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Diane Blanco

Although previously presumed dead (by many women), romanticism among married men is alive and well. I know, because I found it at the auto parts store on Saturday afternoon. I didn’t go there looking for love. I was on a mission of mercy. My car begged me to wash it and I didn’t think the new and improved Tide with bleach was what it had in mind. 

I don’t visit auto parts stores often. I think of them as no-woman’s-land, where aisle after aisle is lined with exciting products I never knew existed to de-gunk, to rev up (oh boy, how I could use that), to polish, and to keep that mortgage payment on four wheels running and looking good, at least until the final payment.

If I knew this world of exotic products existed so close to home, I could have avoided all that mall traffic and done my Christmas shopping right here. It really was quite intoxicating to discover eight brands of windshield wiper fluid and 20 products to de-gunk and spunk up your engine or clean out all your corrosion. 

I was definitely impressed. I was also amazed that I was the only woman in the store. I doubt there was a singles’ bar that could boast more males. I did not say that they were all single or attractive. Some were dragging children who were as reluctant to be there as I was. They were also probably more knowledgeable about what one would do with a reverse-ratchet wrench with a 90-degree twist.

While studying auto detergents, I discovered that love is not dead in the hearts of married men. I shamelessly eavesdropped on two guys speaking in amorous tones about the loves of their lives, a 1971 Cadillac and a 1984 Corvette. 

One had come to buy spark plugs and loudly boasted that it had required only minimal service in 150,000 miles. Her body was in mint condition and she roared like a tiger when she ran.

The other guy was nostalgic about a classic Mustang he once owned that his wife insisted he trade in on a minivan once the kids came along. He never got over it. I could almost hear the anguish in his voice. 

All around me I saw men desperately seeking new vital organs and elixirs to keep their auto love objects in prime condition. Some were obviously devoted, while others were merely joined for the duration of the payments. They too, were probably once deep in auto love and either let her get away or neglected her until she got even by dropping her transmission.

Maybe there’s a lesson in auto love for the very married to keep their love alive. Perhaps if men would give women the same love, attention and maintenance they give those automotive beauties, women would respond in kind. As for accessories, make mine Tiffany’s.