I read the other day that people who enjoy looking at works of art often have feelings equal to that of falling in love. It’s the endorphins that radiate, those peptide hormones that make us feel high as if we have ingested opiates. This explains why I write about the Italian Renaissance and its myriad of artists, writers and scholars—Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, da Vinci, Dante—why I am infatuated by a period of time that occurred over 500 years ago, and why I am in love with those who created its art and whose ideas continue to shape our world today. It feels good.
Yesterday morning I was jogging in the park across the street from my home where a car show was set up for the weekend. Amid the classic Corvettes, Cordobas and 88s, my gaze continually found the Mustangs. A 1969 lime green Mach 1 with its sloped back and slick hood looked like a long fingered piano player hunched over keyboards at a smoky saloon. A 1966 cherry red pony seemed to be in motion like an exploding tomato. A 1964 1/2 ‘Stang—white with a red interior—in which I could imagine Frankie Valli and Annette Funicello headed to the beach with surfboards hanging out the back.
The other day I met a new friend for tea. As we exited the café and walked to the crowded parking lot, she said, “Guess which car is mine.”
I looked around the cement lot and took in the four-door sedans, the minivans, the sports cars, and the hybrids. I knew she made a good living but wasn’t rich, she was liberal in her politics, probably fiscally responsible, and she had ordered a fruity herbal tea.
“That one.” I pointed to a gray Toyota Prius.
“How did you know?”
I shrugged, preferring to let the mystery hang in the air like the rain clouds that threatened to burst at any moment. My true response of “just a lucky guess” would not have been as much fun.
“Okay, my turn.” She scanned the parking lot.
I knew she would never guess. No one ever does. While many women own Mustangs, men are the predominant purchasers of the muscle car. In fact, based on my independent, unsponsored, and totally unverified survey, most of the people who like Mustangs are men. I believe this since almost daily I am yelled to from a neighboring car at a stop light, approached at a gas station, or stopped in a parking lot by men who admire my car.
“Over there.” My friend pointed to a BMW.
I smiled and shook my head.
“How about that one?” she asked.
“Not the Volvo either,” I said.
I kissed my friend good-bye on the cheek and clicked the unlock button on my key fob. The beep-beep from my blue 2010 Mustang with the side window louvers drew her eyes to my pony.
“I never would have guessed,” she said.
As I got in my car and drove away, I was thankful for my Mustang, and thankful for the endorphins that allow me to feel as if I am falling in love all over again every day. It feels good.
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