A couple of weeks ago, I told a man I know that anyone over 30 who believed in love at first sight was an idiot. I then hopped off my soapbox, whistled for my high horse and continued.
“You can have a crush on someone right off the bat. You can want to jump their bones immediately. You could probably decide they were funny within an hour. But love? Forget it. Love takes history, shared adventures, drunk dials at 2 a.m., visits to the emergency room, a couple of road trips, high-fives after purchasing a couch and the resulting argument when you realize it won’t fit through the front door. Love, my poor stupid man, takes time.”
Two weeks later, I fell deeply, stupidly in love in the span of thirty seconds.
His name is Rusty.
He’s a ’95 Toyota with an anemic muffler, a perpetually lit check engine light, some serious crushage on the front right panel, two missing extended cab windows and a body that’s about 15 percent covered in rust.
After securing my gearhead brother’s long-distance blessing — something achieved in part because I omitted the fact I couldn’t actually test-drive the truck while the seat was rusted into place — I plunked down a grand, popped a throw pillow behind me so I could reach the pedals and took ol’ Rusty home.
I have basically tied myself to the auto equivalent of a toothless old man covered in severe burns with a heart problem. And he isn’t even rich.
But while Rusty might not be all that pretty to look at, he’s got really, really big shoes and you know what that means: four-wheeling this summer!
I probably should have purchased the old Subaru sedan. It was trustworthy, in decent condition and could pass emissions. I could take it around to my friends and family, and I know my father would have approved.
But I saw Rusty first, by accident, and couldn’t stop thinking about all the things we could do together. I’d have a reason to hang around junkyards finally, and when I found myself accidentally four-wheeling (which happens a little more often that I’d like to admit), Rusty would be all over it.
I somehow knew from the moment I clamped eyes on him that we’d have one of those love affairs that inspires poetry. Or newspaper columns.
After ensuring my brother liked the truck, I revealed the problem with the seat and received instructions to “douse the tracks in WD-40, let it sit overnight and then get out your hammer.”
I’m fairly certain this kind of advice isn’t helpful in an actual relationship. But actual relationships are pretty rough, and I already know that Rusty and I will be having shared adventures, visits to the emergency room and some (probably very short) road trips.
And there’s no question we’ll be getting couches together — before I’d even had the truck for 24 hours, someone asked for help with a move.
I don’t know how long we’ll be together, but I know we’ll be terribly happy while we are; it’s love, and it was love at first sight. I’m thrilled to report I was dead wrong and I’ll apologize the next time I see the dude I speeched all over.
But the soapbox and the high horse will both fit in the back of the truck, so I’m gonna keep them.
Jeanine Fritz writes about relationships and automotive issues each Friday in the Colorado Daily.