Dear Tom and Ray:
A few years ago, I purchased a 1992 Saab 900 turbo from a friend of mine. This car was in beautiful condition, with 230,000 miles on the original motor. It was the third Saab I have owned, and I have what some may call a borderline obsession with the car. I got engaged about four months ago and sold the Saab back to my friend.
Well, I received a call last week from my friend asking if I wanted to buy back the Saab. Evidently, his wife just found out that he bought the car back (she thought I had left it at their house for four months). I want the car, and badly, but my soon-to-be wife is less than keen on the idea -- in fact, she hates it. So, my question is this: Do I buy the car and beg for forgiveness, or give up on my favorite automobile of all time and accept life as a married man driving a boring sedan?
TOM: Gee, if you're that obsessed with Saabs, Aaron, why don't you just buy the company? You probably can get it for less than this '92 heap you've been playing ping-pong with.
RAY: Repeat after me, Aaron: "Happy wife, happy life." Now repeat it a few hundred more times, until the answer to your question becomes clear.
TOM: It's not worth risking your marriage for a heap like this, is it? I mean, if it were a '95, maybe.
RAY: No, you have to let it go, Aaron. You've been lucky enough to find someone you want to spend your life with -- someone you hope to grow old with, maybe have children with, someone who will visit you someday in your nursing home bed and spoon some clear, saltless broth through your dry, cracked lips before taking your checkbook and heading out for the day with her new boyfriend.
TOM: You'd risk all that for a 20-year-old Saab? Where's the future for you and the Saab, Aaron? You're not going to grow old together -- it's already old. It's never going to love you the way you love it. Although, now that I think about it, it might provide a bench seat to sleep on when you ignore our advice and get thrown out of your house.
RAY: And while sharing your life with somebody else does require certain compromises, maybe the two of you haven't tried hard enough to meet each other halfway on this. Who knows? Maybe she'd be happy to have a more exciting car. Maybe she just wants one that doesn't smell of mildew.
TOM: So, talk to her and go out and find a car together. It'll be good "coupling" practice for you guys. You'll figure out how to make decisions together. Good luck, Aaron. Enjoy your wonderful lives together. Or the '92 Saab, whichever you opt for.