Adventures of Alyssa in a Car Dealership
(A True Story)
or: How to Not Buy a Car in an Ungodly Amount of Steps
Step 1: Realize that your beloved old Stella is on her way to the big parking garage in the sky. Set yourself a deadline to replace her before you need to renew her registration in November.
Step 2: Make your mind up 15 different times about buying vs. leasing and what kind of car you want.
Step 3: Remember how your little sedan got stuck in the snow three times in one week last winter, in addition to every other close call. Decide on a pre-owned small SUV because mama's ballin' on a budget and also because your brothers will yell at your if you buy new again.
Step 4: Set your heart back on the car you've wanted off and on for the past eight years.
Step 5: Tell both your brothers what car you want and have them instruct you to get a different one. Ignore advice. Talk at them until they change their minds and offer you the advice you want to hear.
Step 6: Spend a half hour on cars.com and email 15 different dealerships within 30 miles with the car you want on the lot.
Step 7: Ignore most of their automated response emails until you get one from the dealership .6 miles away from your office.
Step 8: Go there after work, ready to buy, without telling anyone, including your car-enthusiast uncle who lives two miles away and who would kill you for buying a used car without him driving it first.
Step 9: Meet with a salesman who resembles a Hispanic hobbit and never tells you his name. Glance at his ID badge, giggle, and refuse to say his name out loud because it's a euphemism for the male organ of love and because you have the maturity of your best friend's four-day-old baby.
Step 10: Endure the most awkward small talk ever while HH forgets how to spell "Ford" when taking information on your potential trade-in.
Step 11: Go for a test drive having barely talked car with HH at all.
Step 12: Have the following conversations on said test drive:
HH: So what do you do?Step 13: Return to the dealership as HH tells you, "You're not that bad a driver! Just a little." Reassure yourself that you're a good driver, especially for being born and raised in NJ.
Me: I work in publishing.
HH: What do you do there?
Me: I'm a writer.
HH: Really? Like, really? You actually write the stuff?
Me: Yeah, I'm a writer.
HH: I've never met one of those.
HH: (Referring to my current vehicle) (Incredulously:) How did you end up in a two-door?!
Me: I was 18 and I thought it was cute and I wanted it?
HH: Dumb move!
Me: (Trying not to make the ride more awkward:) I tend to be the one driving whenever we go out so yeah, it's a little inconvenient trying to maneuver people into the backseat.
HH: Yeah especially when you're all drunk!
Me: Well I'm usually the one driving because I don't really drink all that much and don't get drunk.
HH: Hah, you suck.
HH: You go to the city at all?
Me: When I'm in the mood for it. I love having it at arm's reach but I haven't been in much lately, just haven't had much reason to.
HH: Yeah you don't look like you go clubbing.
Me: Okay. [Because that's literally all there is to do in NYC, I guess?]
HH: You snowboard at all?
Me: No, never tried. Want to give it a shot eventually though.
HH: You should, but definitely get drunk first. It's more fun that way.
Me: Sounds like a good way to get hurt when you don't know what you're doing on a snowboard.
HH: Nah, it doesn't hurt that bad.
HH: So will you show me something you've written?
Step 14: Hand over information on your trade-in. Assume HH has scampered off to the appraiser, but remain unsure because he didn't tell you where he was going when he got up and left.
Step 15: Browse Reddit on your phone for 20 minutes while you sit at his desk alone. Drain your battery to 39%.
Step 16: Tell yourself if he hasn't come back in five minutes you're getting up and leaving.
Step 17: See HH return four minutes later. As he writes your information down again and gives you no answers, sit quietly.
Step 18: Roll your eyes as HH says, "All the other guys keep asking me if you're a model." Ask why. Hear, "Because of the way you walk. And look at you*!" Laugh uncomfortably. Hear, "These guys, ya know?" Give yourself a migraine with the intensity of the ensuing eye-roll.
*Swear to god, not a humble brag. It was ridiculous. I mean, I'm 5'4. Show me a model shorter than 5'10 and I'll show you a liar. XP
Step 19: Remind HH of the numbers you told him in the car of how high you wanted to go with monthly payments.
Steps 20-25: Have HH run back and forth between you and "the bank" (?), each time returning with numbers that are not in the same ballpark as what you said. Inform him each time that the right price is more important than driving something new home today and thank him for his time as you try to leave.
Step 26: Have HH come back one last time with his manager, who you thank and tell you're not buying a car today. Inform them that you're aware they did what they could, but you're not making this big a change of plans on five minutes notice. Stand up and try to leave.
Step 27: Have manager try to talk you into leasing a new and completely different car when you've already said several times in no uncertain terms that you don't want to lease and that you don't want to buy new. Remind them also that, as you said earlier, you have no problem not buying today because this is literally the first car you've looked at and you're not going that far outside your comfort zone without looking down different avenues first.
Step 28: Have manager tell you he's going to call you every day this week.
Step 29: Have HH wink at you as he hands over his card and cell phone number.
Step 30: Leave with Stella and go to Chipotle because it's National Guacamole Day and and remember that you still have a month and a half until your self-imposed November deadline.
Happy Hump Day.