When we got to the first of like three dealerships (and ultimately the one where I got the car), the salesman went straight up to Dad and asked him what he could get for him. Dad said, “Well, it’s my daughter, here, who is looking for a car, so you probably want to talk to her.” Thanks, Dad. So the salesman looks at me and asks me what I’m interested in. I don’t recall my exact words were, but essentially, I stood there like a deer in headlights, drooling, and looking like Moe and/or Ron the idiot twins, then I expressed that I wanted a good stereo.
Yes, my IQ and the plight of women’s equality suffered that day, all because of Rose.
Dad just shook his head and took it over from there. As I said, I was fine with that.
Flash forward to 2001. Jennifer and I went car/window shopping. Went to Saturn, just as they were closing, as I recall it, and Rodney, the salesman, spent a couple of hours after he was supposed to be off work, showing me the car that I currently own. I was very impressed by this. Now I know that it was in his own best interests, fiscally speaking, because of the commission he’d get from selling me a car, but still I thought well of him because of it – he also sent me birthday and Christmas cards for the first several years afterwards. Looking back, I don’t recall if I looked at other cars or not, but it ended up with me dragging my daddy to Saturn that weekend and buying me my current car, Baby.
The more perspicacious of you will be sensing a trend or two, here. First, my daddy played a big part in me purchasing my cars; and B) I tend to make decisions quickly. I know what I like and once I see it, nothing else is going to make me happy. I could give you a variety of examples, but that would bore you and drag this blog out.
When we looked at the Neon, we also looked at a Mercury Mystique. Now I really liked the name, but all things being equal, I just didn’t like the stereo. I wanted the Neon. As I said, I don’t recall looking at anything after the Saturn. I knew I wanted it. And it’s been a very good car, I’ve had it eleven years with nary a problem. There was one big repair having something to do with the timing belt? that cost $1900 to get repaired, but then I ended up being reimbursed by GMC because it was later part of a recall, so I don’t count that. The original battery, after 10 years, had to be replaced last year, totally blowing the mind of the AAA guy who came to help me, and there’s been new tires and oil changes and things. I’m not sure, but it might even have the original brakes. I guess I ought to keep track of that stuff, eh? Hmm.. If it weren’t for my 43 year old knees and the fact that between the car being so low to the ground and my legs being so long that I feel like I have to climb out of a hole to get out of the car, I’d probably keep it for longer. I don’t like change unless it has pictures of presidents on it.
Anyway, since I paid off the Saturn, I’ve done my best to put money in savings toward a down payment for a new car, whenever that time came. Yes, there have been other things, like vacation trips to the beach, and the like that some of the money went to, but as of this moment, I have $4,700 in savings. Then, there’s the income tax return. Thanks to my medical bills, mortgage interest, and other deductions I can take for the first time in my life by itemizing, I get everything back this year. Yes, EVERY PENNY. Tee hee!! So, there is another $4,800. My car fund is as flush as it’s ever had a chance of being.
Rose is ready to go shopping. I’ve been looking off and on at the cars on the road, the internet, the paper. And I’d decided that I wanted either a Honda CRV or a Toyota Rav-4. (I would have just got the Saturn Vue, but Saturn up and stopped production of the whole line of cars!) Then there’s the whole new vs. used issue. I tend to waffle. Maybe I’m a snob. Everyone tells me that the reason to go with one of these vehicles is because it’s going to last me for YEARS! Well, I’m thinking if it’s going to last me well into my 50’s, by golly, I want it to be new going into it! I understand the whole depreciation thing intellectually, but in my heart …
I went to the Toyota dealer the other day, to get a brochure. I should have known better, you can’t go into a car dealer, get a brochure and leave. I spent about 45 minutes with the salesman talking about the Rav-4 and fell in love. I know that Dad would have been impressed with the way I've grown, car-wise. I asked perspicacious questions, and if the sales guy said something that I didn't understand, I made him explain it to me. I knew just about everything there was to know about this vehicle, and I was in love. Afterwards, I went to the Honda dealership to see the CRV, but it was only so I could say that I did it. I knew I was getting the Rav-4.
So I had to wait... about a week, plus, for the tax return to show up in my account. I took the afternoon of the next Friday, (this past one) off and intended to go shopping. I was oddly at peace with the whole thing. After signing the paperwork for the Neon, I went home and suffered all weekend with buyer's remorse until I could go back and pick up the car. With the Saturn, my only concern was signing a car loan when I'd only been at my "new" job for 3-4 months. Having been "let go" was still very fresh in my mind.
But now, no problems. I was ready to write that $10,000 check and get my new baby.
Friday afternoon. I go to the dealer and ask for my salesman. He was another thing that I felt good about. I would recommend him to anyone. I'd prayed for a good salesman and I got one. I'd prayed that if this was the wrong thing to do, that they would not have the one I wanted (blue, with a sunroof, were deal breakers), but if it was the right thing, they'd have one. And they did! Now, I could go into a LOT more detail about the FIVE hours I spent there Friday, but you don't want to be bored by it. You want to see it.
So, now, without further ado, I'm happy to present, my new baby...
I have not put the "Rosemary's Baby" plate on it and do not plan on it, at least not for a while. I may change my mind. I've decided that there is comfort in anonymity. Now, I'm going to go get in my car. He doesn't have a name yet, but we're working on that. And go for a drive. Later!