Weatherford Democrat


January 12, 2008

She loves the man, but just isn’t a racing fan

By Emma Vandore

Associated Press Writer

MONZA, Italy — Spare a thought for the weekend widow.

If your spouse has a passion — be it for football, fishing or Formula 1 — and you don’t want to lose him (or her) for significant periods of your leisure time, there is only one option: Join him.

That’s how I came to take my ultimate spousal endurance test: a three-day weekend at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, otherwise known as the temple of speed. In a tent.

Donato has a passion for Formula 1, or more particularly Ferrari. In the last 25 years, he claims to have missed only a handful of Grand Prix races.

During race season, which seems to last most of the year, a small portable television is a regular companion, joining us at the table in restaurants, and even once at a wedding.

On a recent romantic getaway in Venice, I was awakened not with sweet kisses — but by the ear-twanging sound of a fast car screaming from the hotel television at 7 a.m.

I’m sure many women — and, of course, some men — can relate.

Sure, we make our adjustments. I’ve learned to tolerate the presence of the television, knowing it’s preferable to Donato’s mood if it doesn’t work. And crucially, I’ve developed an ability to tune out the loud drone of the Ferrari.

But I completely fail to understand the appeal of fast metal — sorry carbon fiber composites — whooshing by so fast you can hardly see the car, and so loud you can’t talk to anyone around you.

“You might think cars are stupid, but you don’t understand,” Donato told me, after suggesting we spend a few days in Monza.

So I decided to try.

It was after midnight when we arrived at the campsite.

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