No matter how many slices I eat, there’s always more.
We pushed forward with car shopping, out of necessity. The special joys of used car shopping with a long list of necessities, a longer wish list, and a limited budget. Conducted under a broiling sun with 95% humidity, to ensure my brain cells didn’t communicate with each other too quickly.
We were on one lot where I swear the salesman was comedian Jon Lovitz. Looked like him, spoke like him, I melted into a chair in the office, clutched my styrofoam cup of water and expected to hear, “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday NIGHT!” Of course, we were in New Jersey, but no matter.
No matter how I searched, where I searched, it turns out my idea of what I should be able to get with my money had no relationship with reality. We found a car, were treated well by the dealership we bought it through, but it has more miles on it than any used car I ever purchased. I’m trying to remind myself that the expected life span of engines/mileage is much higher than it used to be.
I thought I was too old for this. Too old to go back to the days where I’d buy something when I wasn’t 100% confident the vehicle would get me from Point A to Point B without question. At first I thought our budget was enough to buy one of those lovely used vehicles that are termed “previously owned.” You know, about two years old, just turned in at the end of a lease. Then I thought, ok, we can get something a few years older, but we’ll be able to get something that has ALL the bells and whistles, maybe 50,000 miles on it. Oh, Mrs Fringe, you foolish, foolish woman.
Given the realities, I think we did ok. Several of my fish freak friends are also car buffs/mechanics, and they think I did ok, but wow. Those little ice picks through the forehead that remind me of my continuing path of downward mobility don’t stop puncturing my brain.
Buying the car was a two day process. We looked, I sat–yes indeed, with the little back problem I’ve got, top of my list of necessities was how the seats felt and whether or not there was lumbar support–test drove, sat more, looked more, went off site and had a discussion, went back and talked more, began the process, inspection and negotiation of our car for trade in value, went home to NY and got Flower Child and Nerd Child, brought them back to NJ, paperwork, call the insurance company, blah blah blah, “oops, forgot our title.” We agree to bring it back in the morning, leave a separate check for a missing title in case we’re scammers.
Went back to NJ yesterday (the car does ride nicely, everything seems to work, and it’s cleaner and prettier than it ever will be again) with the title, children, and mother in law, deal with the other miscellaneous forgotten bits of buying a car. I swear I don’t remember this ever taking so many, many hours in the past. While we’re waiting for…something, I check twitter, and see a breakdown of how many of each category (middle grade, young adult, new adult, adult) pitches have been selected for the contest I entered. Not looking hopeful for Mrs Fringe. I said some not nice words from the depths of my Brooklyn soul, and think I might have scared our salesman. Unfortunate, because he’s a cousin of Husband’s, likely I will see him again.
Done. Suck it up, take a breath, move forward. It is what it is, I am where I am, and it’s definitely a big step up from our old car by the time it was traded in.
I haven’t done any real writing in a couple of weeks. I felt stuck, I was working on the pitch for this contest (part two of said contest is Friday, so still hope), was lost on a never-ending used car lot of big numbers.
Take another breath and get your shit together, Mrs Fringe.