Yesterday I bought my first car.
That's not entirely true; I have bought several cars, but they have always been used cars and there was never much of a "process." This time I went through test driving several cars, figuring out a budget, going over my budget, negotiating with asshole salespeople, poring over invoices and rates and invoice prices. I was asked, "What will it take to sell you this car today," more times than I would like to remember. I repeated "I'm going to think about it" like a comforting, yet insulting mantra. I would nearly spit when I would see the "hard-ass" sales manager making sure I saw him violently shaking his head when the salesman tried to "see what he could do." I could feel myself slipping towards the depths of self-doubt, but I stood my ground.
Yesterday, I reached the peaceful point of resignation where I got the car I wanted at the price I wanted. Hands were shook, papers were signed, and I triumphantly walked out of the dealership as they pulled the car around after detailing it. A brand new silver Infinti G35 sport coupe glimmered with the possibilities that lay in the undulating country roads of Jackson, MS. I could almost feel the surge of 280 horsepower at my command waiting for the second where the roads opened up and the full power of my steed could be unleashed upon the rural landscape. The wild pioneering spirit of the prehistoric natives that laid this untamed land bare surged through my engorged...
"Mind if I drive?" asked Tim, the sales lackey who pulled the car out of the detailing bay.
"Sure..." Tim was supposed to give me a credit slip at the nearby gas station to get the car filled up with the high octane fuel a performance car deserves. He also said it would give him an opportunity to highlight some of the features of the car that I might not have known about. Whatever. As we pulled onto the road, I was able to enjoy being driven around in my new car. It was a beautiful day and I was content. After we gassed her up, I was more than ready to get back to the dealership so that I could drive it myself. Tim bragged about how he had gotten one of the coupes up to 140 on the highway. He was showing me the best way to shift the car up from a stop when he slowed to avoid a log that was in the middle of the road. Time was standing still.
My mood took a drastic turn. I was OK. Tim was OK. Billy, the pimple-faced 16 year old who totaled my new car was OK. I guess, as they say, that is all that really matters. When it came down to it, the fact that Tim was driving saved me from assuming responsibility for the car. I called the deal off that I had sealed not 10 MINUTES earlier. I walked out of the dealership, shaken to the bone and pissed off, but I was assured that I didn't have any responsibility for the car after getting my check back and watching them shred the contracts. My initial exhilaration turned to horror, then dread, then exhaustion. As I climbed into the Jeep, I put my head down on the steering wheel and closed my eyes. I pretended that I was waking up from the nightmare that had been the last 1/2 hour.
"Trey! (running) I just heard about what happened. So sorry about that man. I guess you are in the market for a new car again. What can I do to put you in a new car today?"