I wouldn’t know, as I’ve never had the opportunity to drive my dream car. That being said, I would imagine it would be somewhat like the time I got to date my dream girl. It didn’t work out the way I had expected.

Many people will spout the old adage “never meet your heroes, they’ll only disappoint you.” I couldn’t agree less. When you meet your hero or your dream girl or your dream car, there is a very high probability that you’ll be disappointed in some way. But it’s not them that are disappointing you - it’s you. You are literally disappointing yourself. To top it all off, in a sense, you’re also disappointing them.

You see, when we view someone or something as a dream whatever, we project upon them a set of expectations that fit our own mental schema, our own way of thinking and perceiving the world and our interactions with it. When we do so, we get so caught up in this fiction that we’ve spun that we often lose our ability to maintain any sense of objectivity, or realize that the way that we view others may not be the same way that they view themselves or that others view them. We fall in love, so to speak, with the idea of what we want them to be, rather than the reality of who or what they are, and become incapable of seeing them for what they really are (or in the case of a person, what they want to be seen as).

They didn’t put those expectations on themselves. You put it on them, and when those expectations aren’t met, it’s not their fault - it’s yours. You disappointed yourself by establishing expectations without any basis in a reality other than your own mental schema. In turn, when they realize that you’ve put these expectations on them that they can’t possibly meet, and consequently demonstrate an inability to see them as they truly are, you disappoint them as well.

When I finally got the chance to date Sarah... she wasn’t what I expected or, honestly, wanted. She was something entirely different. She was herself. She was the person that she wanted to be and expected herself to be, rather than the person that anyone else might expect her to see. When I fixated on that difference without really understanding it, it disappointed her - and rightly so. It took me a while after I had already wasted my chance to realize that, and to realize that who she really was was just as wonderful. A day late and a dollar short, unfortunately.

I imagine I would probably have a similar reaction to driving my dream car. I would look at it, and want it to be so many different things based on all of the little fictions I’d built around it and what it would be like to own it; things it couldn’t possibly be. I would drive it, and I would find myself disappointed with the fact that it wasn’t all of those things. I think, though, that this time around, I’d be conscious enough to realize why I felt the way that I did. I think that I would be able to recognize and separate out my own unrealistic expectations, let go of them, and learn to appreciate the car around me for its own strengths and vices.

At least, I think I would. If anyone has a 2004-2007 Aston Martin Vanquish S and would like to toss me the keys for a bit, I’d love to find out.