When a man purchases an expensive sports car, he is often one of two things: cheating on his wife or about to.
That’s what Bill Gates was allegedly doing, according to recent reports, when he’d drive to work in his relatively unassuming Mercedes, then have an employee drop off his golden-brown Porsche to use later. Naturally, as a source told Vanity Fair, “We all assumed that it was when he was with women.” After all, an employee claimed, “there were many off-site meetings that were not on his calendar.”
Of course, there are those who deny the rumors, claiming Bill Gates has always been far too busy for extramarital dalliances and suspicious offsite meetings, though the truth is no man has ever been too busy to cheat on his wife if he wants to. It’s a sleazy story, but it’s easy to believe. Even if it’s not true, it’s only natural that Gates’s employees might assume a powerful man swapping out his Mercedes for a flashy Porsche midday was en route to something illicit. A fancy sports car is a symbol almost as engrained in our cultural infidelity narrative as lipstick on a white collar or a whiff of another woman’s perfume. A sports car is something a man buys to cheat on his wife in, or at least to fantasize about cheating on his wife in. He buys it to pick up younger women from their college dorms or tiny apartments and ferry them off to some fancy hotel for an illicit weekend getaway, and maybe she’ll even blow him right there in the car on the way.
A man doesn’t need a nice car to do any of these things, of course. A shitty car does not a faithful husband guarantee. A husband or boyfriend or father of your children can still pick up a mistress for a secret weekend getaway in a used Honda or a banged up Toyota. He can have sex with her in the back of the minivan you drive to your kids’ soccer practice.
But when the car involved is flashy and expensive, it becomes part of the fantasy. It stops merely being one of the many cogs in the necessarily well-oiled machine of a discreet affair and becomes a third party itself. When a man can conduct his extramarital dalliances in a Porsche or a Jaguar or a Ferrari, he sits outside the college dorm in his unabashedly red affair-mobile waiting for the kind of girl who wouldn’t fuck in him in college to step into the car wearing a black cocktail dress while the only girl who would fuck him in college makes dinner for his kids in the beautiful home he paid for. He looks at the college boys playing ultimate frisbee on an adjacent field who are, of course, staring at him, and he thinks, “They don’t understand now, but someday they will.”
Someday those boys will have fancy cars of their own in which to cheat on their wives, and if they don’t, they’ll wish they did.
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