This past week Jennifer and I went car shopping. Right off I will tell you that I find very few things in this world more painful than car shopping. I hate the process, I hate the whole negotiation part but I would guess the whole root of the problem is that I hate changes to my routine. Because of my intense dislike for the car shopping process I had practiced my passive aggressive tendencies and put Jennifer off for too long. Car shopping is a little like going to the dentist, if you put it off for too long it is even more painful.
One thing I can say is thank goodness for the internet (that is not something I say everyday). We could at least narrow down our search; know what a reasonable price for the new car and for our trade in was, and all from the comfort of our own home. This technological breakthrough eliminated the whole rigmarole of pulling onto the lot, looking at a car while the sharks circled. OK, before I get hate mail from car salesmen out there, I know you have a job to do and it is not a job I would want. Just remember, I am tight, I hate change and I don’t make decisions very quickly.
So after an exhaustive internet search, Jennifer and I found a car that fit all of our criteria and was close to our price range. I made an internet inquiry and got a response back from a very nice salesperson. At least technology had eliminated one of my dislikes about car shopping; I now knew which shark was assigned to me. We made an appointment to look at the car.
The day of the appointment came and we showed up at the lot. An extensive test drive and inspection followed and we were assured that the car was just what we were looking for. This started the negotiation phase. I really wish this could be made easier and less painful. Oh, I know there are people who just love this part. That is not me. Just tell me what you have to have out of your car, what you are willing to give me for my car and either it will work or it won’t. That would be my idea of less painful car shopping.
So after much discussion and negotiation we arrived on a price in our range that was acceptable to the sales manager. I guess I did forget to mention one detail about the day. A severe thunderstorm was moving in, both kids were at different functions, chores were not done and we were going to have to drive back through the storm. I was nervous anyway and this added to it, time spent waiting was spent checking the radar on my phone.
Soon after we agreed on the deal and shook hands, I got a call back from the kids. Isaac was at work and Tatum had made it back home and had chores done. Well, at least that worry was off of my mind. That left me time to think about things like, we just shook hands on this deal, what if the car gets hailed on before we sign papers? With the terms agreed upon, we were ushered into the business manager’s office to sign our lives away.
I am amazed at the amount of paperwork and signatures that go into buying a vehicle. It seems like a fairly simple, straightforward thing but it still requires about a tree’s worth of paper. In the middle of all of this I found myself wondering just how this whole thing could be any more painful or stressful. Then my phone rang. I looked down to see the number was one of my neighbors. I excused myself and answered the call. “Do you have about 30 to 40 cows at your house?” I said I did. “Well, they were out on my meadow.” Question asked, question answered. My stress level just doubled.
That is when I found out he had put them in one of his pastures that did not have cows in it and bordered my place. They were not going anywhere and should not be too hard to get back to their rightful spot. When I returned all of the paperwork was ready to be signed and in a short period of time we were done and walking out to our new car. All we had to do was take the license plate off of the old car and put it onto the new one. That took about a half an hour and would make a great story on its own. The next day we finished up all of the new car buying details, the cows were brought back home and life returned to normal. Well, at least for another couple years.