How An Old Jeep Sparked A Viral Manifesto On Relationships

Illustration for article titled How An Old Jeep Sparked A Viral Manifesto On Relationships

What started as a simple question from a woman unhappy that her boyfriend's 1996 Jeep Cherokee was demanding more of his attention and money has become a viral manifesto on what men should expect from women and vice versa.

The original query posted on Jeep Forum last week from a woman in Lakewood, Ohio, was fairly innocuous:

So, my boyfriend bought a '96 Cherokee (XJ) SE, for way too much, like around $3,000. It broke down and he has put another $2,500 in it and totally rebuilt the engine and did a lot of after market work on it. He has and will do all the labor himself, he refuses to pay for labor. Now, he finds out that the motor needs to be taken back out and fixed again and is looking at another $700. I said he should just sell it and wipe his hands clean, he says he won't make enough.

Firstly, what is your guys' opinion on what he should do? Secondly, how much do you think he could make parting it versus just the whole car as is?

Thanks for your guys' opinions!

The first reply came about 90 minutes later from a long time forum member, whose profile identifies him as a 57-year-old man from California.

You want my opinion? Ok…

Shut the hell up. You're not his wife. You're not paying for the repairs. It's absolutely none of your business what he does with his Jeep or his money. I know your type well… first it's "Sell the Jeep because it's costing too much money." Then it's "No, you can't go spend the weekend with your buddies because I need you to take me shopping." Then it's "Oh gee, honey… I'm pregnant. Gosh, I have no idea how that happened."

You're a DreamKiller. You kill a guy's dreams, take away his future, tie him down with a fat mortgage and too many babies, and turn him into just another miserable guy wondering, "How the hell did I get here?"

Do you really want to help him? Here's what you do… go to your local library (it's a big building with books inside) and check out a couple of books on rebuilding engines. Read them, over and over, until YOU understand what needs to be done. Then help him get that engine out and rebuild it. Tie your hair back in a ponytail, put on some old jeans and get your hands dirty. Hand him wrenches, hold the light, pull the wire connectors apart, help him get the hood off… help him with anything he needs. When he gets tired, run inside and make him a hot lunch or dinner. Fix him coffee, hot chocolate, whatever he wants. (But NO beer. Beer is for when the job is done.)

Then when the day is over and you're both exhausted from working on the engine, push him into a hot shower and jump in with him. Scrub his back, wash his hair, rinse him off, and dry him with fluffy towels still hot from the dryer. Then push him into bed and screw his ears off. Then get up the next day and do it all over again.

Make him realize that rebuilding an engine is a slow and methodical process. Make him realize that every step should be regarded as surgery; every step must be perfect… perfect torque, perfect fit, perfectly clean. If you run into a step that you just can't figure out, ask for help from someone who knows what he's doing. Are you cute? Put on a low-cut top, show some cleavage and go (by yourself) to the local Jeep shop, and explain to the guys that you are helping your boyfriend to rebuild his engine and neither of you can figure out this one little step, and do they have any advice…

Think it won't work? Think again. We guys love to help cute girls, even if they have a boyfriend. (Hey, maybe you've got a sister, or girlfriend…)

But absolutely DO NOT whine or complain. Do not say a single negative thing. Not a single "Oooooo, I broke a nail." If you break a nail, or cut your finger, or bang a knuckle, you just shut up and DEAL WITH IT. You should be a hopelessly optomistic, never-say-die cheerleader, encouraging him every step of the way.

That's my opinion.

The post has now been read more than 100,000 times, and spread across dozens of other forums.


Why? For people who don't understand cars, and for some who do, this sounds like a bad gambler at the blackjack table; if the house has $5,500 of your money, why sink another $700? But it's clear that the boyfriend enjoys that truck enough to have spent the time making it his own, only to have it fail him. It's what we all want when things get tough — unwavering, unyielding support from those we love.

And yet the reply makes assumptions about women straight from an old episode of Falcon Crest. The manifesto writer doesn't know this woman, or her boyfriend or anything about their lives, but assumes she's a soul-draining harpy who just needs to suck it up, regardless of what her priorities might be. Chances are her dreams extend beyond shopping, childbearing and nail care; even if they don't, she alone gets to decide whether they're as important as her boyfriend's.

We left messages for both posters and have yet to hear back. But yes, parting it out will take forever and won't be worth what's been put into it. Like relationships, old Jeeps sometimes need a lot of work to keep going.

(H/t to the multitudes who sent this in) [JeepForum]

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Antti Kautonen

I just bought a 1990 Mitsubishi Sapporo on the phone. It's basically a fully loaded old-shape FWD Galant, except it's really rare. Good job my gf comes from a Mitsu family, so she'll take it easier when it gets crankwalk.