No One Understands Romance Like a GearheadS

As the weather grows colder and true winter sets in, people find themselves in need of a warm body to cuddle up with while they binge on Netflix. While romantic comedies paint pictures of cute women bumping into Hugh Jackman the Pharmacist Lawyer Fighter Pilot in a field of clover, what women should really be dreaming of dating is Hugh Jackman the Mechanic.

Despite what Ballaban's fiance thinks, the scent of gasoline is the scent of romance because no one understands romance like a gearhead.

My first motorcycle was a 1983 Kawasaki KZ305 that I bought for $600. It wasn't the most flashy bike out there, nor was it the most reliable, but I loved that little bike more than anything. Where others saw a small, old, faded, duct taped, underpowered relic, I saw a thing of beauty. The flaws weren't flaws. They gave it character. They made it unique. Anybody can walk into a showroom and buy a Honda Shadow 750. There's nothing special about that. My KZ305, however, was definitely special.

What woman wouldn't want a man who appreciates the little things that make her unique? What woman wouldn't want a man who sees the value in the things that make her special? What woman wouldn't want a man whose face lights up every time he looks at her: duct taped seat, bent handlebars, and all? What woman wouldn't want a man who, instead of trying to look past her flaws, loves her more because of what makes her her?

In a time when people go through relationships and cars like candy, it is the gearhead whose love and appreciation will stand the test of time. It takes real dedication to stick around for the long run, and believe me, a gearhead has dedication. The guy on his third lease in five years can't understand it, but the guy who tore out the Lucas electrics on his British roadster and then redid it all himself absolutely gets it. The more you invest in a relationship, the more rewarding it will be.

When the clutch cable on my KZ305 snapped in the middle of traffic, I could have just walked away. It's a $600 bike. Where do you even find a clutch cable for a 30 year old Japanese bike? No one would have blamed me for junking that little bike, but I couldn't do it. I searched the country until I found a junk yard in California that had a replacement cable, and then I replaced it myself. I loved that bike, and I wasn't about to let something like the inability to shift gears keep me from enjoying the open road.

A gearhead also gets that a relationship needs maintenance. Normal people don't hand wash and wax their cars in the middle of November, but guess what I was doing two Sundays ago. I'll give you a hint: I was hand washing and waxing my E39 until it shone like brand new. I may drive a 15 year old car, but you better bet that I'm not giving up on keeping it in great condition.

A gearhead knows that if you don't keep the car washed and waxed, there's nothing to keep the paint from chipping. One fleck here and there is inevitable, but if you just let it go, before you know it, not only do you need new paint, but you also need new panels because your beloved car now has a rust problem.

If you care about someone, you make sure to maintain the relationship, not because you want to impress her friends with the gifts you give and the dates you take her on, but because you know that without those little things, the relationship will fall apart. Personally, I'd rather not spend a Saturday afternoon on my back, accidentally getting a face full of transmission fluid, but my transmission is more important to me than the shirt that I ruined. Besides, it's getting through the hard times and working through problems that brings you closer to the one you love.

It may be crazy to love an inanimate object, but sometimes a little crazy is just what a relationship needs. Spend one weekend at a Concours d'Elegance, then tell me that those owners are crazy for loving their cars. At its core, a Concours is a celebration of love. Spend an hour walking around a car club, and all you'll see is love and dedication. After all, it's a business that can only thrive because of the fact that its members value their love of cars more than they value what's "sensible" or "practical."

If your fiance wants to get married at a car club that smells like gasoline, what he is saying to you is, "Honey, I love you, and I'm not going anywhere. Marry me in a place built on and dedicated to love."

How could it get any more romantic than that?