“Four banger” in big black letters veneered to the back of my (future at the time) boyfriend’s car was the only thing I saw when I got in his beloved car for the very first time. I thought to myself what does this mean, could it actually mean what I think it means, what type of car am I getting into? I wasn’t going to ask, but of course I did and he explained that it meant something about pistons or some such to this day I’m still not sure and still not convinced that it isn’t meant to have an obvious undertone. This was what would be the beginning of my exposure to this new type of car culture that I had never experienced before; I would soon realize that I was dating AutoRealist.
I have learned to not be offended and avoid serious conversations or talking about something that I find important during daylight in the car. Actually nighttime too, the skill of recognizing a car simply based of its headlights about 500 meters away is one I will never understand. Countless times we both are mid sentence, thought or logical explanation and somehow out of nowhere a “sick”, “sweet” or “awesome” car drives by. His head turns as if the only thing existing is the image of the car in the rearview or side mirrors and the world stops for a second, an automatic sigh of ‘ohhhhhhhhhhhhh, nice car’ is expressed. Of course he proceeds to explain to me what year, make, model, engine, horsepower, when it was most popular, the present day current value and colour (because blue and monaco blue are two completely different things obviously). And then what ever we were talking about is lost because it takes a small amount of recovery time to process having seen that car. Of course recovery time is based off of exactly what car it was, and then we proceed driving and there is no going back to what we were talking about. Then later I get told that I don’t seem that interested in the cars with my simple answer of “oh that’s nice.” Noted one must also always avoid outdoor patios or parks because the same effect of distracted by car syndrome is equally prevalent there as well.
Even when you are not driving or there are no cars around it seems like AutoRealist always has cars on the mind. He can hear a car driving by from inside the house and know exactly whether or not what he calls “cheap” or something more expensive that’s “totally worth looking at”. I admire the fact that AutoRealist does try to include me in his beloved car activities such as listening to videos of car exhausts on YouTube, Yes, literally listening to car exhausts. He also sends me car exhaust videos so I can listen to them on my free time with positive and serious intentions. I also am constantly getting emails sent to me from AutoTrader where I am expected to comment back on all the cars usually I just say if I do or don’t like the colour.
Watching movies like Fast and the Furious is not like any other movie experience. With the exception of the last movie because of course you can’t talk in the move theater, I was filled in on the entire legacy behind the Supra and the Charger before I saw the movie. He always tries to explain to me the really intense car terminology going on in the movies. Its always done with good intentions so I can have the same viewing experience, usually I still don’t understand exactly what is being said and we’ve missed the following ten minutes of the movie but it’s really the thought that counts. Shockingly enough the most recent Fast and the Furious movie was the first one I had ever seen but of course I was given a solid 45-minute summary including YouTube videos to catch me up.
Of course many share in this car culture, AutoRealist naturally surrounds himself with more AutoRealists. Car talk happens everywhere and anywhere, sitting in a coffee shop the main conversation is always cars, showing each other pictures of cars and talking about cars most things I barley understand. Once his best friend referred to ridding in a modified Subaru in what was not a metaphoric sense as “seeing God”, because the experience was so great that it was indeed what had happened to him.
As you might have been able to tell from this article I am not a car person and I don’t have a car, once I mentioned that I could live in a society without cars and was quickly reminded that cars were everything to him. Though when I mentioned I had interest in getting a Fiat 500 I was told that would be an unacceptable choice of car. Since dating AutoRealist, my interest in cars though slow and steady has been growing. I find my self too recognizing more cars and unconsciously turning my head when AutoRealist is not around and saying “oh nice car.” Of course there will always be things I just don’t understand like, “that guy’s clutch sounds like its crying in pain” but I know that eventually I’ll catch on.
by Kaitlyn Zarcone-Beam
(The only thing he loves more than cars)