Sunday, May 30, 2010

Car Shopping - It Gives Me the Willies

Knowing we only had a month with a rental, we started the arduous task of picking out two cars. Now that that is past us, I hope we don’t have to car shop for a very long time because just deciding what to buy on a budget and with a deadline was very stressful. We started with a car for me. I had told H before we got back to the States that I wanted to look at the Honda Fit. My friends T and J have one and they’ve loved it. Getting a Beetle would be too sad and the Fit actually has a back seat. After considering a lot of other things, that was what we got. Going to the new car lots, the hard sell was in full force and it really turned me off. I ended up working with a dealership partly because we did the majority of the transaction via email which was a lot more no nonsense. When I did talk to the Salesman, there was something about his accent and a phrase he used that made me think he was from the UK but hadn’t lived there for quite some time.

On the way to the dealership, we were laughing in the car that we were buying a car from Willey Honda. Willie is slang in the UK for male genitalia. When we met our salesman he started asking us some questions about ourselves and I told him that we had just moved back from the UK. He said he could tell by A’s accent. I had the opportunity to ask him where he was from and he told us that he had been born and raised in Cardiff, Wales and had emigrated to the U. S. as an adult. H then shared with him how we’d been laughing at the name Willey Honda. I was absolutely mortified and so was A, not knowing if he was going to think this was funny. When he took us out to the car, he pointed to this cardboard insert that was placed where the license plate will be. It reads “Willey Deal”. He told A that when our plates came in she should take that out and send it to her friends back in England.  Side note, I once said to one of my UK work colleagues that something gave me the willies and she burst out laughing.

As we were waiting for some paperwork at the bank on this car I said to H that this may be the car that A ends up driving and taking to college. He quickly came back with, “No, she’s going to have a Volkswagen wagon like I did”. This was his first car and there was a massive hole in the floorboard. He said one day he took a corner and the pair of glasses he had on the dash flew off and fell through the whole and he never saw them again.

Getting H’s car was the easiest process and made me really love CarMax. He wanted to look at a few of their used SUVs wanting something with 4 wheel drive. There are several ski resorts around that might be good places to work and we’ve been told that 4 wheel drive will come in handy. After a few test drives he decided on a Jeep Liberty that’s a few years old. The whole experience was stress free and pressure free. I highly recommend it.

As we sat and waited for that paperwork to complete I said to H that I am surprised when I think back of the number of cars we’ve had over the years. We got to reminiscing and one car particularly sticks out in his mind, the 1961 red corvair that I fell in love with when we lived in El Paso and had to buy from his friend. I’m gonna plead that a mixture of idealism and post-partum depression probably influenced this decision. This car sticks out in his mind because the lack of safety features and us having an infant, he ended up having to drive it. Needless to say it had its quirks. He said he’d stop at a light and someone would pull up next to him and say, “Hey buddy your car’s on fire” and H would respond, “Aw no, it’s just burning oil”. It was cherry red with new matching red and white interior. What I didn’t remember about that paint job, but H reminded me was that his friend had taken it to Mexico to have it painted and it was still tacky when we bought it so bugs stuck to it. He said it was tacky for months. I remember driving it a few times and at least 50% of the time calling AAA was involved. It cured me of ever having a vintage car since the only way not to have that kind of experience with one is to spend a lot of money and then why not have the modern conveniences if you’re gonna do that?

This weekend is the first weekend that we don’t have to worry about car shopping and boy does it feel good!

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