Wife Wouldn’t Let Him Have It

The title of this post refers to part of the story on the 1948 Indian Chief featured in a post. A prospective buyer’s “wife wouldn’t let him have it”. That is a statement that I hear way too often.

1948 Chief Tank WPGiven the price for the bike, it would be an excellent investment, even if the buyer never rode the bike. It is in good running condition, all original parts (except the lens cover on the front fender, which hardly counts), and there is no blueing on the exhaust pipes, which is an indication that the bike has been in near perfect tune for 64 years. The motorcycle is older than I am and I have likely been running out of tune more often. It could easily be resold for twice the asking price of $25,000. 

I will concede the following point. It is entirely possible that the prospective buyer simply could not afford to buy the Chief, his wife was aware of that fact, and he used the excuse as a way of saving face at California Rider.

But I think it is likely that the prospective buyer’s wife really wouldn’t “let” him buy it. And that is an all-too-common situation. I believe that it is a contributing factor to the high divorce rate. So often one of the people in a marriage believe that  the contract implies that they “own” the other, that the arrangement is a matter of property rather than partnership.

It is quite sad, really. I am writing from personal experience. When I was much younger, I was engaged in a long running battle with my wife over this very point. Another case of misconception. I never got through to her on the property versus partnership concept. I must assume my fair share of the “blame”, since I was apparently not articulate enough to communicate the idea effectively at the time and I went into the contract assuming that it was perfectly clear that the arrangement was one of partnership. It was the biggest problem we had and it lasted for seven and a half years, which was as long as I could stand it. When it became obvious that the situation was never going to change, I left.

I don’t remember ever denying her anything (that may be untrue, since it could be historical revisionism or faulty memory at this distance in time). I don’t remember telling any woman, girlfriend, lover, or wife that she couldn’t do or have something. It is not my place to tell someone that they cannot do or have something. And it is no one’s place to tell me what I cannot do or cannot have.

But back to the purchasing of motorcycles. Since Lisa and I have been together I’ve bought four motorcycles. Each time, I have first checked with her on the financial end of the purchase because I don’t want to burden us with debt that we can’t handle and it is always entirely possible that I might miss the fact, but she wouldn’t. But I have never asked if I could make a purchase and she has never tried to tell me that I couldn’t. That is as it should always have been and always should be…