Owning a Classic


At the end of the day, we all want to feel like we own a classic relationship, marriage, body, career, house or whatever. To have people look at what we have and say “I didn’t think this could last that long”.

Think about a car for a sec…

It’s the car you want. No other one will do. It’s next year’s model. You save for it, make sacrifices for it and are ok with the idea of paying for it for many years ahead. As a matter of fact, you’re ok with whatever sacrifices you have to make now, just to take that car home. You envision driving it and taking it everywhere. You commit to washing it every week and getting a paint job every few years. Sometimes you even tell yourself that if the car ran well forever, you wouldn’t change it…you wouldn’t need another car. “I’ll drive this car until it falls apart”….so you tell yourself.
So you leave the dealership feeling like the songs “I’m too sexy” by Right Said Fred and “U can’t touch this” by MC Hammer were both about you.

People can’t stop congratulating you. You wash the car every week, you go easy on the speed bumps and you never ever park in a tight spot just in case some barbarian scratches your new baby.

But then, life begins to happen. You get busy, the high fives, the oohhs, the aahhss and the ooommmggeeess all fade. Three newer models have come out since you got your car and the motivation to keep it in tip top shape has dwindled.
Now your back seat is packed with crap. Flip flops, the sweater you swore you’d take back to your closet…a month ago, the ripped magazine you’ve been trying to read for like 2 months, loose paper, and oh yea…can’t forget…the McDonalds bag you ate out of…last week.
Your trunk? Let’s not even go there. If you had to pick someone up from the airport right now,….well, let’s just hope his/her bags fit in the back seat because there is enough junk in your trunk –No pun intended :o)– to have a junk sale.

If it were indeed true that you HAD to stick to that car and you couldn’t change your car every 4-6 years, you’d be setting yourself up for a long time of miserable driving if you treated your car that way. A few things will happen:

1)You will have MULTIPLE MAJOR breakdowns. The type that will cost much to fix.
2)Your car will change from a thing of joy to simply a machine that you drive everywhere. It will only be …. “a means to an end”.
3)You will spend a long time driving an “old” car that will just go from bad to worse.

That car is like your relationship, your marriage, your body, your career, your finances, your house… etc

Think about newly married couples or people who have just started a relationship. Each person is so ready to give up so much for it. It feels easy to sacrifice for the other person. Love is in the air, congratulations ring from every corner of the room, girlfriends give unlimited “aawws” and the fellas give the “you picked well” nod. You tell yourself that you’ll be the best for that person. You even have a plan for it.

Then life happens…the friends and family go home, there is nothing to really aaww and oohh about. “Newer models” of your partner are launched, “updated versions” are released that seem to have fixed most of the bugs in the version you have,  stress clouds your ability to do the things you swore you’d do to keep the care going.

Same thing applies to our bodies…we start a work out plan that works and we lose weight or get ripped…then life happens. We get promoted at work, the dog eats the cat and now the mice come out to play and working out loses its priority. Two years later, you can’t make it up a flight of stairs without feeling like you’re about to pass out.

Relationships-Finances-Physical Fitness-Home Purchases-Career….you get the point.

Classics aren’t made that way though…oh no. Ever see a well-maintained classic up close? It’s old. Yes. Sure it was made decades ago and many models have been made after it. However, to that owner, it was always “THE car” and because of that, the owner has treated that car in a way that takes it from beauty to an elegance it didn’t have even when it was brand new.
The paint job is on point, open the hood and the engine is wiped down…no oil spills. Most parts are original and the parts that needed to be changed were changed. Lubrication and oil changes were frequent and car washes always included INTERIOR detailing, not just the exterior wash down.

So what makes a car a beautiful, respected and elegant classic? What does a car owner do to have a car like that 30 years from now? How do you build a relationship that can still get oohhs and aahhs 30 years from now?

1) The owner REALLY buys the car with the future in mind.

