wheels and deals

by Bella Rum

car_8We need a new set of wheels. There’s nothing I hate more than buying a new car except going to the dentist. No matter how I look at it, drilling my tooth or drilling my bank account, it’s painful.

After weeks of talking about it, we finally started our search yesterday. I knew it was rainy and cold, but I didn’t know it was that raw kind of cold that seeps into the bones and takes up residence. I believed I would be fine in a knit top, a pair of those stretchy, comfortable old-lady pants and a lightweight, hooded slicker. I was wrong. The thin slicker offered no warmth whatsoever and was little more than a gesture toward the slanting rain.

As we followed the car salesman around from car to car, I dreamed of other things I could be doing, things that would be more fun than buying a car: having that scaly thing removed from my left hip, getting another injection in my eye, prepping for a colonoscopy, sitting through Barbarella… twice. I told H I couldn’t do more than two or three dealerships in one day. Oh,  how optimistic I was. I barely made it through one parking lot before my head started rotating Linda Blair style.

We only looked at two cars at one dealership.

Prices, fuel efficiency stats and options all floating around in my head almost brought me to my knees. I couldn’t retain anything. I must have seemed like a shut in,  oohing and awing over all the pretty, little things. “Ooh, look at that? Wow.” This over the navigation system. We haven’t bought a new car in over ten years, and I didn’t have a clue about all the new doodads. I was wowed out of my socks. We both hate buying new cars and car payments, so we drive our cars until they are wheezing and buckling at the knees. Financial gurus back me up on this wait-till-it-leaves-you-in-a-ditch approach to buying a new car. That last sentence was a little defensive, wasn’t it? And it does nothing to express my true affection for my old car.

My brother and sister buy new cars every three years if they can stand to wait that long. It takes me three years of talking about how much we need a new car before I can even think about dragging myself to a car dealer. I just can’t do it. It isn’t my thing, and I abhor a car payment more than an ugly rash. I don’t even begin to like my car until about a year after I’ve made the last payment. Then my love for it grows more and more each year. By the time I’m forced to call someone to haul it away, I’m left prostrate by my grief. Okay, I’ve only had one car hauled away. No, that’s not right. Two. I’ve had two towed away. One was removed from my driveway, and the other was hauled from the service station where it, unceremoniously, left me stranded.

We will eventually find something, but I will not enjoy the process. Not one bit. Bad attitude, I know, but that’s the way it is.

Any suggestions on what we should buy?