WE NEED TO LISTEN

We women complain that men don’t listen, when in reality, we don’t listen to men. Not really. We hear what we want to hear. We hear their words but we twist them to the words we want to hear spoken.

When I said, “Patience is a virtue” he replied, “One which I do not possess.” I didn’t listen. I didn’t hear it at all. So while I was waiting for him, he found someone else. That someone was closer, easier, more comfortable, and required less patience. As I held the hand of a man I dated recently, I told him he had warm hands. He told me the clichéd, “Warm hands, cold heart.” He corrected, “Icy heart.” Again I didn’t listen. While his actions spoke to me of kindness and generosity of spirit, he was emotionally cold, ice-cold. I later found out that he came from a home of domestic violence. I perhaps dodged a bullet by extracting myself from a relationship with him, but I did relearn a valuable lesson. When a man says direct words, they have a direct meaning.

 This reaffirmed to me that we really need to listen to what is being said, not what we want to hear. Men in general are direct in their patterns of speech. Not necessarily manipulative but they do lack some of the conversation skills that allow for soft, sub-text. They mean what they say and say what they mean.

I have begun to think that I may be candy for freaks. I know full well that you only have to be spun around once in this life to get lost. To stray from one’s spiritual and creative path and to find your way home in the dark can be difficult and cumbersome. Listening, truly listening to what a man is saying to you can help prevent this malaise.

My heart is still open because while love is not enough, it is all there is. Epictetus was correct when he said, We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen, twice as much as we speak.”

In future, I will attempt to heed those wise words.

I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

~ Robert McCloskey

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MEN, WOMEN & FINE CARS

What is it with men and fine cars, racing cars especially? It is that they “feel the need for some speed” or is it all about the control? All I know is that most men enjoy the purring sounds of a well tuned engine that hums with top performance, the curves of a beautiful, hand crafted body and that feeling of ecstasy when they are enjoying the ride.

Not at all unlike what they appreciate in a woman is it?

When it comes to a comparison between cars and woman, there’s a lot of similarity. Women come in different makes, models and sizes. And there are men who want all the different makes, models and sizes. Some men want them all at the same time.

If I were to categorize myself as a car, I would be not be a race car. Far too much flash and dash for my liking. I’m more of a world-class fine car, rare and exotic with a high performance engine that purrs as sweet as a contented kitten when given the right amount of throttle. I’m built for luxury, not speed. I’m built to last, for pleasure, for the sheer joy of riding, for the thrill of having a one-of-a-kind ride.

 Passion. Exhilaration. Obsession. That’s the emotional response you get when driving a world-class rare car. I’m closer to a http://www.spykercars.nl/aileronspyder/, luscious, warm and inviting on the inside, with a cool, shapely exterior. In my stubborn moods, a 1966 Jaguar XJ13 by Tempero  in classic British racing green is more fitting.

 A fine vehicle like this cannot be driven by a regular driver, no way, no how. In the hands of an inexperienced or clumsy driver, rare vehicles simply stall, refusing to be abused. It takes a master craftsman to elicit the best responses from a high quality vehicle, a driver unlike many others. This would be a man with uncommon tastes who knows the subtleties of steerage, who knows how and when to apply the right amount of fuel to keep the complex machinery humming. This driver knows how to achieve and continue achieving the best ride to found on the road. Sadly, there are far too few drivers of this calibre. And so the fine cars wait, maintenance free, under cover, softly purring knowing full well that it’s quality, not quantity that matters.

 Most of the women I call friends are quality vehicles. Some of the women I’ve met are not.

 My sister, God love her, is a drag racer. She can get her engine peaked, give it all to the finish line and then poof, that’s it, that’s all. No endurance and certainly not designed for the long haul. What you have left is a shell that needs to be pampered, prodded, revised and revamped to get the car into racing condition again. Too much work.

Then there are classic cars. Lovely to look at, pricey to maintain, always requiring new parts to keep it running and while a wonderful addition for those who like to collect such trophies, they have limited performance capabilities and can only be taken out for a drive after being overhauled and polished, regularly. Too much work and high maintenance.

A few women, after being driven too much, too hard and without minimum maintenance soon become jalopies. The men that once drove these high performance vehicles have no knowledge of what it takes to support top performance and now scratch their heads wondering what happened to their car. Needs lots of repair work.

Some women are like trucks. Their engines are kept idling, always ready for a ride and they are impervious to change. So long as they have a load to carry, they’ll keep on trucking. The ride is comfortable enough and you always get the same performance which is great if you don’t want to do any work and enjoy predictability. No work, no prize either.

Now a little word should be shared about drivers. The majority of drivers fall into the category of talking the talk but rarely can they pull off the walk. The Modus Operandi is to burn rubber, waste fuel idling, rev too high gumming up the plugs, blackening the precious lubrication leaving a wasted engine in its wake. In short, they are all smoke, no action. They take everything out of the engine all at once and leave waste behind. In short, they shouldn’t be allowed to drive.

 Ah, for shame, for shame, they are given far too many opportunities to drive often in the hopes that their talents will improve. Some do, most don’t. Some improve to the point of élite racers and are picked up by agents to drive their world-class automobiles. As for the drivers that can’t muster the courage to learn how to improve their performance, well, they continue to make short work of ruining good cars. And this big, old back-ass world of ours is quickly becoming one big, mean old junkyard.

As for me, I’ll wash and wax and keep under cover the most sacred piece of machinery I will ever own. When that top driver is worthy of a ride, the Spyker will appear.

It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road.  ~Author Unknown