2)The owner understands that in order to avoid MULTIPLE MAJOR breakdowns, he/she must pay attention to the details…and fix the issues while they are still small

3)The owner appreciates the compliments and the attention that happens when the car is new but realizes deep down that the real work and hence the real compliment, is in maintaining the car when wear and tear start to kick in.

The real compliment of a relationship is not how cute they look together when it’s all new but in how well they are still united when wear and tear should have eroded that way. They enjoy the moment now that comes from the newness, but they are not defined by it. In other words, they are not unaware of the work it takes to get them to “classic” status.

The owner of that car understands that soon enough, all the initial attention from the new purchase will wear out. Newer models will be made that may be faster and have a better radio. He/she also knows, however, that what will bring the crowd back to “oohh” and “aahh” 30years from now, is the quality of time and effort spent in that garage…just the two of them- car and owner. Oil spills during oil changes, unexpected breakdowns, clean ups, car washes, dirty jeans, clanking tools, and greased finger nails.

That car is your marriage…your body…your finances etc. If you want it to benefit you 30 years from now, you’ve got to pay a lot of attention to its maintenance. You can’t just be the owner… you have to be the mechanic too.

Think of those marriages we see that still look good after 30 years…think of those people in their 50s who still look good. We marvel at them and we wonder how they did it. It’s not that younger men or women didn’t come their way…it’s not that they didn’t annoy each other…it’s  just that each one became the mechanic of this “car” and held on to it long enough to become a classic. Refreshingly, if they do that long enough, they start to get the

Refreshingly, if they do that long enough, they start to get the oohhs and aahhs again just like when it was brand new.
However, if they didn’t maintain the “car” –marriage-body-house-finances well enough, they would never hear those oohhs and aahhs ever again. The car would turn into just another old car that becomes un-drivable and costs too much to hold on to.

Sometimes what’s most fascinating about a classic is not how much it has changed, but how much it hasn’t.

 

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  • I-met-u.com

    You never dissappoint me with your blogs, Mr Tobi. I love the transitions… they gave some aaahhhh moments. What I get from this write up is this – because marriage is meant to be a lifetime thing, we should always seek to go for a “classic” person. But I must say that each individual would have to define what’s “classic” for them. And again remember that it’s what’s “inside the car and underneath the hood” of the car that determines its durability down the road. So in terms of relationships, you wanna be careful about “what’s inside and whats underneath the hood”…hey no pun intended here… I mean Character, values, beliefs etc.

    • RITA

      No male bashing intend but i gotta say it. In terms of relationships, i pray that more men realize and appreciate that character, values, and beliefs are more important.

  • Adeola

    I have to agree with the earlier comment. When we go car shopping, most of us are looking at the exterior features which needs exterior maintenance. The things that actually keep the car running are not exterior but interior. The engine runs on gas and engine oil. No car can function without an engine regardless of how it looks. Our focus should be on the things that keep the car running…not the paint job or weekly wash. We all change externally during the course of life but our character remains the same. By the time you are considering marriage, you are at a point where your character is in place and you are not still “finding” yourself. Beautiful women and handsome men also have relationship issues.Obviously, there has to be more to keep your engine running.

    • RITA

      I disagree a little bit. Yes what is under the engine is a focal point but the exterior should not be ignored either because let’s face it, you gotta feed your eyes too. When it comes to marriage, if everyone was truly at a point where their character and “self” is settled, then we wouldn’t have such a high divorce rate. At the end of the day, i think the focal point is hard work, we get what we put into it…inside and outside!love it!

  • RITA

    I think my car was your inspiration for this blog because i do not take care of my car (haha). We all know that anything worth having takes alot of work but i love how you remind of this very important lesson with a new approach. Thanks for the reminder and the education, i always feel wiser and smarter after reading your blogs. Dude, you should seriously be in front of a classroom, for real.

  • Toluse O.

