Shopping for a new Car is like Shopping for a new Wife

Smart, beautiful, efficient, fun to be with — the key attributes one might look for in a new Wife and in a new car are strikingly similar.  Although Women sometimes include ‘someone who makes me laugh’, my favorite compliment when speaking of an admirable spouse  is ‘someone who makes me want to be a better person’.  That’s what I want in a new or new to me car — one that makes me want to be a better person.

“Now, Bruce” (you might argue), “things don’t make the man.  BE the better person and eschew the constraint of ‘things”.  Okay, good thanks.  After you get back from yoga we can talk about new cars.  I think it is hard to argue that ‘things’ don’t inspire.  A beautiful sunset, a warm deserted beach early in the spring, and these wonderful mechanical marvels we call automobiles all heat my blood.

As in other things in life, you often (always?) get what you settle for.  If you want a Super Model for a Wife,  your aspirational choice has certain constraints — you will probably need to be rich, or famous, or both to be considered — and some disadvantages — your spouse may be relatively high maintenance and travel a lot.  Cars are like that too; if you want a Super Car, it takes a lot more capital to purchase, and it costs a lot more to maintain, but brings unique benefits.

The old hot-rodding questions, “How much money do you have?  How fast do you want to go?” probably apply well in considering car purchases as well (and in selecting a Spouse?).  If you can budget for a high performance, high style car, they are genuinely more fun.  However, if cost needs to be considered as an independent variable, then the question becomes what level of fun you are willing to settle for given your budget.  Choice may include a newer but more boring car, versus an older sporty car that would be higher maintenance.

Before my Wife and I got engaged, I used to joke that the attributes that I was looking for in a Wife — smart, beautiful, independent — might preclude such a person from needing a husband.  Luckily my Wife went with her wants and desires instead of strictly being driven by needs when she accepted my marriage proposal years ago.   That’s my thinking in selecting a new car too.  While it is necessary to consider budget in selecting your new car, a great car, like a great spouse,  should energize you on a daily basis.  That’s what keeps the excitement in your relationship.

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