Well, yesterday was exhausting. But I have now once again achieved car ownership, which means reviews of new movies can return (yaaay!). If that’s all you care about, you can move on from this post comforted in the knowledge that I can review Hindi movies opening night again. If you want more details, read on and I will tell aaaalllllll about it. With songs interspersed as usual.
After a lot of agony, I decided to accept assistance from the Bank of Mom and Dad and get a new-to-me car. This is of course a wonderful thing that lifts a big weight off my shoulders and makes my life so much happier and easier. But it also makes me feel really bad for two reasons:
a) I should be an adult person who can take care of herself and I am a failure if I can’t function without parental assistance.
b) It’s wrong to take money from my parents when there are so many other people/things that deserve the money more. For instance, they could have spent the money on themselves and gone on a trip or bought theater tickets or something. Or donated it to the church, or to a political group, or to a charity.
(This could have been them! Staying at a luxury hotel and enjoying life! Instead of wasting their money on ungrateful children)
But I made my peace with it because:
a) If I wasn’t lucky enough to have a well-funded Bank of Mom and Dad available to me, I really could have managed, by emptying my savings and buying a terrible car, or by getting a car loan. It would have been a lot less pleasant, but I could have done it.
b) It’s their money, and they would rather spend it buying the peace of mind that comes with knowing their daughter is driving a decent car which won’t break down without warning at random moments, and I should respect that choice.
So, funding acquired, it was off to the used car lot! With consultants from the firm of Mom and Dad. Oh, and also Dog Hazel. The plan was to stop by the used car dealerships and then drive on up to the family house with Hazel. So all 4 of us, plus bags and food and so on, loaded into Mom and Dad’s car.
(Dog Hazel did not have a very fun day)
And then we drove to Grandpa’s where we had stored the completely falling apart old car. And Mom and I and Dog Hazel stayed in Mom and Dad’s car while Dad veeeeeery carefully drove the falling apart old car over to the dealership and met us there.
(The last journey of the car felt quite similar to Amitabh’s last journey here. Body broken, going just on guts and spirit)
I’d been talking with a salesman at dealership A, but my meeting with him wasn’t for a while so we had some time to kill. We decided to leave the dying car at dealership A, and drive over to dealership B where they had two much much cheaper versions of the model I wanted.
(We did not sing as we went. For one thing, the car was too full to breath that deeply)
Dealership B was my favorite dealership. A dozen cars squeezed into a tiny lot, you go into the office and there’s three guys sitting behind desks and they just toss you the keys and tell you to go check things out. This is the place to go if you have to buy a car right now in cash. They would probably even cut you a deal if you showed up with your kids and a hard luck story.
(They were also brothers. Essentially, it was the Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi garage with a dozen broken down cars for sale sitting out front)
Mom and Dog Hazel stayed in the car and took naps, and Dad and I went out on the test drives. There were two cars. One had very very high mileage (over 100,000 miles) and a very very low price (under $7,000). And the other just had very high mileage (90,000 miles) and a very low price (under $9,000). They seemed fine, but the consultant firm of Mom and Dad had a strong vote for NOT getting a 100,000 mile car. So we trundled off to the nicer dealership with air conditioning in the office and certified cars and stuff.
(More this kind of place. Only instead of dancers, they were a bunch of a salesman in matching shirts)
At the nicer dealership, we instituted a tag team system. First Mom stayed in the car with Dog Hazel and her book while Dad and I went on a test drive in the nice nice used car with new tires and all the parts replaced that needed to be replaced and only 50,000 miles.
(We did not sing as we drove. Although we did test the radio)
And then Dad went back to the car with Dog Hazel while Mom came out to look at the car and talk to the dealer. And then they switched back again. With the end result of Dad learning everything about the car (every button works, all the caps are on the engine, and the price is slightly higher because it is certified), and Mom learning everything about the dealer (he has worked there for about a year, he used to be an electrician, his best friend from electrician’s school also works there, and he knits).
(Should have asked him if he could knit me Amitabh’s electric suit)
We all 3 of us asked all our questions (Dog Hazel didn’t get a chance, but I don’t know if her questions would have been that relevant), and then we went for lunch and had a little picnic sitting on a curb with Dog Hazel drinking water from a cup. And after much agony during lunch, I finally decided this was the car and we should go back and do it. Much to the happiness of my father who was about to go OUT OF HIS MIND with Mom and my backing and forthing and talking about if it “feels” right.
(Dad also has minimal patience with heroines who just can’t decide between two heroes.)
So then we went back to the dealership and did all the paperwork with the paperwork person. Who, thanks to my mother, I know is in seminary school, is originally from DC, and moved here for school and his girlfriend, and is very homesick. Paperwork finished, we said good-bye to the old car (shockingly, they actually gave it a trade in value).
(What do you think of my car-buying look? Suitably respectable but not wealthy?)
And hello to the new car!!!!!
(It’s black! I’m like a spy or something!)