On..."good news, bad news" or "bad news, good news"
One more off the worry wall!
Today as I was driving to work in my rental car, I thought that perhaps instead of purchasing a car I could get a scooter. Good News: Cheaper, more free, the ultimate in "cool mom"! I would spend some time and energy thinking about this, and maybe even go on the internet and do some research. Bad News: Before I even got a chance to do the research, I drove my rental car back from a friends house tonight. Nothing exceptional there (except the fabulous grilled hot dogs and company!) in terms of the driving, except that a) it was dark and I probably would not have felt comfy on a scooter after midnight and b) there was a torrential downpour, lightning and thunder....not scooter material weather! Bad News: no scooter in my immediate future. Good News: Get to pick out a "new" car...or at least a used car and some canned new car smell.
The reason that I have a rental car right now, is that on a home bound trip from Michigan last week I had a bit of an engine failure. A bit enough to ground me for 3 days in St. Joseph, MI. Now, what could be the good news? It was in St. Joe's that I thought a lot about "what is the good news?" And, there that I decided the phrase "good news, bad news" should really be turned around. We always ask, "would you like the good news first or the bad news?" It would be interesting to do a survey and see how many people pick the good news first vs. the bad news. Are the optimists the ones who want the bad news first because they want to finish with the good news? Whatever the outcome of that future survey, I decided that I always want the bad news first, and that hearing the good news last makes the bad news seem not so bad.
Bad News: My 12 year old car broke down 2 and a half hours into a 13 hour trip. It was making "flapping" sounds (that is the best adjective I can come up with). Good News: I had AAA and a cell phone! Yeah! I made it to a rest stop with no acceleration and the sound increasing in intensity enough to gain a bit of attention from those around me as I coasted into a parking spot. The fellow next to me said he didn't know much about cars, but it didn't sound too good and he thought I should call someone (wow, glad he was there!). Luckily, my Sweetie was available and was helping to guide me through some diagnostics via cell phone (thank you, Sweetie!)...he could hear the noise just fine through the phone. The diagnosis was the same, though....I needed to call someone. So, AAA got a call and I went for a ride with a nice tow truck guy. He dropped me off at a hotel, and took my car to the fix-it shop.
While I was waiting for the tow truck, I separated the things I wanted for that night from the things I thought I could leave in the trunk (never liked that trunk anyways!!! So, there!). I took my traveling sewing machine, ironing/cutting mat, ruler etc (all in one suitcase...that could be another article), cotton quilting fabric for the 125 wine shades I am making for my niece's wedding, my kindle, and my bathing suit. I left all the shoes, but was wearing flip-flops - what more could one need at the beach (I could always buy a pair if needed in an emergency...emergency shoe-need shopping!....would AAA reimburse for that?)
Not a bad place to get stranded, huh?
Bad News: It appeared as though I might have an unplanned stop near Lake Michigan. Good News: It appeared as though I might have an unplanned stop near Lake Michigan. On my way TO the family event (my niece's wedding shower) I had a planned stop just one hour north of where I broke down. I walked the dunes, picked up driftwood, and took pictures of the grasses growing out of the sand, and the sunsets over Lake Michigan....all very fond memories of growing up in southern Michigan and spending summers at Michigan's west coast. How does one get lucky enough to do this twice in the same trip...once on the way to the family event, and again on the way back?
Bad News: They couldn't look at the car til Monday and it was Sunday. So, I would probably need 2 nights in the hotel because they would need time to fix it, maybe time to order parts. Good News: St. Joseph's, MI is on Lake Michigan and I could see the lake from my hotel room and I would probably need 2 nights in the hotel. Sometimes bad news is also good news. I was starting to like the idea of this unplanned vacation.
Bad News: It was a bit of a touristy town. Lots of t-shirts. Good News: I bought two.
"Lake Michigan: Unsalted" and "Lake is good"
Bad News: It is not as fun to tan in a fix-it shop parking lot as at the beach. Good News: The tan you get in the fix-it shop parking lot looks as good as if you got it at the beach.
Bad News: Stranded in a place I didn't know anyone. Good News: Stranded in a place I didn't know anyone.
