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The Texanist: Can My Pickup-Driving Girlfriend Respect My Compact Car?

A truck-driving woman meets a Jetta owner at a Ray Wylie Hubbard concert.

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Illustration by Tim Bower

Editor’s note: The original story misidentified the origin of the Volkswagen Jetta. We regret the error. 

Q: I met at a woman at a Ray Wylie Hubbard concert at Gruene Hall this summer who conveniently lives in the same part of San Antonio as I do. We’ve been seeing each other fairly regularly since then and it seems to be going great so far except for one thing: she drives a big new pickup truck and I drive a 2009 Volkswagen Jetta. She has never commented about it, but always wants to take her truck when we go anywhere. I suspect she thinks lesser of me because of my old German compact car. Am I overthinking it, or could this be an actual problem down the road?

Name Withheld, San Antonio

A: First, let the Texanist just say that he approves your choice of singer-songwriters. Ray Wylie is first-rate in a crowded field. And that opinion is based on more than the fact that he penned one of the all-time great rowdy singalongs, “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother.” Ray Wylie’s later material, such as the less-rowdy, but more bawdy “Screw You, We’re from Texas,” in which he name-checks Gruene Hall, also holds up. Suffice it to say, the Texanist is a fan.

Second, he applauds your choice of music venues. Gruene Hall is a classic. When braved in the summertime, it can be a transformative dance hall experience. Ooh-wee, it gets hot in there. Even when the side flaps (old school honky-tonk air-conditioning) are up. But such sweltering settings sure do make the ice-cold beer go down easy, don’t they? Were you able to pregame with a little afternoon tubing on the Guadalupe in the afternoon before the show? Doing so is never a bad idea in the straw-hat months. The Texanist has digressed, but he bets that was one heck of a good time. He’s feeling a little jealous just thinking about it.

And on top of it all, you found yourself a girlfriend. And a truck-driving girlfriend at that. Congratulations. The Texanist gathers from the concern you’ve expressed in your letter that you might really like this young woman. Well, rest easy, compadre, your fear is unfounded. If your new lady friend was going to look down on you (a thing she could literally do from the seat of her pickup truck) because of your old Jetta, that would certainly have happened while “Snake Farm” was still ringing in your ears. (By the way, if you ever refer to your car by an endearing nickname like “the Learjetta,” or, god forbid, refer to yourself as  “Luke Skywalker, Jetta Master,” the Texanist strongly advises never, under any circumstances, uttering either phrase in the presence of the young woman. She may be a peach, but she surely has her limits.)

The Texanist’s gut is telling him that a) he really shouldn’t have had that fifth tamale for lunch, b) your new sweetheart is the type of person who knows better than to judge a person by the horse they rode in on, and c) if this gal were the type of person who would use such criteria to measure a would-be boyfriend’s suitability, that she wouldn’t be the type of person you would want to continue seeing anyway.

In summation, the Texanist advises not sweating (unless you’re at Gruene Hall in the summertime, in which case attempting not to do so is completely futile) the situation with the wheels. Were he you, he’d count himself lucky. Not only have you gained a girlfriend, but you’ve gained a conveniently-located, fun-loving girlfriend who comes equipped with good musical taste, proven heat tolerance, and an open mind when it comes to the car that her boyfriend drives. And you’ve vastly increased your payload and towing capabilities.

Want to know a little secret? There was a time when the Texanist made his way around Texas in a 1982 Honda Prelude.


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