Saturday, August 31, 2013

Meet Stella: How Panic Led Me Through a 24-Hour Car Buying Period

“Only 8% of our worry will come to pass. 92% of our worry is wasted. DON'T PANIC”
                                                                 ― Mark Gorman

Thursday, around 5:10 p.m.
Car dies on the way home.  Kind gentleman stops and helps me get it started again.  Sputter, clunk and hesitate all the way home.  It had died a couple weeks earlier with the kids in the car while exiting onto the highway.  Not a good trend.

Thursday, 5:10 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Ponder buying new car.  Do extensive research into new cars vs. used.  Come up with a price I can live with (well, at least one that doesn't actually make my heart stop in my chest). 

Friday, 7:50 a.m.
Car starts and runs fine.  Question sanity.

Friday, around 8:00 a.m.
Email two local dealers to begin the "let's buy a car" dance.

Friday, 8:30-5:00 p.m.
Work to forget about the pain of buying new car.  At various intervals, decide NOT to buy car.  Change mind.  Change mind again.  Curse womanhood.

Friday, 5:30 p.m.
Make appointments at dealers for Saturday.

Friday, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Clean current car for the first time in approximately two years.  Find loads of things that were "missing," including an iPod Touch ("I thought you KNEW it was missing!").  Throw away bags of receipts, straws, old gum, papers, the matches to earrings long ago discarded, Hot Tamales, broken CDs, and cracked reading glasses.  Enlist the aid of Thing 1 and Thing 2 who are truly astounded by the volume removed from the vehicle.

Friday, 9:00 p.m. to midnight
Research tactics on car buying negotiation.  Return a couple of dealer emails.  Rock back and forth, wondering if I know what in the hell I'm doing.

Saturday, 6:00 a.m.
Wide awake.  Rock back and forth, wondering if I know what the hell I'm doing.

Saturday, 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
Pace back and forth through the kitchen, drinking coffee.  Create list of pros and cons in my head.  Talk to myself.  Argue with myself.  Counter-argue.

Saturday, 9:00 a.m.
Phone call with dealer B to discuss financing options, etc.  Sweating begins.

Saturday, 10:30 a.m.
Present myself to dealer A armed with an entire folder of information, including what NOT to do.  Loaded with negotiation tactics and a list of things that I am not to pay for under any circumstances.

Saturday, 10:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.
Examine. Discuss.  Ride.  Try not to be nauseated...not from motion sickness but from the idea of spending ridiculous amounts of money on what amounts to a TOOL.

Saturday, 12:20 p.m.
Make a decision.  Talk myself into more features than I had initially settled on before arriving.  Of course.  Because I'm a sucker.  Negotiations begin.  At one point, the finance guy (a.k.a. "the Bad Guy" 'cause the salesperson was playing the role of "the Good Guy") gives me a bottom line figure on the car I've upgraded myself to.  He asks me what it will take to make me happy.  I telll him if he gives it to me for free I wouldn't complain at ALL.  He laughs (without much humor).  He gives me his bottom line price.  I say "no."  He looks at me, aghast.  "No?"  "Well," I say, "I just don't want to pay that. It doesn't make me HAPPY."  He laughs.  Hard this time.

Saturday, 1:15 p.m.
It becomes evident that we are at an impasse with the car I've settled on.  I pick up my things to leave.  "Wait!" says my salesperson, somewhat in a panic having spent ALL DAY with me at this point.  "What about...THIS option?"  I am presented with a (slightly) used Nissan Pathfinder with almost no miles.  They both look at me expectantly.  We sat back down.  We whittle, cajole and hammer away once again.

Saturday, 1:35 p.m.
The salesperson looks a little rough around the edges and the finance guy smiles.  We shake.  The deal is done.  After they leave the table, panic begins in earnest.

Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
I turn down all the added protections, the gap insurance, the extended warranties, etc. etc. etc.  just as my research advised.  Feeling nauseated, I accept my completed paperwork with trembling hands and climb into my new mammoth (comparatively) vehicle.

Saturday, 4:00 p.m.
My breath comes back a little.  I realize I haven't eaten ALL DAY.

Saturday, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
I pace. I wring my hands.  I down a shot of tequila and the feeling comes back into my legs and arms.  I name the vehicle "Stella" in honor of my very good friend who, when she heard that the mileage on the vehicle was so low said, "Who's been driving that car?  Grandma Stella?"  Stella it is.  Stella is a good name for a car her age.

Present time
Things 1 and 2 are happy.  Thing 1 has banished Thing 2 to the outer realm of row 3 so they can have as much personal space as necessary. They've figured out where Sparky and Mr. McDougal will rest.  It's all good.  Really.  It's all just a part of life.  :)  And life is good.  And we are blessed....every one.

Drive on.

If you like my blog, share it.  Or Like my FB page to get updates.  Or subscribe to the e-mail list.  Or make a comment below.  If you don't like it, well...just try not to hurt my feelings.  I'm sensitive.

No comments:

Post a Comment