And there she was, sitting along the side of the dirt road on my way to school.
I was 16 years old, a junior in high school, and she smiled at me like a new day.
She was freshly painted in Ultra Marine Blue.
It was love at first sight, and I was certain she felt the same way.
I walked around the car three times, kicking the tires, careful not to get the new coat of armor all on my shoes.
I pressed my eyes against the glass, just enough to see the impeccable white interior and the 8-track player.
She was a 1978 Chevy Monte Carlo and she was beautiful. The car had a for sale sign, but with no price only the words “negotiable”.
Without further delay, I hastened to the door of this shoddy home with the scraggly front yard.
I thought it sort of strange, the car didn’t match the house but spent no more than a few seconds entertaining that thought.
I knocked on the door, and an old woman with a pine wooden cane came to the door.
I nervously introduced myself, tripping over my words as if a few seconds stood in the way of me competing with another buyer.
I explained that I saw the car in her driveway, and was curious to know how much she wanted for it.
The old woman bantered around, explaining that the car belonged to her late husband George, and how she hated to part with it but that she would reluctantly let it go for $500.
“I’ll take it!”, I said not even sure if she had fully completed every syllable of her words.
I knew I was going to be late to school, but the vision of pulling into the school parking lot with my shiny new Monte Carlo preceded any rules, or rationale that might have stood in my way.
I explained to the old woman that I would run home, get the money and return in less than 15 minutes.
I raced the 6 country blocks all the way back to my house, up to my room maybe touching 2 stairs along the way.
I pulled out the rusty metal coffee can I had suspended between one of the box springs beneath my mattress.
I had saved almost every penny I made, cutting grass, delivering papers, washing cars all for this very moment.
I counted out $500, 2 Ben Franklin’s, 10 Andrew Jackson’s, 5 Alexander Hamilton’s and 50 George Washington’s.
I was on my way back when an ounce of sobriety flashed into my mind. “Why is she selling this car for only $500?”
My sobriety was soon smothered by unrestrained desire, and I continued my happy little way.
I arrived back at the old woman’s house, relieved to see ‘my car’, still there. The old woman was on the porch feeding her cats when she saw me.
I handed her the money, counting it out as I placed it in her hand. The old woman signed the title, handed me a bill of sale, the keys, and a smile.
I couldn’t believe it, I had purchased my first car and it was a classic. I thought of how proud my dad would be, accomplishing this on my own.
I thought of the respect I’d get from the guys at school and most importantly? The girls who would want to ride in ‘my car’.
I removed the for-sale sign, jumped in, and started her up for the first time. She purred like one of the old woman’s 6 cats.
I was on my way. I drove her to the nearest gas station, put the extra $10 I had removed from the can, filled up the tank and proceeded to drive to school.
When I had arrived at school, I made sure to park close as I could to the main entrance. I wanted everyone to see me get in my car after school.
I didn’t get any work done in school that day, disrupting my friends with my “too good to be true” purchase.
When I wasn’t talking, I was day dreaming about that moment after school when Montes engine would roar throughout the parking lot.
The final bell had rung, when I pranced to the exit, chest out, head high and walked toward my car.
I put the key into the door, slowly unlocking it to give everyone time enough to leave the building. I got in, fixed my rear-view mirror and rolled the windows down.
I turned on the radio, now noticing the spectators assembled on the sidewalk admiring my car. I was the man, and I felt it.
The girls were smiling, leaning into each other and talking while staring at me. This was the moment of truth, the moment that would change my short life forever.
I put the key in the ignition, all the while glancing at the assembly of honeys on the sidewalk. I turned the key, and she didn’t start.
I turned the key again, listening to her neigh like a wounded horse. The girls smile, soon turned to laughter.
I gave her some gas, pounding my foot through the floorboard, turned the key when I saw it.
The thick gray and white smoke coming from the engine. The smoke from my car was thankfully thick enough to hide my face from the shame and misery of that moment.
Looking back, I had learned a valuable lesson. There are many questions to ask, and protocol when buying a new or used car.
The emotions of the moment coupled with youthful ignorance allowed me to make a costly mistake.
As costly as not doing the research, heeding the signs, and failing to test drive a car might be.
There are greater consequences when these same precautions are not followed when making even greater decisions.
There are some guys who know everything about the car they are buying, how many miles it gets in the city and on the highway.
Yet, when it comes to the women we invite into our lives, we make the same mistake. Amor all, fresh paint, clean interior, and a for sale sign.
While inconvenient, a man will soon recover from the purchase of a bad woman.
However, the repercussion of being in a relationship with the wrong woman can cause irreparable damage to your life.
How does one know, when she is the wrong woman? How do you know if there is a crack in the engine block or a bad transmission?
Is she the person you thought she was, or just a fresh coat of paint and armor all?
Here are twenty essential signs that you’re with the wrong woman.
1. Is she controlling who you hang out with, where you go, what you wear, what to say, and what not say?
2. If you find yourself as the source of her happiness, then you will also be the source of her unhappiness.
3. If she is extremely critical of you and your choices. Is she always making fun of you, your ideas, and your appearance? Then she doesn’t respect you.
4. If you cannot be yourself around her and find yourself having to walk on eggshells to avoid confrontations.
5. If she doesn’t spend money on you but she has no problem spending it on herself, or her friends then she doesn’t value you and might just be selfish.
6. If she talks about her ex a lot, then she hasn’t gotten over him.
7. If you feel lonely, even with her around then it’s time to move on.
8. If she never apologizes or takes responsibility then she is exhibiting a major character flaw, and thinks she is never wrong. If she is always right, then that means you are always wrong.
9. If she never has time for you then she is too busy to be in a relationship.
10. If she is rude to people around her then she is not a very good person. How she treats others is a glimpse into how she will also treat you.
11. If she can’t cook. This isn’t to imply that she is supposed to be your personal maid, but if she can’t cook then you will be cooking for her all the time.
12. If she isn’t spontaneous and everything has to be planned, even sex. This is boring and it shows that what is important to her is all that matters.
13. If she is a big flirt, buyer beware. Every woman likes a little attention but if it’s constant, that’s a sign of danger.
14. If she doesn’t trust you, and you’ve not given her a reason, then she has trust issues or isn’t trustworthy herself.
15. If she doesn’t get along with her mother, she lacks maturity and respect for authority.
16. If she gets along too well with her mother, then she will tell her mother everything. Every fight you have, her mother will know about and judge you unknowingly.
17. If she drinks too much, this is a sign of escapism.
18. If she is lazy, tired for no reason, the house is unclean, dishes are in the sink, and just wants to watch tv – this is a turn-off and a premonition of what’s coming.
19. If she has cheated before, then she is very likely to cheat again.
20. If she has daddy issues, then she has no idea how to be in a relationship with a man. She will berate and belittle your masculinity and role as the man in the relationship.
Take heed of each one of these signs. Just because your woman displays one of these signs, doesn’t mean that she’s a bad apple.
But you need to be mindful of these signs as a whole, and ensure that you don’t go down a bad road.