As Shiraz pointed out, my car poll was flawed. Instead of providing the choice "my ideal man would not necessarily have a car", I threw in "my ideal man would not even know how to drive." There's a difference between the lack of a skill and the lack of an object, of course. I'm going to make a sweeping statement based in 40 years of being a Western woman who hangs out with Western women and say that, in general, Western woman care more about what men can do than what they have.
As a matter of fact, one woman of 163 found virtue in ignorance of driving. That such women exist should come as a relief to men who really hate cars that much. And I'm not knocking men who hate cars that much; there are real environmental and economic reasons to dislike cars. If they wish to eschew one of the great pleasures of life--getting out of the rain or snow into a warm box-on-wheels that smells nice and plays music and takes you wherever you want to go--that is okay by me.
Now, women who really could not care less about cars (but whose ideal man has a license to drive them) and women whose ideal would possess one got jumbled up, thanks to my even-less-scientific-than-ever-poll. But I think it worthwhile to point out that there were 147 of them, which was roughly 90%.
Yes, 90% of those who answered the poll said their ideal man had a car that was merely clean enough for them to sit in. I hope this knocks off the highway and into a ditch the libel that all women prefer men with flashy cars. We couldn't care less about flashy cars.
Well, 90% couldn't care less. Ten women out of 163 (6%) claimed their ideal man would have a really expensive-looking car. What is with this 6%, of whom I am numbered (which got me into a spot of trouble on the home front)?
Are we super-shallow? Or is there something symbolic about expensive-looking cars that speaks to something in our psyches? Many women despise expensive-looking cars because to them they represent overblown male egos and a waste of money better spent on something or someone else, like Iraqi orphans. But some women (a very small number) see the lines and shininess of an expensive automobile and the blood thrills in our veins. Maybe it represents adventure or speed or escape or comfort or all of the above. Or maybe it is about beauty. If Chesterton could get all dreamy and romantic about a lamppost, surely we can get dreamy and romantic about a luxury sedan.
Amusingly five women out of 163 (3%) claimed their ideal man had a car that would cause their brother(s) to weep with envy and their ex-boyfriends to contemplate suicide. Possibly they would not have thought up this choice on their own, and had never contemplated the possibility before I dangled it before their eyes. I assume our five chose it in a gleeful spirit of mockery at male vs male competition. That said, I would suggest they not make relationship choices primarily to annoy other people.
Of course, perhaps these women love the finest automobiles that money can buy but believe that they themselves will never possess them. In that case, I suggest they wiggle their way into the automotive industry, by hook or crook. If they were to become valets at one of the hottest spots in town, for example, they might finally find themselves inside the automotive exemplars they crave. They would also meet the men who drive them and then could decide for themselves, with experiential data, if a man with a glorious, outrageously pricey, car is a man worth having.
*If you know what model and make this is, you are probably not a woman. If you are, you probably have fetched a particularly car-crazed guy to tell you.