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Car shopping, how I loathe thee.

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We need a new car. A minivan, to be exact. For the past year, we have squeezed, and I mean squeezed, all three girls into the back seat of our sedan. Strapping them in required expert yoga moves and a hard hat. I actually got a permanent bruise on my arm where I had to pinch it between two seats to get Punkin buckled in. I told my aunt that I was asking God to bless us with the ability to buy a minivan, but feeling guilty for being selfish. She watched me buckle the kids in when I was leaving her house and said something along the lines of: Umm, you know how you’re praying for a minivan? I’m pretty sure that’s not selfish. Because that was just plain ridiculous.

Yoga stance. Or, how to buckle my girls in the car.

Lots of people get super excited about getting new cars. I kind of want to crawl into a hole and wait for the Nerd to say, “Okay, I bought one. You can come out now.” In an attempt to find the reasons for this and avoid doing laundry  discover a way to face my fears, I’ve spent some time thinking it over and have thusly come to several conclusions.

  1. Our budget is way too small to get excited about. Small enough that even the thought of needing a new car makes my eye twitch. Small enough that when we asked someone if their dealership had any minivans under a certain amount, they laughed. Literally. I laughed too. Because in my mind I was putting them in a headlock. If they don’t laugh, they say something like, “Sure, we can work with that. We have this 1973 Dodge that was used at an H-bomb testing site and has 937,000 miles.” You know what would be really great? If we could find someone to pay us to get a new car. I mean really, we have to put up with your obnoxious sales pitches. It’s the least you could do.
  2. Salesman make me want to either drink a box of wine (yes, you read that correctly. I did not say bottle. I said box.) or run away screaming like the scary man is trying to kidnap me. He’s trying to kidnap my wallet. Same difference. The more aggressive a salesman gets, the more I puff my chest up like some small animal who’s on the verge of being devoured. Have you met some of these salesman? Cannibalism is no small possibility…
  3. I can read. And see. Hence my ability to drive, and my need for a new car. So when you approach me and say things like, “It has 3 rows and two sliding doors,” I have to pretend to be in shock and awe when I’m really thinking, “Huh. It comes with doors? That’s great. How about if you go away now?”
  4. When I told the salesman our budget, this is what he brought out for us.

    Please see number 1. The myriad of fancy features on your newest model is not going to suddenly make my husband get a raise. Here’s how that conversation is going to go: Well, ma’am, this one is a bit more expensive but it comes with a built-in DVD player, 50/50 split rear folding seats, cruise control, ABS breaks, and it burrows underground in case of nuclear attack. Me: Wow. That’s fancy. Where are the cheap cars?

  5. The test drive. I. Hate. The test drive. I’m always a nervous wreck, like I’m 17 again and I’m taking my driving test. So while the salesman sits next to me telling to turn left and go straight and did I know that this car has a built-in MPV46X engine for smooth driving, all I hear is, “Ten and two. Ten and two. Ten and two.”
  6. Possibly the worst part is this: after I made it through all this needing only a light sedative and two or three therapy sessions, I realize we have to do it all over again at the next dealership. Because you can’t just buy the first car you  test drive. Even when your budget is more for a matchbox car than a real car.
Don’t get me wrong. The thought of owning a minivan makes me want to put my hair in pig tails and run through a field of wild flowers singing a song about being free. Free to fit all my kids in the car safely. Free to buckle them in without having to perfect Bikram yoga stances. Free to go another 200,000 miles without having to talk to a car salesman. And by then, we’ll totally be able to buy a real minivan. Not just the collectible kind.
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About Mediocre Mom

I am a wife to the man who was made for me, and mom to three amazing girls: Punkin is eight, Goo is four, and Smush is two. I'm a Christian, a science geek, and completely addicted to coffee. Trying to stay sane one day at a time. Lowering the bar for moms everywhere.

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