Sunday, December 17, 2006

Car shopping sucks.

So, here's the thing. I'm a chick. This may mean that I was born without certain body parts. But that doesn't mean I was born without a brain or the ability to perceive when I'm being treated badly. With a lack of respect. Guess what. I'm also conscious enough of my buying power to walk away from a car dealer who doesn't treat me well. I'm walking onto your lot with cash. Cash. I'm not financing. It's not a "maybe" deal where I may or may not get financing. But, even if I wanted financing...I'd get it, dammit.

So, you've got a guaranteed sale with me. No car - written of. Insurance CASH, and a need for 4 wheels and a motor. Yet, you can't look me in the eye. You look to the guy with the penis to make the decision. To tell you what I'm looking for in a car. And I walk off your lot determined not to return. Or, even worse, as you hand me a card, you're watching your next victims walking into the dealership and you don't even bother to shake my hand because my cash budge is too low for you to bother with.

Guess what. I'm not coming back. If I do, I'm not buying from you and I will tell the sales manager why. You won't get your precious commission from me and I requested your card so I can specifically tell people who NOT to deal with.

sigh. So here I sit. Frustrated by the chauvanistic attitude displayed by so many salesmen. Hurt that because I'm just a chick, I'm expected to go in and want "the blue one" without caring about performance, price and quality. I'm ignored. bah.

Yet there's a bright point. Well, ok, not in purchasing a car. Not in the pain from the darned accident. Not in the loss of a vehicle I wanted and liked. Certainly not in weekly massage appointments to try to fix me.

But in J. I was warned that everything is an illusion. It's not. He's used his car to drag my butt around this city many times in the last week. He's helped me do research. He's agreed when car salesmen treat me like crap. He's been there for me when it has to be a heck of an inconvenience for him. He's listened when I've said "k, I'm done car shopping today. One more dealer and that baseball bat in the trunk is gonna have some blood on it."

He's humoured me as I search Saskatchewan for cars. Calgary. Red Deer. I've driven Subaru, Hyundai, Toyota, Dodge and Mazda. Gotta say, the Dodge Magnum could be fun. Out of my price range, but fun. He's hugged me as we wandered lots in the freezing cold. I'm sure he'd rather have been with his dog than freezing his butt off while I hummed and hawed about one more vehicle.

I've narrowed it down. Subaru, Toyota Forester or another Pontiac/Chev. The first two are obvious. The last... well. If I replace my car, I can do really well with what the ins. co. gave me. Really well. Like, come out ahead. Odd, since few lots have more than one of the old body style Grand Prix and many have relatively low kms - like my car.

But, it seems a common problem for the 3.8L to need work around 55,000 miles or what I was getting close to on my grand prix - perhaps this happened for a reason? Tranny work, head gaskets, etc. Did I really want to deal with that? Heh, no more than I want to be buying a new used car right now.

Do I go further in debt, or take the money, buy something to get me through the next 5 years and pay off my debt? Ahh, adulthood and the decisions to make. So many people whine about pontiac, but they have good ratings. The body style I had is hard to find used. But do I chance doing major repairs in the next 5 years? Or do I try something with a better quality reputation? Tough call.

I don't have a car. I can't go home for Christmas. I can't get out to see my friends. How much do I want to ask J to drive around this city for me. I've already asked so much and he's done it without complaint. He'd do it. That isn't a problem. The problem is I don't like having to ask. As it is, he's taking me to the airport to go to Ottawa. Then picking me up. Add to that he's in pain. And I"m feeling a lot guilty about the whole thing.

I wanted him in Ottawa with me. I hate the thought of another birthday alone. A lot to ask of someone though. "Hey...wanna spend $1000 to go to Ontario and sit around while I'm in training?" Doesn't make a lot of sense. I know he wanted to be there. Nothing I can do, or he can do, to change the situation. When I plan to be dating someone for those big days, I'm alone. When I plan to be single, I end up alone when I should be with someone.

Illusions. The only illusions were the promises made by others. This situation has shown J to be more than understanding. More than accomodating. He doesn't take over the car purchasing and when asked his opinion says, "not my car." Making it clear to the salesman that they need to deal with me. Only once did he take over and it was when I had a headache and really wasn't fully functional.

Headaches. I get them daily now. Never had them before. My hip hurts. My shoulders hurt. My back hurts. Even my hip flexors hurt. And my lower back is tense enough that it's pinching the sciatic just enough to hurt all the way down to my knee.

****Caution: Rant ahead.****

I want my life back. My car. My independance. I want my life, my body and J to be back to the way they were. No pain. Car not written off. I want to be able to sleep and curl. And sit for more than a couple hours at a time. I don't want to be spending my pre christmas time shopping for cars. I don't want to miss Christmas with my family. I hate relying on someone else to just get groceries or a trip to costco. I don't want to be considering debt because I want a car with a better history of quality since I'm now buying used and chancing it warranty-free. I don't want to fill out forms proving I'm injured enough to have insurance cover my stupid treatments. I don't want to need massage just to get through a day.

I want my "piece of crap" Pontiac. I want to be able to do what I love. I want to be able to get into a car without moaning in pain for christ's sake. I want to watch my nephew open presents Christmas morning and play with him. I don't want some post-Christmas shopping trip with my family because I just couldn't make Christmas. With Dad and D helping me pick out cars while Mom and S want to go shopping and C drives my cats crazy because they're moving stuffed toys.

I want to be able to work all day without having to move every hour or so because of pain and stiffness.

I want my life back. Really.


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