I suppose the male Healey owner, as well as others of his kind, would like to crack the mystical feminine psyche to discover how to best attract, convince and cajole us ladies to see things their way. “Their way” translates to us ladies being cheerfully agreeable when accompanying them to car events.
So once you’ve bribed convinced your woman to accompany you to a car event, the following are tips for her enjoyment of the journey. If you want to be The Big Kahuna, you must promise your woman heretofore unimagined pleasures so she can exclaim with delight to others the marvelous itinerary her man has planned. Translation: Afford her all non-cooking opportunities, extra vacation days and a tour of sure-to-appeal attractions along the way (i.e. antiques, ice cream, chocolate, fudge, wineries, B&Bs). Also, when your woman grabs your arm screaming over the sound of the engine and into the wind, “Oh! There’s a rest stop—right there—to the right—next exit—I really have to GO.” It’s best not to say, “I plan to stop for gas 50 miles up the road. You can hold it.”
Don’t want to scare you, but one little mistake can blow the whole thing. When she says, “Oh look, there’s a historical marker. Let’s see what it says,” don’t try to fake it and give your version of some event that you’re sure took place in 1806, and keep on going. She’ll know. I promise you, she’ll know. One final caveat: Simply agree that the homemade fudge store advertised for the past 20 miles probably really is the best in the state. Swing on in, because if you don’t, there may be hell to pay, and, upon arrival, the car event staff will award you with the “When Momma’s Not Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy” T-shirt. You surely don’t want to jeopardize the potential rewards of the proverbial honeymoon, be it the second honeymoon, 30th or 50th (I shall allow you to ponder how the rewards might differ from the second to the more veteran honeymoons). If you choose to ignore this advice, know that your best entertainment will be tire kicking and simultaneously kicking yourself for a whole four days or so. Just saying.
With even a mere scan of the following car event planning tips, you can be assured of a near effortless task, not only to convince, but to enjoy your woman’s full cooperation of traveling with you in the Healey—always a reliable form of transportation—in 95-degree heat to the event 450 miles away. You can likely avoid or minimize the need to beg (a very unbecoming posture) or bribe (“If you’ll go, we’ll buy the new couch and chairs you wanted for the great room”).
So, to those who have persevered and read on, and who are now humbly embracing the title of grateful gentlemen versus the previous clueless cad, the following are suggestions and comments direct from ladies that should be considered guidelines to event planning. The goal is to create a satisfying car event that excites and accommodates Healey wives’ interests. I can assure you, gentlemen, in achieving this, your rewards would be returned tenfold.
A car event should never be isolated. For example, do not choose a location 28 miles from the nearest town, where there exist only wide expanses of well-maintained grounds, parks with shade trees and room for trailers. You’re saying, “A perfect car event setting!” She’s thinking, “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum have done it again,” as she twiddles her thumbs and gazes at her navel. What is your lady to do?
Now think restaurants. Car events should be in areas that not only offer the ubiquitous fast food chains nearby, but also a range of quaint mom and pop specialty eateries (chocolate/fudge/ice cream shops) and local casual and fine dining options.
Deliver the Unexpected
Car events should include within the hotel a comfortable facility designated for ladies. Call it a Ladies Hospitality Lounge. Elsewhere men can pass the time delivering grunts of approval (“Know whatcha mean about that master paint job!”), grimaces of disdain (“Good gawd! That wiring harness needs upgrading”), rapid eye movements (“I must make, buy or find this part”) or pant-like shallow inhalations maneuvering their Healey on twisting S-curve back roads. The Ladies Lounge can be an interim hideaway where a lady can be part of the event, relaxing, rather than retreating to the isolation of her hotel room.
Let’s think about stocking this lounge with generous supplies of both varietal red and white wines, beer, lemonade, iced tea, sparkling water, cheeses, crackers, veggies, fruit, snacks, dips and chocolate nibbles. Not too far-fetched would be a soft-serve ice cream machine. Let’s add some items like cards (Euchre), Scrabble, an ongoing project like a 1,000-piece puzzle or a computer to show off your Pinterests. Even have a few chick flicks like Dirty Dancing, Pride and Prejudice, and Magic Mike, to amuse and entertain. And how about chair yoga and massages to soothe Healey-sore muscles? No time for a mani-pedi prior to Conclave departure? Look no further than the schedule for nail service right there in The Lounge.
Consider activities offered throughout the week to include topics that pique ladies’ interests. While the men are at their tech sessions, gymkhana and/or funkhana feeding their seemingly insatiable need to learn all about Healeys, play with Healeys and fondle Healey parts, the women can enjoy non-driving events. Examples could include a high tea with fashion show and vocalist, or an impersonator presentation—preferably hunk-like (i.e., George Clooney). Consider “Wine and Canvas” (paint, sip, sample cheese), Decorative Painting (on a glass vase), and even a demonstration on how to grow, arrange and use herbs.
The car show is a prominent part of a car event and is typically scheduled for a good portion of the day. If you want your woman to be there, for goodness sake reserve a venue with nearby shops, pubs and restaurants, a shady park and live music, say from the ’50s to the ’80s. Speaking of music, factor in several evenings featuring live musical entertainment for both foot tappers and dancers. Offer a local attraction in the evening shared with your woman, sans Healeys. If a scenic, navigable river is near the venue, consider a dinner cruise experience aboard a riverboat. Surely this would be of mutual pleasure shared with others above or below deck.
“Well, I’ll be darned, Healey Honey, aren’t all these designed-for-ladies activities and accouterments a description of the 2016 Healey Conclave?” It is a near guarantee, sir, that you will be relieved of concern to keep your woman in her happy place. We, the Conclave planners and minions, want this event to please you and her. In effect, you will be allowed to imbibe large quantities of beer and spirits while interfacing with your male friends and cohorts inspecting, replacing, repositioning, polishing, massaging, refining, admiring and… (fill in your own Healey ritual). In the meantime, your woman will enjoy shopping, entertainment, refreshment and relaxation/spa-like choices. She’ll be able to connect and converse with others of her gender in a climate-controlled setting versus hotter-than-Hades parking lots. You’ll be worry-free about her time and enjoyment at the event, as well as your need to entertain her with activities that take you way off your Healey track. You’ll be able to freely engage, in a near timeless manner, the always challenging but grand Healey marque we all celebrate. She will be all smiles as well.
Gentlemen, if you were persistent readers, making it thus far, the ambience of The Lounge may sound appealing to your own senses, piquing your curiosity to check it out (in particular, the soft-serve ice cream). Perhaps you’re envisioning a provocative Theda Bara Cleopatra-like scene with ladies languishing on chaise lounges in ravishing strategically-adorned dress, wearing brightly gilded serpentine headbands and bracelets that climb their forearms…
Of course, permission to enter would be required, and approval would be on an individual basis with group consensus. After all, it is the Ladies Hospitality Lounge.
So ladies, come cavort with us! Join your man for destination Ohio River Valley Healey Family Reunion 2016 on June 12-17, 2016. We’re catering to you!
By Cindy Loos
Ohio Valley Austin-Healey Club