Ours was a relationship born at the race track. We met at a Spring Porsche Club of America (PCA) D.E., surrounded by various Porsches representing various decades. A few years (and many D.E.s) later, we have spent countless hours together driving, spectating at ALMS and NASA events, and writing about motorsport. Long conversations about tire grip and corner speed have given way to Saturdays at home detailing, swapping brake pads, scrubbing wheels and performing the occasional housework.
What brought us together years ago is still true: we are car people. Specifically, Porsche people. We don’t discriminate: old or new, 4 or 6 cylinders, powered by a flat-six or pedals, we love Porsches. I have driven my significant others' 993 race car on track and around the paddock (repeating to self, “no mistakes, no mistakes!”) and he has driven my Cayman S more times than I can count (on track and off). We spend the winters planning our summer track schedules, playing Forza and watching GrandAm re-runs. We talk about our dream cars: his, a GT3 Cup. Mine, a 1972 911.
You Can't Drive and Engagement Ring
Recently, in between talk of a new suspension for the 993, what moves are fair in karting and whether an Audi S5 could pass for a family car, talk of an engagement ring came up. Unfazed, un-romantic me replied, “hmm, I don’t need one of those, you can’t drive them. How about an engagement Remus exhaust? Or an engagement Porsche?” The answer was meant to be in jest, but the longer I thought about it the more it made sense:
- We could both enjoy the engagement Porsche, whereas only I could use the ring (unless he was planning on using the diamond to cut glass)
- When people asked to see the sparkler, I could say, “It’s at home, in the garage.”
- The engagement Porsche could serve as the wedding getaway car (and if said wedding took place at the race track, even better, because, as Ferry said, Porsches are meant to be driven, not polished.)
Swooning at the Sight of a Porsche,
While vintage jewelry has never taken my breath away, I can often be heard swooning at the sight of a 356. It’s not that I have anything against beautiful jewelry – I love looking at the detail, the workmanship, and the sparkle. And then I like to put it down. Diamonds look better in their display case at Tiffany & Co., flooded by yellow light. Not only am I am one of those people who wear the same pair of earrings practically every day, but given my love of autbiles and unavoidable household obligations, my hands look nothing like the ones of ring models. I think my argument is solid.
But aside from being a talented driver and my favorite driving instructor, my significant other is a romantic and gentle soul. He wants to buy a ring to show his love and commitment, and I am deeply touched by this. I must admit that when I see pictures of the ring he likes, I am seduced by its beauty. A few months ago he went as far as to have me try it on, and seeing it on my (not-so-manicured) hand triggered a suppressed part in my female brain: that which loves the fact that a boy is willing to give me a ring and tell everyone he loves me. And the even more primitive part that loves shiny things. So for a few days I was on board with the idea, envisioning the moment when he’d pop down on one knee and ask the question.
For the Price of That Ring...
But then, after a few days of taking kids to school, doing loads of laundry and wondering what dinner I could make from kale, a few lentils and a loaf of bread, practical me was back. The most romantic gift a man can give me is the gift of time together. Why get a ring when we could get something both of us can enjoy and use? Once I started on the “for the price of that ring, we could get a vintage Porsche. One that makes those wonderful sounds and has no nannies to get between me and the track” road, it was hard to go back.
As proposals often involve surprise, I decided to make peace with whatever comes my way. If he decides to go with the ring, I have no doubt I will love the gesture (did I mention the ring is absolutely gorgeous?). But if he decides against it, that would be fine, too. Because at the end of the day, ring or not, what matters to me is that we still get to sit together to bench-race, talk cars, and get excited about the next time we’ll be on track together. And that no matter how many car pictures I text him, he still finds a way to respond enthusiastically. And that when we run out of milk, he’s always willing to go get a gallon. And that, gentle readers, is true romance to this girl.
What do you think, readers – ring or Porsche? Cast your vote!
Update: While traveling in China, my favorite driver surprised me with an engagement ring. It was a wonderful moment, even though there were no Porsches in sight.
I may have lost the battle of the engagement Porsche, but I freely admit I love my ring and what it symbolizes. And now that we’re engaged, I can move on to convincing him that a race track is, indeed, a fitting venue for a wedding.