how we ended up together. I can tell you that his response for anything I want from either publication elicits the same response: a hard no. Honestly, it’s like the Carpenter doesn’t even know how to find joy. He’s still bitter about putting together Billy bookcases with that tiny Allen key (Let it go, Carpenter).
You know that didn’t stop me from trying to inspire him with all the information I was learning in the Consumer Report. Guys like data, so I flipped through the pages and read aloud important details like automobile specifications, features, gas mileage and consumer feedback. I started off in the realistic section of small cars in the lowest price range. Story of my life. Practical purchases.
I flipped through mid-priced cars. Sedans. Yawn. Then SUVs and Hybrids. Lots to learn. So many facts to interpret. I kept sharing them to my ungrateful audience who was far more interested in Twitter and some English football scores. He wasn’t the least bit interested in the consumer reviews of his pickup truck, which were not as flattering as I’d hoped. Didn’t matter. He wasn’t listening.
“I am going to need a new car. This was my Toyota’s last winter,” I said, knowing I was lying to myself. That beast needs to last a few more years.
Despite achieving zero success, it seems pushing my luck is a habit I enjoy.
“The Audi sports coupe looks like something I could get into,” I said. “Good gas mileage. Sleek yet practical.”
“No.” That’s all he said. He didn’t even look at the glossy photo.
The Carpenter doesn’t understand joy. He needs a car trip to Ikea. That’ll fix him.