The marriage race

The marriage race

The marriage race

This is humorous look at the lengths people will go to to find a marriage partner and compares it to the preparation needed to win a motor race. Both can be difficult.

The marriage  race

For some girls, at the top of their game, the race to find a high status husband is a serious and all consuming matter. Like ballet dancers, footballers and even racing drivers, natural talent is one thing, but training has to start young or you do not stand a chance in the upper levels. Not only that but the season when you are at your peak is relatively short and sweet. No time or advantage can be lost.

The motor racing Grands Prix is one of the best analogies for this. Cars, and their drivers, as they line up on the grid, do not look very different from each other, to the untrained eye. Differences in style and bonnet colour perhaps, that’s all. The truth is there is world of difference between those on pole position and those stuck at the back, or even in the pits. This is both on the outside and in what is under the bonnet.

Your front running cars have no expense or time spared on them. They are engineered and polished to within an inch of their lives. They are considered perfection by the standards of today. Any minor flaw is rectified as soon as it is identified. There is also a team of people continually looking to improve their performance. It is the same with girls in this category, they always simply shine. Designer clothes, spa, personal trainers et al abound. Cosmetic surgery enhancement, or at least Botox and fillers are not unknown. Body work (usually breasts) are routinely re engineered to meet the standards of today.  It is worth mentioning that particularly classy examples of the marque do not necessarily  need all the above  if they have a good pedigree. They are naturally at the front anyway.

The mid field runners have some characteristics in common with those at the front, but not all of them. They are not the complete package. Some may have particularly good engines, some have classy body work, some have a high degree of natural talent, but not all of it all of the time. A particularly talented mid fielder may occasionally take pole, or finish with the front runners, but it is generally not the case in any consistent way. Those with real talent who can find the money to upgrade, may actually find themselves eventually near the front, but that is another story.

Those at the back are almost always the perpetual also runs. They are too old to be competitive, too heavy or just last years models.  They have no expectation of winning. All they want to do in the end is not finish last.  This is as true in life as it is in motor racing. It is to their credit that they are still competing, but they are needed to make up the grid.

So the race begins. Unlike motor racing, when no one can move until the starting lights go out, the marriage race often starts very subtly. When do you begin? Too young and you can preempt yourself and even appear desperate. Too late and you can lose the momentum to get yourself at the front. Not only that but a talented rival may just steal your advantage (or clean air and the most advantageous racing line in motor sport terms). You have, however, to be seen to be appreciated, so it is a delicate balance.

The timing also depends on what type of race you are entering. There are the sprints and the full grands prix of 60 odd laps. There is even the long distance road racing, but that takes a completely different approach, not to be covered here. You are entering a sprint race if you are in the race (for footballers, shallow media types or even the odd film star, for example.. These people tend to have short attention spans and put a high premium on surface attraction. They are also easily dazzled by rivals so have to be bagged and held early on. But be aware in this sort of high speed race it only takes a wheel to go off the racing line and you can spin out and into the gravel trap. Rivals have also been known to subtly nudge you off into the barriers.  Once your body work is damaged you are out of the race. Even if you start as part of a team, it is every man or woman for themselves once the race begins.

There is a slightly different approach for those looking to enter a full Grands Prix for the real catches. That is a title, inherited money, landed gentry, rich bankers or even a prince or two. This is much more a long haul and you have to be at the front, with enough fuel left to do a victory lap, when the long race ends. Timing is particularly important here, and any new design, or upgrades must be hidden from any possible rivals until just before the race begins. Good ideas will be copied and may be used against you.

Every racetrack and trophy is different and some tracks suit different designs of cars better than others. These vary from classic out of town tracks and tight and exciting city street circuits. Day time races and dusk to dark races. There are those climates in which heat is a problem (causing bad tyre degradation among other difficulties) and those where unexpected rain can change the grid order almost randomly. As in any sports, there is also the home advantage factor. Those that know the circuit best and have the watching crowd behind them, always gain some advantage. In the end though, what matters is finishing the race first but intact. You may get a small trophy and some points for coming second or third, but it means very little in the end. As with life, winner takes all.

It is also important to remember, as you stand on the podium or alter, to thank those that have helped you achieve your victory, and speak kindly of those you have just defeated. Praise their race craft and commiserate with their actual lack of victory. Say, even if you don’t mean it, that you could not have done this without your engineers and support team. Or best friends and manicurists whichever is appropriate. A nod to the sponsors, even if they are only mum and dad, is always appreciated and makes you look good.

In conclusion, it used to be that the main difference between winning a marriage race and a motor race lay in the fact that in motoring the win is only important until the next race when you start again from scratch, but marriage was for life. This is no longer true alas.  As with motor racing is is best to keep your body work up to scratch, your engine tuned and to be on good terms with your sponsors. You never know when you will need to race again.