I went to the car dealership two weeks agoto shop for a SUV. Finally, I’d outgrown the frumpy mom van and needed to ignore my other family members complaining about the loss of their car.
Even more so, I needed to regain my long-missed cool factor. Motherhood isn’t as sexy as it used to be.
Sure the sliding doors were nice to have, but if you’ve ever parked beside my old mom van, you know that parking a big rig is not my forte. In 13 years, one would think I’d have gotten the hang of it. Nope.
I also must point out, along with my remedial parking skills, I H-A-T-E any type of disagreement. This includes bartering, swapping or haggling.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Kansas City Star
The worst place for me to be is with a pushy salesperson. When they start the press, my fight or flight kicks in and flight always wins.
I can’t help it, though, because this is a genetic flaw, passed down several generations. Once when I was a young grade-schooler, a male family member, who will remain anonymous, took me, another child and a motherly-type to buy a car.
After much consideration, the man and woman agreed upon a vehicle, so they were shuffled into the business office to discuss a deal.
This man, who also dislikes conflict, sat in a seat across from one of those dreaded aggressive dealers. Everyone in the room except the dealership worker could feel the tension rise. The back of the customer’s neck turned red, the vein on his temple began to throb, and his grip on the armrests was strangling.
Just like when you watch the build up of a pressure cooker, this man was going to explode before our very eyes. Then it happened. The explosion was mighty, but thankfully over in a flash. Leaving the woman and two children alone in that office, confused, embarrassed and apologetic.
“He doesn’t like to be pressured,” whispered the woman backing out while ushering the children to the door.
I have a sneaking suspicion this scenario has something to do with me taking 13 years to buy a new vehicle.
After researching SUVs thoroughly, I new exactly what I wanted before stepping on a car lot. In fact, I knew the color, the year, and the make and model when I braved the flag-trimmed asphalt showcase.
“I’d like to drive the navy 2015 Honda Pilot with 40K miles now…please,” I said trying to keep my anxiety to a minimum. A young man with honest eyes opened the door for me and casually said, “Sure.”
What’s that feeling? My anxiety level is still low and my pushy-car-salesman radar surprisingly isn’t going off.
Since I’d called the night before to set up the test drive, the vehicle was out front, sparkling with a golden aura emanating from the exterior. It was a beauty, spotless. Looking every bit brand new, this vehicle had all the bells and whistles. There was no use looking any further. Come to Momma.
After taking a relaxed test-drive with my new buddy, I knew my husband would need to co-sign in person and would never leave me in a sales managers office. Within what seemed like minutes, we had agreed on a number without anyone screaming, passing out or leaving the building.
I traded in my piece of… momvan, leaving it for the next victim. I couldn’t wait to show my daughters. They were going to love it just as much as I did.
When I pulled up to the house, I motioned to my vehicle, like Vanna White presenting five vowels at once, “What do you think?”
Leaning in through a window and back out, “It smells. Don’t like it,” my eldest daughter said. “Can you get the van back?”
“Yes, I can. But I’m not going to!” With a glimpse of my teenaged years, I jumped up onto my smooth leather bucket seat, opened my sunroof and cranked up some ’80s music.
As I backed out the drive, I could feel my cool factor rapidly rising. “Watch out, world… Momma’s got a new ride!”
Stacey Hatton is a freelance writer who adores zipping through the streets of Johnson County. She can be reached at www.laughingwithkids.com.