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Men and Cars

I've often been baffled by men and their cars. Don't get me wrong. I adore any male who knows how to handle an ornery car. That takes talent and artistry and a confident craftsman to deal with automotive problems. I've seen calm, gentle men go into shock-mode when confronted with the family car--battered and scraped-- from the war-zones of a parking lot.

Me? I just want my car to take me from Point A to Point B without any hassles, And, yes, return the car safely too, without any new scrapes from careless shopping carts.

I have seen baby boys grasp their teddy bears and their tiny toy cars. It's hard to say if the tiny cars take precedence over "Teddy" but you can bet your accelerator that the cars play a large part in their genetics.

My stepson has always been attracted to cars. Ever since I knew him as a sixteen year old car junkie, he always had his head under the hood and his arm around the engine, dealing with some doohickey that didn't sound right, while his girlfriend of the week, obligingly stepped on the gas pedal for him. When my grandson was barely old enough to cling to the coffee table, he had a toy car in his hand, making that sound like an engine starting up, as he moved around the table. I remembered that because oour table still has the grooves his tiny car made as he laughed and made car noises.

I am convinced that baby boys have a genetic gene that is labeled "cars/trucks." Little girls aren't born with this gene even though they do learn about cars from their dads and/or brothers. But little boys are definitely born with the car/truck gene.

At Home Depot, I've seen those shopping carts with the toy cars attached to the front. Little boys, as young as 18-months, instinctively steer the wheel, push buttons and pull levers. See, it's in their genetic make-up.

Two blocks from our condo, there's a huge construction site on the corner. A little guy, not quite 2 years old, was totally mesmerized by the huge bull-dozer tearing up the corner lot and tossing huge shovelfuls of dirt into the back of a waiting dump-truck. He had such a gleeful expression on his face, simply being across the street,watching all the action. I've seen that same expression on a 4-year old who watched the fire-truck pull into the library parking lot. When the fireman noticed the little tyke fascinated by the fire-truck, he asked the little guy if he would like to come and sit beside him. I have never seen a little face light up so joyfully.

Try this on any 3-months old baby boy. Hold a toy car in one hand and a soft stuffy in the other. Watch which one his eyes travel to first--90% of the time, he'll reach for the toy car. Congratulations--you have probably activated his car/truck gene and set the wheels in motion.  Darn, how can you not love a male and his car?


















16 Comment count
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car guys

Love this post, Judee, and found myself nodding and saying, "Yes, oh yes!"  So, thought you would appreciate this car ad....  Enjoy!  B

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Loved this ad--thank you so

Loved this ad--thank you so much for sending it on Barbara--I'm still laughing!   :) J

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Judee, Your post brought back


Your post brought back a flood of memories...

Yup- two boys, both loved their cars, and trains, and trucks, and pretty much anything with wheels.

I have grooves in my dining room table from my middle son driving his Thomas trains around the rectangle of the table day after day (what a precious memory now that he is all grown up.)

I miss those days of car races around the carpet, and the sounds of "putt, putt, putt" coming from their little lips.


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My stepson was already onto

My stepson was already onto "real" cars when I knew him, but I loved the early memories of my grandson. The images of him with his Tonka wheels and mini-cars will stay forever.   Thank you for sharing your own special memories, Annette.    Cheers, J 

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Brilliant, Judee! I loved it!

Brilliant, Judee! I loved it! I must admit, most if my male friends do not care for cars... I guess I hang around the highly-strung, artistic, ethereal lot too much.  However, I hear stories of men and their cars from other female friends and also from my sister.

And you've written it with so much warmth and humour!

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Thank you so much for your

Thank you so much for your kind words, Katherine. It's very handy to know males who know their cars--when I lost a muffler on my old car and broke a fan-belt on another, they knew exactly what to do. . .Like your new photo!   

:) J

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I grew up with cars

All the men in my dad's family worked for cars.  They spent their days on the assembly line or in the plant and their weekends, covered in grease with the family car up on blocks.  There was a neighbor guy who raced stock cars and I can still see the fascination on my dad's face as they talked about engines and tires.  It's not really a guy thing though, I think it's just a kooky addiction.  You get into it and you find there's no sensible way out and there you are, like I was in June, watching the entire 24 hours of Le Mans.

