Monday, March 12, 2007

R.I.P Thomas (b. Nov 2, 1996- d. March 10, 2007)

Saturday I went car hunting with my good friend and car-fanatic, Andrew. I test drove several cars and he helped me narrow down my search, made sure I was asking the right questions and offered helpful advice. As a former car salesmen himself, he knew the general manager at the Pontiac dealership in Franklin, so he made a quick call, and the manager himself walked me out to the lot once we got there along with a really great salesman named Trey.

I leave overwhelmed, I drive several more cars, I get a splitting head ache and we stop so I can get some ibuprofen. I almost walk into a liquor store instead of the gas station store that was next door. Oopsy. Minutes later as I'm driving one of the cars, the most beautiful rainbow appears. God is definitely giving me a sign! Andrew and I drive back to my apartment, and I am just as confused as ever and still have a headache.

On Edmondson pike, right before we get to my street, Thomas starts to violently shake, the lights are flashing on the dashboard, and I don't know what is going on. I don't know if the car is abut the explode and we need to jump ship or What. Andrew assures me it's going to be okay, and to keep driving. I manage to steer the car almost up the apartment complex gate, but the car dies. Andrew begins to push the car barefoot (flip flops don't provide much traction) and a random guy hops out of his car and helps Andrew push. Mr. Stranger, wherever you are, thank you very much! He runs off once I get Thomas steered into a parking spot in front of the clubhouse. A guy who's in my Sunday school class happens to be dropping off a friend who lives in my same complex, and so he comes back and looks at my car with Andrew. I recognized him, and he introduced himself as Nick. Nick and Andrew determine the cause of the death of my vehicle, and perform a basic car autopsy. I threw a rod in my engine. Apparently that's really bad. They use a flashlight and show me shards of shiny metal inside my engine, which apparently you aren;t supposed to be able to see. I am slightly freaking out, but holding it together as i call my dad since I have 2 guys there with me, so I'm trying not to cry!

Pause here in between laughing at the irony that yes, I had been out looking at new cars minutes before my old car died, and recalling the conversation between my dad and me earlier that day when he asks me if I have Thomas all cleaned out, and I emphatically tell him that I'm not going out to buy a car that day, but only to look and get a better idea of what I want, and finally realizing the horrible prophesy that has come true when I joked with friends that I am needing to get a new car before my old one does on me and I'm forced to buy a car out of necessity. Yes, all these are terribly ironic. I swear, I don't make this stuff up.

Nick gives Andrew and I a ride up the hill to my place, and dad meets us at the apartment to start going over our options. I go home with dad and consume several glasses of red wine (for health reasons of course) and start to crunch numbers and figure out exactly what I can afford (thank you Lisa Thompson for that financial worksheet you set up for me months ago!!).

Sunday dad and i go look at a few cars after church. After being pressured by Driver's Way to get the 2006 Pontiac G6 I looked at earlier that day, I go back to their lot and sign the papers to purchase the car. It's one that I liked, but not necessarily the ideal car for me, nor the ideal situation and timing, but I try to convince myself it's a good deal, and a car I can be happy with.

Not so much.

I cry on my way home in my new car. I think the pressure of the past 2 days had finally caught up with me. But I wasn't happy at all with my decision. I felt physically ill, and that carried over to work Monday morning. I left at 11am to go home and work on insurance quotes (another nightmare in itself) and tried to decide if I'm having anxiety over my car dying without being able to give him aproper burial, if it's the new car I'm not satisied with, or if it's just that it's my first big-girl purchase and a lot to handle all at once. I joked with my dad on Sunday that I felt like the Slowsky's because "I felt- rushed."
After making several calls to car dealerships, my dad, and insurance people, I head back down to the Pontiac dealer in Franklin and wheel and deal my way into the car that I've decided I really want. A Kentucky-blue 2007 Pontiac G6. That was an experience I've never been in before, negotiating my way into the car I wanted, but at one point Trey was trying to get me to agree to paying $1.95 more per month.

He said, "come on, it's a dollar more a month."
"No it's not I said," proud of my mad math skills, "it's 2 dollars more a month, and 24 more dollars a year."

He left me for a minute to think about it. Somehow my mind wandered to this summer at the Wilson County Fair when I got mad at the vendors for not selling me 2 fried oreos instead of the prescribed 5 cookie serving size. I tried to make a deal with them and they wouldn't go for it.
"You can make $3 or you can make nothing,"
I told the girl- and I meant it- and as a result I walked away from those Oreos that I really wanted. Surely, I thought to myself on Monday afternoon, that if I can bargain on oreos and walk away when I don't get the deal that I want than I can surely walk away from something as major as a car payment I'm not comfortable with! It's the principle of the thing! So I was firm, and I ended up getting what I wanted!

So as of Monday night, I am now the proud owner of TWO new cars!!! 2 pontiac G6s- one Blue, one white!


Mary Anna said...

I love this story. And I love it even more that you compared deep fried oreos to buying a car. Love it.

emmysue said...

I'm STILL mad at that lady at the Wilson County Fair. Customer Service 101!