Bad News: Found out Monday afternoon that my car has had engine failure. More bad news.... A rebuilt engine will cost $3500! A new one $6000! Good News: I am not stupid. Bad News: I have to go car shopping (do not like that kind of shopping...it is not like buying shoes). Good News: Realized by omission, on my now broken car, the value of heated seats, remote locks, and a trunk key. Realized by lost & found games in parking lots the value of my previous red pt cruiser as opposed to a gray sedan with trunk (that you could never easily use). Bad News: The one rental car company in town would not have compact cars til Thursday. Good News: If you order a car online, they will upgrade you if they don't have what you ordered. So, I got the car on Tuesday - a big car. (Thank you for coming up with that idea, Sweetie!)
Bad News: Sold my car to the mechanic for $275 cash. Bought it 1 year ago for $4000. Yea, do the math. Good News: There was a Good Will store on the way out of town, and I had $275 cash (which, btw, was $25 more than the scrap yard offered) and a large rental car trunk - with a key! and a button that you push twice and it pops open for you!
Is "toenail red" a good car color?
Car shopping: I may not be stupid, but when it comes to buying cars I do not feel quite on top of that game. I have always thought a car should be a bit easier to understand. I kind of gave up somewhere between my Red Dodge Dart and Yellow Plymouth Valient. To me, the car was all about the color and style - like a quilt. It should be pleasing to the eye and keep you warm (and run!). Today, "they" expect you to be smart about cars...like know what kind of engine you want and 4 wheel drive and such. Shoe salespeople do not ask you what kind of leather you want, or how you want the soles built. Car shopping is different these days from earlier experiences I've had. Cars are Bluetooth compatible, have transmissions that can be made to drive like a manual, but are automatic (hello?). They almost all have keyless entry...and then there are the ones that have no key at all! Wow! So, would that whole "I lost my keys thing" go away? It should be as easy to buy a car as to buy shoes - What color? What style? What size? After that, they should all be good to go for many miles and be super comfy!
That looks about right!
My Sweetie did the online research for me. He gave me several suggestions and I reluctantly headed out for test drives. All of the cars he recommended were rated very high in safety, gas mileage, longevity...etc. So, it was down to shoe shopping strategy...What color, what style, what size?
I settled on 3 dealerships. I went to the first one and they asked if I had been there before. I said, "no". They said, "Well, we are different than the rest. We put the sticker price on the car and do not haggle, we do not work on commission, and we do not put any pressure on you to buy a car. Our goal is to help you find the car that is right for you."
How refreshing, I thought. I said, "I have no idea what I want. I like the looks of that one."
The second dealership asked if I had been there before. I said, "no". They said, "Well, we are different than the rest. We put the sticker price on the car and do not haggle, we do not work on commission, and we do not put any pressure on you to buy a car. Our goal is to help you find the car that is right for you."
I looked at the sign on the dealership to make sure I had gone to the second one. I said, "I think I want a car that has room to pack stuff for a trade show."
The third dealership asked if I had been there before. I said, "no". They said, "Well, we are different than the rest. We put the sticker price on the carand do not haggle, we do not work on commission, and we do not put any pressure on you to buy a car. Our goal is to help you find the car that is right for you."
I did not go to a fourth, but now I am curious to see if they would be different or the same, or the same different.
I thought, "I am different than the rest. I want to pay less than the sticker price and get better financing rates. I don't want to put any undo pressure on them, but I need a new car by Tuesday. I'd love to have them help me find the car that is right for me. " I said, "The right car for me would be a red, Plus model Kia Soul. I'd like to test drive it first, and if I like it, I'd like to buy it. Can we do that?" They said they would try. And, they did.
This is my Vanna White impression.
Bad News: They can not find a red car by Tuesday. Good News: The color of car they can find is called "Dune". And my thoughts take me back...Lake Michigan -the red of the beach umbrellas, the blue of the lake, the green of the grasses, the orange of the sunset, all seen as my toes sift through the warm sandy white "dunes". It is the car that is right for me. Ahhh....I'll take it!
Bad News: Article is a little lengthy. Good News: You had time to relax with a second cup of coffee or tea!