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Okay--I confess--I do attend

Okay--I confess--I do attend the "Classic Car Show" each year. Not only because it's on the Avenue, right outside my front door, but it does get addictive, hearing these men--and yes, some ladies--discuss how they salvage  original parts needed for their 1928 or 1949 or other vintage cars.

You hit the nail on the head, Anne--suddenly you're in their midst hearing tales about their restoration projects and then, finally driving the finished vehicle!

Always nice to hear from you Anne and that you actually sat thru 24-hours of Le Mans. I'm in awe!       :) J

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On my bucket list

Someday, I want to be in Le Mans for that race.  I love that town.

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I hope you get to Le Mans,

I hope you get to Le Mans, Anne--that would be such an unforgettable event!  :) J

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You got it right, Judee.  By

You got it right, Judee. 

By the way, I have a new grandson, who is about two months old.  The next time I see him I will try the car vs. Teddy test on him. 

My younger son is a car junkie.  He and his wife has four, count 'em, four Hondas, two of which are rhd (right hand drive).  He works on them constantly (when not at his regular job), updating them, converting them from automatic to turbo stick shift, and so much more.  He has a small side business working on other people's cars, too.

Me, it is a Point A to Point B, and back again although I have to say that I have had two or three cars in my life that I really enjoyed driving.  The first was a Honda Accord Hondamatic (it was automatic drive, but required a bit of shifting so I felt cool), a Honda Prelude (the only really racy car I ever owned, but was soon swapped out for a four-door after my older son was born), and my current car, a Prius hybrid (love the MPG and increasing them). 

Anyhow, love the post...thanks for sharing your thoughts about cars and the male psyche with us all.  ~nan

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Congratulations on your new

Congratulations on your new grandson, Nan--how exciting for you!

My first car was a '66 Corvair which was fun to drive but had an exhaust problem. And my second was a Toyota I drove for years. After I got married, my Hubby would trade-in the cars every few years to something bigger and better. I think we're finally on the last (#6)--the Volvo V70, a station-wagon, which goes like the wind on an open highway!

Enjoyed your comments, Nan--thank you so much for dropping in. . .  :) J


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Sorry, Judee, I must disagree ~

As a guy, I've felt no special affinity for cars.  Sure, I've been to LeMans twice (witnessing Mazda's win along with Silk Cut Jaguars), the German Grand Prix once, Indy Car, ALMS and NASCAR races at the tracks formerly known as Laguna Seca and Sears Point, and met Derek Bell at the premiere of the movie LeMans starring Steve McQueen, but that doesn't mean I like cars.  Okay, I designed my own cars in art class and bought car magazines.  And I admit, somehow a poster of a trio of Gulf Wyer Porsche 917s on Daytona's high banks found its way to my bedroom wall along with a shot of the Sunoco blue Roger Penske Mark Donahue driven Ferrari 512 and another framed poster of Denis Hulme and Bruce McLaren in their Gulf orange Mclaren M8D Can Am cars.  Yes, I've gone to vintage racing events and car shows, and I have tee shirts celebrating Mario Andretti's World Driving Championship with John Player Special (Lotus) along with Alain Prost's 4 world driving championships with McLaren and Williams.  I will admit that I enjoy driving across the country and along winding roads.  Okay, I also owned HO race car sets and duplicated Daytona's road racing circuit along with Sebring, and 'drove' Match Box cars along dirt roads created in my backyard and across the carpet, set up Hot Wheels tracks and built models of the Mako Shark, funny cars, dragsters, Ford GTs and Chaparrals, and I rebuilt engines and turned engines, installed headers, mufflers, shock absorbers and brakes, and owned and drove Porsches, Camaros, Firebirds, Audis, BMWs and RX7s, but none of this was because I enjoyed cars.

I just didn't have anything else to do.

Love your post - and the comments.  Cheers, M

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Ha--I rest my case!  Thanks

Ha--I rest my case!  Thanks for your eye-popping comment, Michael--I still have "test-driving a Porsche" on my "to-do list". . .  :) J

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Hmmm, I see a sociological

Hmmm, I see a sociological study coming on... Great story Judee. It is fascinating, isn't it. I think you're right about the DNA. I freak out with panic attacks whenever I need to make a decision about a new car. Yuck. I hate it. But that's what makes the world go round!

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Thanks Eva for checking

Thanks Eva for checking in--When memory begins to fail, most males will always remember their first car!  Hey, congratulations on your new blog on the long and short of memory. What's the website again?  :) J