About two month ago, I embarked on an unintended adventure. On a dark and windy night, I was venturing home from my cousins on a curvy, low-traveled country road when out of nowhere a young buck emerged from the woods. And I am not talking about a young handsome man, I am talking about a male deer. A male deer that emerged from the woods and challenged me to a game of chicken. A game of chicken that neither the deer or my 13 year-old Corolla won.
On that dark and windy night, my faithful old car, Belle took her final ride and the deer became dinner for a very nice man who kept me company at a near by gas station while I waited for my parents to come and pick me up. Thankfully, I was able to brace enough for the impact that I did not lose control of my car and careen off the road, but I was not able to slow down enough to totally avoid the deer.
My battle with the deer was 30 seconds of sheer terror. If you have ever encountered a deer on a dark country road, you have my sympathies. It is a scary experience that you cannot really do anything to control or prepare for it. I am just grateful that I was not going any faster than I was; had I been, my story may have had a very different outcome.
My battle with the deer ended my relationship with my 13-year-old car. And yes, I had a relationship with my car. You can roll your eyes, but I loved my old beat-up car with the side-mirror screwed on and rust growing on the door. I had my car since college, it had taken me to Milwaukee for my co-op, to my first “grown-up” job, on numerous vacations, and had driven me around to countless adventures with friends and family. My car was witness to countless laughs, sing-alongs, and tears.
While my car was old and worn out, but I had avoided buying a new one because life without a car payment was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.! But, after my tangle with the deer, I really began to see how much she was showing her years and that it was past time to up my car game. Having had the same car for years and years, I have never had the adventure of shopping for and ultimately buying a car. Buying a car may not be an adventure to some, but those people I do not understand.
For those of you that know me, you know I am a chronic over thinker and excessive researcher. So, my quest to a new car was probably overly drawn-out (okay, definitely), involving excessive price comparing, budgeting, and reading of reviews. All this followed by test driving – though I think a did a semi-decent job of not test driving too many cars, though you may disagree. 🙂 In total I test drove 6 cars … mainly because I had no clue what I wanted.
Did I want a mini-SUV? A convertible? I have wanted a convertible for years, but it’s not the most practical car. I love mini-SUVs, but are they too soccer mom-ish? Also, they don’t get the best mileage. Should I get a hybrid, a car that is more gas friendly, money friendly, and environmentally friendly? The choices are endless! How is a girl to decide?!
After my exhausting research, I finally landed on the car I wanted and then had to enter into more terrifying research … What features did I want? What is a good price for the car? What dealership did I want to work with? Did I want any extra warranties? Oye! The questions were endless and after deciding on all the feautes I wanted, things only got worse.
Next I had to enter negotiations with the sales man. Long drawn out negotiations. Back and forth and back and forth. Lots of sighing. Lots of “let me check with my manager, I am not sure we can do that”. Followed by, “there isn’t as much markup on this car as others”. Followed by them going off again, and me sitting there and sitting there and striking up random conversation with other customers who were also going through the car buying dance. It’s a painful dance, and a dance that the buyer cannot help but lose.
But after all the back and forth – I made my deal. I think I did a pretty good job negotiating the deal, but I likely did not do as good as I should have done. But any way, I was happy! However … the adventure wasn’t yet done! When I went back to pick up my car, I spent ANOTHER 4 hours on paperwork. It was insane. But at the end of everything I am super happy with my new ride and I foresee lots of fun adventures in my new car.
So what did I buy? I think you deserve to know after making it through this super long and rambling post with me. I ended up buying a super cute red Prius, that I have decided to name her Foxy. And yes, I named my car, how could I have not named her?! Foxy was just too cute to not be named! I know there are lots of great adventures in store for Foxy and myself over the next 13 years.
Hope you and your loved ones had a great holiday season and happy new year!
Talking you soon!