    Another hit. You hammered the nail on the head, Mr. Tobi. There’s nothing like a classic and, as you write, it’s important to make the effort to search for a “car” (partner, routine, career, etc.) that has the qualities to be a classic AND to maintain it as a classic through the years. This post has me thinking of another great “classic”. The Bible was written so many thousands of years ago, and it’s still the greatest book ever penned. Millions of authors have come and gone, but when I read the book of Psalms I know no other literature comes close to the Word of God. Classic!

  • Dayo

    I was about to rain accolades on your head, but as my previous commenters have said.. you made sense. To make your head swell (small), i’ll just say ‘You did well, you sure know how to make a point without saying too much’.

    What I’m hearing from you is that our interests change and we need to keep up with them. Our attitude change because other things seem to catch our eye. The way to combat that is to keep our attitude up with our interests. When we start seeing the shinier version of our car, just make sure our car is shiny enough to keep up with our changing interest. So, that means work on my attitude towards the car, relationship, house, marriage, finance, etc such that it’ll keep my interest when my attention starts to shift.

    hmmm… I love how good advice always sounds SO easy to say and so hard to implement. God will help us.

    • CheeringUon

      I agree with your last statement, it is easier said than done.
      Very interesting read. I really enjoyed it. Life would happen…no doubt about it, I think it is important that when it does we are able to stop and refocus on the original plan/goal/purpose/vision/mission and so on.

  • oadediji

    this was an awesome read. I love how you’re able to draw metaphors between the simple things in life and the serious matters we face daily. I only pray that we all develop this wisdom in our lives.

  • Poca

    Such an awesome read.. My favorite line, ” The owner appreciates the compliments and the attention that happens when the car is new, but realizes deep down that the real work and hence the real compliment , is in maintaining the car when wear and tear starts” Maintenance is key!

  • Oluwatosin

    Mr Tobi, I applaud you, you’re a brilliant writer. Like you rightly said, maintenance is the key to having a classic “car”. Putting one’s utmost time in one’s career, relationship, or whatsoever it may be, there’s a full assurance that one will obtain one’s desired result, and the ooohs, aahhs, and good job will follow suit. Your writing inspires me, really!

  • Taiwo

    It’s so easy to get carried away by the exterior, it’s what we notice first. But if one doesn’t pay attention to the details and interior, its multiple breakdowns will be incredibly discouraging. So it has to be solid from the start, it has to be reliable from the start, so that even when it breaks down, there’s that certainty that it will get back up and be brand new again which will give one that motivation to fix it or maintain it. Imagine a relationship you go into because you were so glamoured by the beauty and impressiveness of the person; when troubled times come, you will not be able to stand or even motivated to fix it. But if it is a virtuous woman or a God fearing man, the one hand picked for you by God, no matter how bad things get, even when u can’t find the strength, something just moves you to save it, fix it and it’ll be both ways too. The statement you made about “buying the car with the future in mind” is an excellent point. Why get in a relationship with someone u can’t picture a future with? I asked a guy why he’s no longer with his girlfriend of 6 years, and he said he really wanted to marry someone of a different culture anyway. So i asked him why he began the relationship in the first place and he said he did not want to deny himself what he wanted at that point by over-thinking the future. So now there’s all this bad blood or broken hearts to deal with which could have all been avoided. The discipline here is being able to deny ourselves what seems good right now but doesn’t match up with our future. We will only get burnt out if we do not keep the future and of course Jesus in mind when we choose anything, but if we do, no matter who comes along or what changes, nothing or no one is gonna be as priceless.

  • Prince

    Great word…such a well rounded write-up…like a great movie that picks you up from the start and keeps you plugged in through out the entire movie….and most importantly a perfect end i.e tips for success…I haven’t met you yet bro, but I know I will pretty soon….I thank God for His Grace upon your life….keep the flame burning!

