As a child of the 70s, I always felt the happiest whenever my father allowed me to ride shotgun in his Ford Mustang Boss 302. Since my birth, it had been in the family, and he always treated it like his third most-prized possession (the first and second were my mother and me, of course).
One day, I asked my father why he took care of his muscle car so much. He said, “Muscle cars can endure a century if you maintain it well. I want you to be able to use it when you become an adult and perhaps pass it on to your eldest child once you get married.”
Once it happened, I felt conflicted about keeping the muscle car that I inherited. I loved it as much as Dad did, but I’m already a family man with other priorities. Thus, my wife helped me weigh the pros and cons.
Before having a child, I saw this reality TV show from South Korea that my wife used to love. The idea was that celebrity dads would have to take care of their kids for 48 hours straight without their spouses. Then, one man who always looked after his twins started losing his muscles and showing more emotions. It meant that he was becoming more feminine — more like a mother.
When the dad realized that, he tried doing sports again, which he took for granted to look after his children. Sometimes, he would even take them with him whenever he played tennis or soccer. That’s how he regained his masculinity.
Because of what I witnessed in that show, I realized that I should not get rid of my muscle car even when my kids came along. I wanted to be the best husband and father that my family could ask for, so it would mean sharing parenting duties and possibly even letting my wife take a day off from looking after all of us. On the days when I could get out of the house, though, I could drive around in my muscle car and maintain my masculinity.
Keep A Hobby That You Love
After a month of experiencing fatherhood, I experienced mild post-partum depression (PPD). I know that some people already wonder, “Isn’t that condition for mothers only?” Well, no, it is not exclusive to women. Dads could deal with PPD, too, mostly if they were as hands-on as I had been since day one.
What depressed me was the fact that I could hardly have a social life anymore. I used to attend a poker night at my friend’s house, and it would go on until before the sun rises. I also managed to drink in bars on the weekends, considering I would not come home and puke my guts out. But since I felt terrible for letting my wife wake up every two or three hours to feed our baby and change their diapers, I turned down all the invitations.
Fortunately, the muscle car pulled me out of depression. Whenever I felt frustrated, I would merely sit at the driver’s seat and turn on the radio for at least an hour in our garage. If I needed a quick change of scenery, I would take it for a spin in the city and see people take a second look at my vehicle. That always made me smile and boosted my self-confidence.
Avoid Getting Consumed By Family Life
There’s nothing wrong with men who allowed family life to consume their lives. I met many househusbands who chose to leave their impressive jobs to take care of their loved ones. They were happy with the new setup and did not feel like anything was amiss.
However, my wife and I both agreed that it was not ideal for us to get consumed by family life. For her part, she kept her job and joined yoga classes. As for me, I kept my muscle car and drove it to and from work every day. That’s how we thought of maintaining our identities.
Deal With Extra Expenses
The only downside of holding on to my muscle car was that I had to buy an SUV whenever we traveled. As much as I loved the muscle car, it did not have any contraption that would keep our baby safe from any harm on the road. I would be taking a lot of risks if I insisted on letting them ride it. Hence, that’s one extra expenditure that we could not avoid.
With three cars at home (including my wife’s sedan), we had to spend thousands of dollars to ensure that they’re always functioning in tiptop shape. Luckily, my best friend owned an auto shop, so we often got discounts, but it was still a lot of money.
With the pros overpowering the cons, keeping the muscle car was the obvious choice.