Wednesday, May 12, 2010

On Growing Up, And Growing A Pair

Brian and I almost bought a truck last night.

We were just looking, wanting to kick some tires after spending the better part of a year shopping and comparing online.
(and when I say "we," I mean "he," because lord knows I can barely tell a windshield from a tailgate).
We're getting a truck because apparently we're that know, that obnoxious couple who is (or at least wants to be) constantly dragging around kayaks and bikes and skis and camping equipment, and when you see them in the office elevator at the end of the day they've already changed into spandex and lycra and fingerless leather gloves to "squeeze in a few hours of basejumping" between work and dinner, and you kind of hate them because they obviously have too much time and energy on their hands, and why don't they just go home and watch American Idol like everybody else?!?!?!?

That's us.

Add to that one impossible-to-shake horseback riding habit and a closet love for satellite radio and yeah, we're gonna need that extra long bed, 6500-lb payload, roof rack, and audio package, please.

(PS, I like green)

So we're in the dealership, and Brian's impressed with the V6 engine and gas mileage, and I'm trying not to squeal because when you shift into reverse, a little video screen pops up on the rear view mirror so you don't accidentally mow a child over coming out of your driveway (oooh, it's like MAGIC), and before you know it, we're haggling with "Frankie" over financing rates and trade-in values.

And here's the thing:
I have a vagina.

I bring this up because A) I know little to nothing about cars (and it shows, people. It shows BIG TIME), and B) I wear my emotions on my sleeve.

In other words, if car salesmen are sharks, then I'm that overweigh, near-sighted seal with a boarderline IQ and a missing flipper, if yanno what I mean.

Or at least, I thought I was.
I certainly was when buying my first car at age 22 (and PS, 2 radiators, an axel, and countless miscellaneous parts later I finally figured out why that man at the dealership wouldn't look me in the eyes).

But last night?
I totally grew a pair (and I don't mean ta-tas)

His sales schtick rolled of me like water off a duck's back.

MP3 hookup?
That's nice.
Tires for life?
Okay, how's the warranty?
Side airbags?
What about rollover?
Silver streak mica?
I was hoping for pyrite.

You get the drift.

Even the haggling went well.
When he came back with a price for our trade-ins, I looked at the price, looked at him, raised my eyebrows, and told him in no uncertain terms that our two cars, even at reduced trade-in value, were worth twice what he was offering.
(I even turned away from him like I was thinking of walking, just to make him squirm).

Ooh, it was fun.

And then he came back with some financing options. I had to interrupt him to point out that the APR rates weren't listed.
"Oh, they're back in my office."
I stared at him, frowing.
"They're not high"
I continued to stare.
"Should I go get them?"
Because what kind of idiot would agree to finance without finding out the APR?!?
Well...I guess I would have. 6 years ago.
But not today, buddy. Not today.

In the end, we didn't buy the truck. Their very best offer was still not quite worth jumping into a quick sale before thoroughly shopping around.

We smiled, shook their hands, thanked them for the hour and a half they had spent wheeling and dealing, and left without a hint of regret or guilt.

I guess for some people, this is a normal "car shopping" experience.
But for a woman who, 6 years ago, was swindeled into buying a lemon because she was too afraid to speak her mind and ask questions?
Last night was a pretty big deal.

So I guess, despite my best efforts, I may be growing up a little bit.
I may not be able to handle a horse quite as well as I used to, but at least I can finally handle a car salesman.

Now, all I need to do is "handle" one of those pretty trucks (green, please) and I'll be set.


Kim said...

Hell yes! Way to find your inner haggler and make them work for you.

And who wouldn't bring the APRs out of his office? What a douche!

anya said...


Bored@Work said...

Look at you! Well done! I'm still that girl that when asked what kind of car I want I answer with a colour. I'm torn between charcoal and something fun like blue or red.
I know, so disappoint for feminism.
But not you!

Mr. Apron said...

My father, who loves twisting car salesman's balls till they pop off, would be very proud of you.

Attagirl, Lily. Ride that necktie-wearing horsie.

adrienzgirl said...

There is something oddly satisfying about getting one over on a car salesman. I know more about cars than most of the sales guys. It's always fun for me to get a green one who thinks I am just a girl. Suckers! I usually let them play first, just to see how slimy they are really going to be.

Good for you Lily!

PorkStar said...

That's pretty awesome and good for you. I'm still in the process of even knowing what the hell the APR is good for, and if I don't see it anywhere is probably good. Apparently not.

Tgoette said...

Well done! Many years ago I worked as a car salesman and made good money screwing over good folks until I suffered a bout of conscience and discovered something called ethics and had to quit.

I've slept a lot better ever since.