Something about saying "I play with cars!" tends to flip the derp switch in a large number of the guys I meet. Call me picky, but I don't really enjoy hanging out with someone who's reverted back to their twelve-year-old drooling self. So, if you like someone who happens to be into cars and happens to have ovaries, here's my advice on how not to make them run away.
I should probably start with a disclaimer: I've had precious few romantic relationships in my life, but I do at least have ample experience turning away fellows who just rub me the wrong way. You'd think that wouldn't be the case with how much of a sausagefest car events tend to be, but unfortunately, most of the track crowd tends to be older and/or already taken. As far as that is concerned, I might as well be spending an afternoon with the Junior League. Arrgh.
The most annoying thing — by far — about being a female who's into cars is the assumption that by merit of showing up to a car-related event, you're doing something special. Nothing else makes me want to politely shut down a conversation and calmly walk away like the qualifier "for a girl."
I am not special. Rarity does not put me in a category to be kept separate from the general population. I'm here to (try to) be faster than other people. I don't care who those other people are, and neither should you.
Even when The Worst Qualifying Phrase in the Universe isn't spoken, I've noticed an irritating tendency of certain dudes to put me on somewhat of a pedestal. They get all clingy and worshippy, and that just weirds me out. Most of us are used to being treated like one of the guys. Any kind of special treatment above and beyond the usual "I like like you!" stuff is just going to make us feel awkward.
Many of us are constantly looking to get better at what we do. It's more helpful to give constructive criticism or useful advice on something than it is to tell us that we do everything perfect.
If there is a woman who only wants to hear that she's the greatest thing ever, well, you've got a whole 'nother problem on your hands and maybe you should run away in that case. Because I'm not a narcissistic wench, I feel really awkward when I have a yes-man following me around telling me that everything I touch is wonderful (have you seen the cars I own?)
Girls who are into cars usually have a pretty sharpened BS-o-meter. Saying things only to impress me usually won't end well. Just be interesting — that doesn't require require feigning an interest in everything I like or fabricating tall tales of vehicular pwnage.
There are two things most women have zero to little tolerance for: liars and braggarts. If you're claiming that you had the rear wheels of your mom's FWD Camry lit up in the greatest burnout ever, we're going to notice, and we probably won't call back.
It is possible to for a woman to find you interesting even if you aren't into everything she does. I don't expect you to collect Puffalumps, hoard fabulous shoes or be in my exact line of work, so I don't expect you to be a car guy, either. As long as you're fine with my stupid and dangerous hobbies and don't try to keep me from them, we're cool.
Personally, I'm more impressed by someone who's honest about having a hand-me-down Kia that they never take care of because they don't even care than I am of anyone who's pretending to be something they're not.
The worst attempts to impress, however, tend to be street racing stories. Look, I'm in my mid-twenties. I have friends who like to use the spaces next to roads to walk dogs, ride bikes and do all that fun kind of pedestrian stuff. I end up using that space, too, when I'd like some exercise, don't want to bother with parking or my car is broken (again). I'd rather not be run over by someone who's exceeding the limits of his talent in an inappropriate venue.
If you want to save me time and let me know right away that you're completely irresponsible and immature, bring out your fastest, most furious tales of illegal shenanigans. Sure, many of us have done dumb stuff on public roads at some point, but hopefully by now, we know better. If you don't, well, bye. I'll go find someone who does.
Even if you are whipping out a tale of youthful indiscretion, that's still probably not a good way to make a first impression. Everyone knows it's impolite to bring up politics and religion to someone new. Given the strong feelings that people often have about certain illegal acts, I'd lump those right in with the other controversial stuff. Save it for later, after you've had a little time to gauge her feelings on the matter.
So, above all — just be yourself. Resist the urge of the derp, and you'll be fine.
Photo Credits: Murilee Martin (Fluffy Bunny Racing), Getty Images (Williams F1), Desi Rodriguez (head in car), Universal Pictures (Fast and Furious 6)