A passion is like first love, undeniable and unexplainable. It is something whose mere mention lights up the eyes and ignites a wide smile. A child without a passion is emotionally unhealthy while an unhealthy adult needs to find one. Objects of passion can be largely gender driven, for whatever reason, in the sense that 950 out of a thousand people of that gender and 50 people of the opposite gender share it, more or less. Clearly, there are special items of passion, small in numbers of passionatos but great in terms of their intensively, like those who love restoring windmills (yes, such groups exist) and collectors of specific animal figurines. At the same time, there are universal items that mainly light up either men or women.
For example, most women love desserts with cream. Men do enjoy such desserts but they don’t go starry eyed. It appears that women get adrenalin rushes just from seeing them. Whether a mille feuilles or cheese cake, the more cream, whipped or not, the better. Big boned or petite, there is always room in the heart of a woman, not to mention her stomach, for a tasty creamy patisserie. It is unclear why a dainty slice of cake is irresistible but a no less creamy ice cream is not but the latter can be ignored while for the former must be worshipped, at least as far as I have observed. Call it hypnotic or whatever you like.
The male equivalent of love at first sight is the simple ball. Even before there is peer or parental example or pressure, upon seeing a ball of any size, 98% of boys react by wanting to interact with it in some way, kicking, holding or hitting it to the best of their ability. Tellingly, this instinct never dies. 80-year-old men, encountering a stray ball rolling in their direction, immediately line by their body for a proper corner kick even if, alas, the body (and kick) are suffering from not a little rust. No matter, no male can ignore a ball even if the fact that he is wearing a suit and tie prevents him from acting on the urge. I can’t think of any evolutionary benefit to this instinct but not everything has to have a purpose, right?
In terms of transportation or fascination, shoes seem to have a hypnotic effect on women. Regardless of the number of shoes they may or may not have, almost no woman can resist looking at the shoes displayed in a store window. Since I cannot read minds especially those of the opposite sex, I have no idea what exactly they are thinking as they examine the pairs. However, it cannot be denied Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Johnny Debb together on their best days are no competition for a pair of leather boots. I imagine that there are women that are apathic to footwear, but I have not met any.
By contrast, men, especially American men, have had a long romance with cars. I don’t know how they reacted to their horses before automobiles were invented but I do know how most men (not me in this case) relate to their car: they anthropophyte it. Specifically, they select their vehicle with great care, comparing all relevant and irrelevant features. This is contrast with most women, who primarily care about its color, safety and gas efficiency. They maintain, clean and protect it religiously and are personally wounded if the love of their life is scratched at a parking lot. In secret, they look at advertisements and videos of coming models and dream of owning a Ferrari or Lamborghini. That such diamonds are far beyond their means does not reduce their pleasure as the mere thought of driving one is a high while an actual chance to drive one of those gods is better than sex. This love of cars, the more powerful the better (it takes a bit of effort to get excited by a Fiat Uno), could be just part of a power addiction but what difference does it make.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not mocking the human species. As I wrote above, it is far better to have a passion, no matter how ridiculous, than to lead a humdrum life without sparkle. My personal passion, I confess, is Balkan dancing. The sound of a triti piti or kopenica make me forget any worry that I have. However, I also admit to enjoy playing tennis maybe because there is, yes, a ball involved and trying to sound more knowledgeable about cars than I really am because I am supposed to be. However, cakes and shoes are fine but no more than that. In any case, vive la passion.