Dear Crabby, Why do some men keep old cars?

Dear Crabby,

My boyfriend still has the car he had in high school. It doesn’t even run. It just takes up space in the garage and he talks about all the good times he had in that old thing. Why do some men keep old cars?

Sincerely, Don’t Understand

Dear Don’t Understand,

Most men hang on to the memory rather than the car, but some of us won’t let go of the object that holds so many memories. Fifty bucks bought my first car – a 1941 Ford with suicide doors. Held together with chewing gum and coat hangers, the car barely ran. But when it did, we’d all pile in and go cruise Gratiot Avenue. My friends and I almost died several times in that car – ah, what good memories. Unfortunately, my father didn’t care for “the death trap” and made me get rid of it. I’m sure it was because he was jealous. However, it was my senior year and he helped me get my second car, a 1957 Ford DearCrabbyFairlane. The girls loved it, including Mrs. Crabby. This is ironic, because she made me sell it when we got married. I still have the door handle to that Fairlane; it broke off in my hand as the new owner drove away. Soon after, we purchased a station wagon with wood-grain siding that took us on many family vacations. Anyhow, I now hold on to the memory of that old car by keeping a photograph in my wallet, right next to the kids, grandkids and Mrs. Crabby.

Since then we’ve had front-wheel-drive minivans to cart the grandchildren around in on weekends. I don’t care much about what I drive anymore because Mrs. Crabby does most of the driving. I know my retirement check bought the car, but she picked it out. It sounds like your boyfriend has moved on with a newer car but he still holds on to the object of his youth. Some men need to learn how to let go of the past and enjoy the present. Tell him scrap metal is up and now would be a good time to clean out the garage – he’ll understand what you mean. Or, suggest donating it to help a local church. If it really bothers you, then you’ll have to find a subtle way to suggest that the car has to go, so the girlfriend will stay.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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  1. Dear “Don’t Understand”—I think it is a very endearing quality for a man to cherish his old auto and its memories. Women save things all the time for the same reasons. Approaching my seventies, and being female; I wish we could have kept our “coolest” car. Lighten up, chick!

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