October 29th, 2010

Start ‘er Up

Linda Kennard

Dear husband,

We’ve been together a long time now, and after all these years, I’m happy to report that I’m still crazy about you. You’re my best friend, my favorite hanging buddy, and the man who makes this house my home. I respect and admire you now as always and love the father you are. And, much to my advantage, you’re a good lover, even a great one.

Most of the time.

But, occasionally you mistake me for a car. I am not a car, my darling, and never will be. This means that when you get a hankering for a midnight drive or a sunrise spin, I’m afraid that you cannot start me up by using only the key. It’s just not that simple.

If I were a car, getting this engine from 0 to 60 would take considerably more effort than putting in the key and pushing the gas. For one thing, I’d expect all my parts, exposed and hidden, to be thoroughly lubed and oiled before every driving session. I’d expect you, as driver, to admire the make and model, spit shine the headlights, and caress the steering wheel for a very long while—before pulling out the shiny little key—big key, I mean. Very big key. (No one is complaining about the key here!) I’m just saying that if I were a car and got that kind of treatment, that’d make the engine purr.

It’s important to note that the fact that I’m not a car is not my fault and is nothing I can change. It’s a design issue. I have several parts that need attention and one critical start button located near—but not-quite-near-enough—the ignition. I’m not responsible for this design but hope someday to talk to the Great Engineer in the sky, if only to ask, “Why?”

I’m the first to admit that life would be great for us both if I were a car. In fact, if I were in charge of my own design, I’d be built like our new car: the key to that car only has to be nearby, and it’ll fire up with the push of a button. A single touch, mind you,—not endless minutes of not-too-hard-not-too-soft play.

I think you occasionally mistake me for a Hot Rod car because my body has, once or twice, mislead you by jumpstarting with use of only the key. This is a rarity. I think it happens when Mars is in the house of Venus and the stars are aligned, and the Sun and Saturn are in conjunction. Maybe. I’m not sure.

Finally, know this: I recognize and value your continued, patient attempts to “rev my engine” and pray that, in the immortal words of what’s-his-name, you “Never give up!”

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