Lebanon Reporter

May 14, 2014

Manly vehicles set my heart to racing


Lebanon Reporter

---- — In general, I’m totally against sexist statements and forcing people into stereotypical gender roles. But every now and then, I succumb to this antiquated way of thinking.

Recently, we went to our trusty salesman at the Ford dealership, and told him we were in the market for a pickup truck. While he was checking inventory, hubby got to looking around the showroom. He was especially drawn to a somewhat sissified version of an SUV. The color he fancied was burnt orange.

He listed all the reasons why it would be a better choice than the black, extended cab, 4x4, pickup with shiny running boards, and huge tires with sexy rims that make my inner redneck heart go thump.

Better gas mileage. (Only three extra miles to the gallon.)He could fit his upright bass inside. (He hasn’t belonged to a bluegrass band in years.)Lower cost. (Not by much.)Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.“Look, Hon, I can’t let you do this. You are 6’ 4.” It’s time to get a vehicle that fits you. One that you can drive without pulling your knees to your chest. A manly vehicle that I can look at and be proud to say, ‘That’s my husband’s!’ This burnt orange deal is not going to give either of us what we really want.”He laughed, “Okay, if it turns you on. But don’t forget, back in college I bought a pickup truck, and you didn’t like it.”“Um, yeah. That was a tiny, little thing with no extra features. This is a big truck that I have to actually climb into. And it’s fully loaded.”Just hearing the words “fully loaded” is a turn on. I can’t help it. I grew up in a family where cars were sex objects, and the women reacted to the scent of motor oil as though it were Hai Karate.

My family holiday gatherings were really more like car shows. Grandpa would stand at the kitchen window, staring down the gravel road.“Here comes Jerry. He got him a new Ford Fairlane.”Five minutes later,“There’s Clara. She went and bought one of them fancy Chrysler New Yorkers.”One by one, the extended family members would pull into the long drive. Somehow, the cars had remained shiny in spite of trekking through gravel.

We could actually view the driveway from the dinner table, and the conversations revolved around questions like:“Did you trade in the Cordoba?”“What kind of mileage does she get?”“Have you seen the new Buick?”Afterwards, in a fine display of stereotypical gender roles, the women would do dishes while the men popped hoods, kicked tires and revved engines.

When I got my first car (a 1978 T-bird), I immediately drove to my grandparents’ house to show it off. Grandpa approved, and I was content.

As hubby signed the papers for his new pickup truck, the salesman said, “I think you will be happy with this purchase. Honestly, I’ve never sold anything in burnt orange to a man.”Yeah, it’s sexist, but I’m letting it slide this time because whenever hubby pulls into the drive, my heart goes thump. Now, if I could just get him to dab a bit of motor oil behind his ears.

Ginger Truitt is an author, speaker and mother of five. Find her on Twitter (@GingerTruitt), online at www.gingertruitt.com, or contact her at ginger@gingertruitt.com.