  • Gloria

    HAHAA!!!! First of all, I’ve got to admit, this is sooo true… A classic is definitely something that garners attention after so many years has passed and it is true that not only does it apply to clothes or cars or whatever, it also applies to our body, relationships, partnerships, marriage, schooling and so on…
    In order for something to be considered a classic, a lot of attention has to be given to it to preserve it. In schooling for example, you’ve got to pay attention in class and study ahead for that big test. In relationships/partnerships, you’ve got to listen, pay attention, communicate with your partner, know everything about them, and also love them.
    So basically in order to preserve something’s authenticity and get the oooohhh’s and aaahhh’s we want, we have to learn to keep things in order and make sure those things are what we really want.

  • Jersey girl

    They made a show about this this summer called ” half of all marriages end in sweatpants” lmbo. This show is based on a true story.

  • Jersey girl

    Nicely put Tobi

  • Dawn

    Very well said. Before we can deal with other cars, we need to make sure our cars are the latest, most up to date and onpoint version possible. There is nothing wrong with nicely letting people we love know they might have some maintenance to do on their cars, but only when we ourselves have our stuff together. 🙂

  • Lovethispiece!

    I really love the comparison of the car to a relationship. I like how you wrote: “The owner really buys the car with the future in mind. We have to be forward-thinkers. When we are about to start the relationship, we have to “see” us being with the person in the long-term, because if not, then there’s no point to starting the relationship. Just like it takes hard work and discipline to maintain the car to look like a classic years down the road, it’s the same thing for a successful marriage. We have to work at it everyday to make it a success. It’s not going to be easy, but if the two parties are committed in the relationship, it will work. That’s why I think it is key to have God as the center of the marriage/relationship – we can’t go wrong if we truly follow God’s precepts and principles.
    Hmmmm, I wonder how God ties in with keeping the car in good condition? Can God be the center of a driver and his car, to ensure the car is kept in good condition? – hehe 🙂

    • ijustmetme

      Thanks for sharing. Glad you enjoyed it. That last question sort of sparked my interest. “I wonder how God ties in with keeping the car in good condition? Can God be the center of a driver and his car, to ensure the car is kept in good condition?”

      That is a fantastic question. Here is what I think. I think that God gives us these great gifts…our bodies, beautiful marriages, a head start in our finances etc, and like so many examples even in the bible, (prodigal son, parable of the talents, etc) we (just like they did) squander them , or take them for granted. It sort of feels like there is a three step process.
      -God gives something wonderful
      -You play your part to recognize it and tend to it and take care of it
      -God comes and give you the payback for your effort.

      Hope this helped :o)

  • Kehinde

    The part I love best is that portion that says you have to spend time with it, in the garage, through oil spills, dirty jeans, greased fingernails. It just really emphasized the kind of work that goes into relationships. You have to get dirty, have to clean up messes, have to be ready to clean it up, not walk away and leave it to rot. I would not have ever in my life imagined it this way, i mean the imagery is phenomenal. It just really ties things together in a way that is so real…i mean think about it…the beauty of a classic is in how much it still looks the same, not in how much it has changed. You do want your relationship to be as it was at the beginning and that requires work. And while everyone knows you have to work at a relationship, the analogy here just really brings it home. Excellent, just excellent. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lovethispiece!

    It’s good to use such analogies so that people can really “get” this stuff…… stuff – meaning, marriages and relationships, so that people can see that it takes “work” to make them successful.
    Especially in this America, where materialism is valued high. For example, some people here, love their cars, they’ll do whatever it takes to fix ’em up, etc, just like you said. If someone can do that to something they love, they can certainly do the same, if not more, to SOMEONE, they love.

  • Adeleke Omotayo

    A touch from heaven. You described a situation and experience that is felt by every member of society regardless of race, creed, color or income bracket. The metaphor between a classic car and a relationship has always been used, but you expressed it from a different angle and point view. You found a way to utilize our materialistic mindset to offset the true things that should matter to us in this life. With that, you also described the key ingredients of what truly makes this unit of our lives unique and special. In the process, you have also taught us that everything can be special again, it just depends on our mindset.

