What was your first car? I remember mine well: 1984 Pontiac Bonneville with a V8 and room for 6 (up to 10 if you got creative). It was a great first car. It got me from point A to point B without any trouble. It wasn’t a dream car, but it was a good one.
I once ran it into a tree stump. The hood was so long on the thing I couldn’t see, and didn’t remember, that I had parked it by the stump. I was in a hurry. Got in the car, fired it up, and punched the gas trying to pull forward and bam! I expected people to come out of the house I was at to find out what happened. It didn’t even scratch the bumper…or the stump. No harm, no foul.
I know that I changed the spark plugs on it once. I may have added oil to it from time to time. I am not sure I ever opened the coolant cap to check the fluid level. It was an old beater car, and I did very little to improve its status. I remember once when the brakes went out on me when I was driving. Somehow I got the car stopped, but I am not sure how. Did I check the brake fluid? I don’t think so.
As I have made it to other cars through the years I have learned to take better care of them. I didn’t spend any money on the first one (thanks for looking out for me mom and dad), so I wasn’t invested in taking care of it. The two vehicles my wife and I have now I do my best to take better care. It is common knowledge that if you don’t maintain it, you end up having to fix it, which becomes costly and takes a lot longer.
Marriage is much the same way. If you are wise, when you get married you realize that you have to take care of your spouse daily. You have to check all of the vital stats. How is my wife doing today? Is she upset? What is going on in her life that would cause her stress? Are there things that have her worried? Are the kids overwhelming her? Is there something she is saying, even though she hasn’t said anything? These are all things that need to be considered every day.
Marixa will tell you that I am a fanatic about taking care of her. I don’t wait on her hand and foot (which she would probably like, but get tired of), but I do go to great lengths to make sure of how she is and how I can help. There are times that I am not as observant as I need to be, but for the most part I am pretty perceptive. I can tell by talking to her if something is a miss.
I ask her frequently throughout the day what is on her mind. I want her to share her thoughts and her feelings with me. I want to know her more and more. If I feel like I have done something to upset her, I ask her what it is. I don’t go overboard with all of this, but I do make a habit of making sure everything is all right. (There is a fine line with being on top of things and being annoying. I don’t cross that one.)
I know that I can not be for her everything she needs. There are times that she is going to need to be by herself to catch her breath. That is no knock on me, that is just human nature. I know that she needs lady friends to talk with her about things that they are going through that she relates with. I am ok with that as well. I can only be so understanding on things I haven’t experienced myself.
Just like I can’t go out and jump in my car everyday and expect it to start if I don’t maintain it, I can’t ignore the needs of my wife and expect my relationship to be healthy.
What are you doing to keep your relationship the best it can be?
3 thoughts on “If you take care of it it won’t break.”
My first car was a red Dodge Shadow (I believe that’s what it was called) that my mom bought me as a college graduation present. I was so slow about learning how to drive, she ended up taking it back from me. That seemed like fair game.
Even though I only drove it once, I was so grateful for the gift.
My next car was a Honda City, which my company bought for me when I was working in Japan. I was only about a half-mile from the shop that sold me the car, so they helped me out the couple of times things ran amok. (I ended up giving them the car when I left the town, both because (a) they were so kind to me and (b) selling the car and completing all the paperwork would’ve been a nightmare.)
I bought myself a Versa not too long after returning to the States. That’s the car I drive now, and I love it. I’ve tried to be good about caring for it, but the oil change and inspection I had done was the first time it’s seen attention in nine months. *cough* I’ll do better next time, because that care up front will–as you said–keep that car going longer and stronger in the future.
I’m going to try remembering the human aspect of this post the next time Ba.D. comes home and I ignore him in favor of WordPress. Sure, we could wait for our monthly date to touch bases, but that’s a lot of time lost in the maintenance of a relationship.
Tweeted this to remind myself 😉 Oh, and because it’s as beautiful an entry as all of the other ones I’ve read.
I totally understand the getting lost in WordPress thing. Between writing my own and keeping up with the ones I follow I can spend a lot of time no try to remind myself not to trade away opportunities I won’t get back. I am crazy in love with my wife and son and don’t want to miss a thing.
Thanks for your comments about your cars. It is definitely a learning experience. At one point I had 5 vehicles that I owned. Two weren’t running. I got all kinds of maintenance training getting everything back up to speed and getting anfew sold. Now down to two again. Don’t need more than that!
Thank you for your comment on my post about being uncomfortable. For some reason it showed up on my old blog. I had reused some content and added to it and I guess WordPress took you there. I totally understand seeing discomfort as a sign that something is wrong. There are many instances where I have seen this to be true…for example when I discovered that I had cancer. I tend to be a comfort magnet though. I get lulled by the comfortable when there is life to be lived and adventure to be had. Thanks again for your comments. I really enjoyed your post about Buffy and Scrubs.