Well my vacation is over. It’ll be kind of nice to return to work tomorrow. The vacation didn’t go exactly as I planned. Some good things happened, some frustrating.
Oh first, last Friday I had to pick up my car from the mechanic’s. He worked on my exhaust system, if I remember correctly. I had to walk, but on the way there I heard someone calling my name. I looked up and realized that it was my friend, ElFid. They live out of state now, and were just in town for a few days. I had no idea about their plans, but the timing was perfect! They gave me a lift to the mechanic’s and made sure I could pick up my car that day.
That Saturday after shopping with my mom and having lunch together, I made it home in my freshly-repaired car and found out that my friend Ksra and her husband wanted to gather some people together (including her visiting sister ElFid) and meet at a restaurant in the next town. Ksra had a baby girl back in July, and this would be my first time meeting her daughter! Incredibly, painfully cute. We passed the baby, dressed head to toe in pink, across the table, each one of us getting a chance to hold her until she started to whimper impatiently. Good times. :)
Sunday….well I can’t remember doing much on Sunday except sleeping in a bit. I thought a lot about the idea my mom had, which was to have my brother help me look for a new car on one of my vacation days and on a day he didn’t have to work. He had offered a few times to help me shop around for one, so I thought I should take him up on the offer. I just really didn’t want to spend my vacation looking for one. I was torn….Until that Monday.
On Monday, I was so excited because it was time for choir to start back up after our break. I was on my way to the church when my brake light went on, as if it was shouting at me. When that light comes on, or really when any of those dashboard lights blink on, my anxiety spikes up. Especially anything to do with the brakes, though. It’s one of my greatest fears while driving that my brakes will suddenly stop working. With a forlorn, frustrated sigh, I turned the car around and pulled it into the mechanic’s lot. Thankfully the shop is within walking distance of my apartment. I told him to be gentle, because I was intending on buying a new car, but to please look it over and give me an estimate.
I spent the next day waiting for the mechanic to call me with an estimate. I watched an episode of “A Haunting”, and my nerves were wound up just right. I was concentrating on the show when something made a noise in my apartment. It freaked out Skittles, so she dashed under the bed, and my heart went into warp speed. I have a handle suctioned onto the tiles in the shower, and the thing became unsuctioned. That’s what produced the noise. I was keyed up about that, and then I decided to call the mechanic to see if my car had been checked out yet. It had, and the estimate wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Whew. I picked the car up that night, wondering what other drama it would throw at me.
My brother and I went car shopping the next day. I was nervous, it’s not like buying regular things, you know? Lots of things to consider, especially the price. The first dealership we went to, I almost felt like I had to apologize for my brother. He wouldn’t let anyone talk us into sitting down to go over financing, he wanted to move on to the next dealer. I did manage to give some info to one of the salesmen. We saw cars from Hyndai, Subaru, Volkswagen, Kia, Nissan, Ford and Honda. Each visit deflated my spirit more and more, until I didn’t believe I would ever afford a new car, that I would have to keep driving my unstable car forever, or I’d have to give in and buy another used car that would smell like either smoke or wet dog.
The next couple days were kind of a blur, mainly because allergies were kicking my butt. I was sniffly, sneezy and had a tickle in my throat that kept causing me to cough. I just wanted to curl up and hibernate for a month. Oh and I stubbed the pinky toe on my left foot earlier that week, so that was giving me grief. Then later on that week I hit the same toe. Ugh. I was a mess. Nothing broken, though.
My mom volunteered to help me look for cars on Saturday. We went to the dealership my brother and I visited first. I made an appointment with the guy I got the card from, and he was really cool and wasn’t pushy. I reminded him of the kind of car I was looking for, so he picked out a few and we took them on test drives. He asked me if we could have the Ohio State game on in the background. I don’t get football; never have, probably never will, but we did listen to the game.
It was a long day of negotiating, though, to get a deal closest to what I wanted, and I stood my ground through most of it. The service manager thought he could talk me into going higher on my payments or learning how to drive a stick shift. No means no. My mom even snapped at him to get to the point when he was delaying the fact he wanted us to negotiate more. He threw out the line, “Hey, I’m on your side!” Then give us the freaking deal, man. The sales guy we had been dealing with didn’t even like the service manager, and we could see why. After he realized I couldn’t and wouldn’t bend, he disappeared. My original sales guy finally came back with a smile on his face and said, “Well you dealt with the devil and you won! Nice job!” He shook our hands and then we were finally able to get the paperwork started. At the end of the day I leased a 2010 Hyundai Elantra. I call it “Secret Service Black”. Check out my baby:
It’s so nice and it didn’t take too long for me to get used to driving it. Even better, it has a CD player and a jack for an MP3 player! Woo hoo! I don’t have to mess with cassette tapes anymore! I did leave a mixed cassette tape in the deck of my old car, but I’m not going back for it.
The thought of trading in my old car actually made me emotional even before I had picked out a new car. I don’t know why, except that I had paid that car off with my own money and it was all mine. But that’s the only thing I can think would cause me to cry over a vehicle that was threatening to dissintegrate at any moment. So on the day I decided on a car, there were no more tears. My old car did look a little lonely and deserted, though. They appraised the car and that baby was worth $800. That money went towards my down payment. It made me feel good and kind of smug, since my brother doubted it would be worth anything. Everyone else figured that $500 would be all I’d be able to get.
It seemed that all of the sales people were selling cars that day, and I heard the service manager whistling a happy tune. The guy who handled my finances was really nice, too.
Today I went over to my mom’s place, and the two of us kind of looked over our finances and discussed ways to save money during this time. I will survive. God bless the dollar store. :)
That was my vacation. It was kind of exhausting. Not terrible – nobody landed in the hospital, there weren’t any fires (knocking on wood). I have a new car, though! The exhaustion paid off.
How was your weekend?