By Barbara DeLong
Oh yes, I can make all the proper noises at all the proper times â€“ the oohâ€™s and aahâ€™s, the gasps of delight, the sucked in breath when mere words wonâ€™t suffice. The â€œwow, thatâ€™s hot,â€ when I just have to say something. And being a mere man, whose love of cars is barely five mph behind his love for his wife, my husband doesnâ€™t catch on.
Okay, make that ten mph.
As he talks about his Mustang, my eyes glaze over; my mind wanders to thoughts of dinner. Will I make the halibut?
â€œâ€¦and I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll get the hi-po spark plugsâ€¦â€
I shake my head. Naw, fish is not my favorite. Maybe the juicy porterhouse Iâ€™ve had marinating in those exotic herbs and spices.
â€œâ€¦the Flowmasters give the car a throaty roar, donâ€™t you think?â€
â€œOoh, yes, yes, YES!â€ I enthuse, agreeing to my choice of succulent steak.
He looks so satisfied, bless his heart.
I wasnâ€™t always this good. In that first romantic blush, during the courtship dance thatâ€™s as old as time, I blew it once in awhile.
â€œâ€¦then it dropped a valve into the piston.â€
â€œHmmm, great,â€ I purred, thinking about our cozy date the night before.
â€œNot great. Bad. Very bad,â€ heâ€™d said.
What can I tell you? There was a learning curve.
Now, after thirty-five years of marriage, Iâ€™ve taken faking an interest in cars to an art form. At least, I thought I had. I may have faltered these past couple of years, which could explain how I ended up being on the board of the Mustang Club as editor of their newsletter. I had a weak moment and got sucked into his world as surely as 92 Octane gets sucked into Bosch forty-two pound injectors. Ah well, could be worse. I could be writing a romance set in the world of cars â€“ wait a minute. I am writing a romance set in the world of cars. â€œJoy Rideâ€ is my road rally romance-in-progress.
Which reminds me . . .
â€œHoney, I need some advice.â€ I trail him out to the garage, notepad in hand. â€œTell me, should my heroâ€™s â€™65 Mustang have the original V8?â€
â€œIâ€™d give it a Cobra 5.0 engine with a Vortech supercharger and a Crane high lift cam,â€ he says.
Funny, as Iâ€™m listening to him, I know just what heâ€™s talking about.
And my eyes donâ€™t glaze over once.
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