    This is an aspect that soo many men, INCLUDING MYSELF, often negate and don’t apply importance to it. There are soo many articles that explain the reasons behind failures in relationships, marriages and finances but you enable the reader to realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Every negative aspect of one’s life has an expiry date. It just matters how soon you are willing to end it and change it for the better.

  • Alexis O. Agboola

    “Sometimes what’s most fascinating about a classic is not how much it has changed, but how much it hasn’t”#ENOUGHSAID

  • Bola Makinde

    Very interesting and easy read. Loved the metaphoric expression of the classic car and how it can apply to every and any aspects of our life. You simply said it all but I would also like to add your relationship with The Master can and should be comparable to the “classic.”

  • dammy ajiboye

    This is so real. When we first get into any kind of relationship it feels so good and right but many times we get so carried away and forget about what it takes keep it right years down the road. I remember when i started dating my fiance, really had no plan for the future, did it then because everyone was and here i am seven years after planning to walk down the aisle with that same man. Even though i have no regrets and its one of the best things that ever happened (thank God), there are things i would have considered if i knew the journey will bring us this far. One of my biggest fears when i realized that the relationship was here to stay was how to keep it glowing like it was at the beginning and i can only thank God for that. Same with education, i have seen many take up majors without any concrete reasons e.g. passion or knowledge about what they are getting into. People like this usually end up going back to school after realizing what they did was not for them.
    What to take from this is to always evaluate and examine the purpose of every relationship we are in! Are they the best things in our life right now? Do we have what it takes to keep them the best things in our lives years from now. Above all, involve God in all you do and you shall never regret it

    • Inem

      Dammy, u are so right.
      About the majors part, I always wanted to do arts (sing, dance, act), I used to write a lotta stories, and I have a lot of my own write ups, but my parents thought reading medicine will be better.
      After my third year in med school, I began to think if this was what I really wanted, I couldn’t stand the sight of blood or anything of that sort.
      But today, I am trynna cope.
      Maybe I should have followed my dream from the start.
      I still thank God though.

  • Olaitan

    This post includes great points especially for non single folks:) who just love to bicker about their partners… That said, the key take away for singles is “what not to do” at the right time:)

  • Ari

    As usual all your writings, blogs, comments and everything bring a smile to me! You always picked me up on my down days with just a few words or smile or a simply throwing up the “ROC” sign. lol you always inspired me in many ways and I am glad I get the chance to still read your words and continue to smile with the power you speak your mind!! This is just the first blog I read… ON TO THE NEXT!!!

  • Tolu Oyeniran

    When maintained well. . . your classic becomes a rare and envied possession. . . that is when people will pay tremendous amounts to own such a classic. . . it is at that exact moment that it becomes priceless. . .

  • Kemi Animashaun

    WORD! “Maintenance” is key. A whole lot comes with good maintenance (of anything or anyone) – Diligence, Nurture, Spirit of Excellence, Determination, Commitment, Respect, Love, Accountability, Integrity, Sustenance; to mention a few.

    Having and sustaining a good “maintenance culture” is a great virtue all by itself.

  • gee

    Nice write up. For me its a call to responsibility! A charge to go the extra mile in all spheres where I require good results. As I say, tomorrows results is the product of today’s hard work.

  • Inem

    Wow! Lovely piece you have here.
    You were actually right on BN….I think I am addicted.
    😀
    Keep up the great work!
    I love your blog.

  • DJ STELCH

    Now i’m Begining to get addicted to your Blog. This Is Another Awesome Article.. God Bless You Abunch!! I’m Learning so much from you and i’m currently undergoing a paradigm shift.. Nice One Brov!!

    • ijustmetme

      Awesome! A change in perspective..growth..personal development…inner strength,discovering better versions of yourself…Thats what its all about!