How to Buy a Car Without Test-Driving

Do not ask me why, but I am already thinking of Christmas. I even looked up good ole’ Jim Reeves and listened to some carols today.

That got me thinking about Christmas trees and lights and that thought process (naturally) led to men and all things love. I started thinking about how much dating is like shopping for Christmas lights. In some stores you have the luxury of testing so you can immediately see that they work and what the colours really are – you know when they are off, you can never be sure in what hues the bulbs will light. You can then decide to take them or not.

But in other stores there is no provision for checking the lights. Meanwhile, there is a large sticker that says ‘Goods once sold cannot be returned.’ What that really means is that you may return the goods but you will not get any money back! What now?

To take or not take the lights? That is the question!

If you have never bought Christmas lights, think of the process you go through to buy a car – or the one you dream of going through. It always includes taking the car for a spin, right? This time, no spins allowed. Do you give up on the car and walk away?

Not if you think it is perfect. You get ingenious. You look it up online, ask someone who owns a similar model, call a mechanic to come look inside the bonnet and kick the tyres… that is about all I know about cars, but I hope you get the picture.

By the way, just so you all don’t lose your minds in the gutter, ‘testing, checking’ can mean that which you think it means, but also all the things people do to be sure they are making the right choice. For Christmas lights, it may involve asking your kids what they like in dating, it could be taking the girl to meet your mother.

But what if mother is inaccessible (say you meet said girl in Iceland and mother is in Kaberamaido)? Perhaps you get a friend’s opinion or call your mother and ask what you should look out for. For example, my mother says be weary of girls who prefer to eat in the kitchen before or after the main meal. They are usually very sly.

It makes you wish all humans came with an operating manual, doesn’t it? That way we would know exactly how we work, what buttons to push to get what reaction and, on occasion, how to shut it down completely. Well, we do have a manual, albeit a social one that is open to so many interpretations. But once you learn to read it right, you are on your way to a healthy relationship. How to test?

Moving in together as a test-run is always a bad idea. Instead, take your girl to different social activities: funerals, weddings, birthdays, bars, barbecues, road trips… watch how she adapts to each one of them. Does she trash the bride at the wedding, giggle at text messages at the funeral or sit back and refuse to mingle at the barbecue? You are starting to get a better picture of this woman, not so?

On the other thing, you can take the aice of a distinguished columnist who says if you are compatible in all other areas, you will inevitably conjure up all manners of pink elephants.

Good luck!

Source : The Observer

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