Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dealing With Dealerships

We got our first new car last week and with that came countless hours at dealerships. I have a low tolerance for anything car-related and an even lower tolerance for smarmy salespeople, so dealerships are pretty much my idea of Hell. While visiting Hell last week, I got thinking that if I owned a dealership (i.e. if I had money and knew anything about cars) I would do things a lot differently.

First, I would let people browse the car lot at their leisure without the vultures swooping down the second they stepped from their current car. At the first dealership we visited, it took 5 seconds before a man pulled us into his cubicle to talk business. Thanks for asking me fifty questions about the kind of car I'm looking for before I actually had a chance to look at any of the cars, sir. There is no problem asking if someone needs assistance, but give them time to walk around the car, peek inside, and let them decide if they want to test drive.

I would also let customers test drive alone. I know this requires a level of trust, but copy their I.D., run a background check, hold the keys to their current car, whatever you have to do to give them some freedom. I loathe test driving cars because I feel like I'm back in driving school. This last guy asked me how the back window visibility was while he sat in the middle backseat blocking the entire back window with his giant head. When the salesman is in the car, I can't relax; I can't bond with the car; I can't focus on how it feels to drive it because I'm so focused on not crashing it.

Then when we got back to the office, I would make the process short and sweet. They make a deal, you make a deal, maybe you compromise and if you can't, move on. No need to hold anyone hostage. I love to bargain, but dealerships love to bargain more and they will bargain with you all day if that's what it takes.

Spending the day at dealerships always makes me hungry, actually it makes me ravenous. The very best part of my hypothetical dealership is that it would have a restaurant inside it. It doesn't so much matter what restaurant...after talking numbers for 15 minutes I'm about ready to eat a buffet at Denny's, but a nicer restaurant would be ideal. When Tommie and I got the lease for our Corolla, I was so hungry I could have chewed off the arm of the finance guy, who I still think was a robot the way he kept rattling on when I kept trying to get us out of there. Last week, we had to go back to the dealer after work for paperwork and pick up and I kept thinking about my restaurant idea because that old vending machine in the lobby just wasn't going to cut it.

Getting a new car is nice, but it the actual process of getting it isn't. Personally, if I could just get some Bertucci's rolls in front of me, I wouldn't put off car shopping for so many years.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Very Decisive Weekend

Some strange force put me and Tommie in a very decisive mood this past weekend: We decided to put deposits down on the places we're going to hold our wedding, we decided on a date, and while we were at it, we decided to buy a new car.

These were big decisions that had to be made, and in our typical fashion we mulled them over for a long time...too long in most people's minds. For the wedding we chose the end of July for a garden wedding in Rye, New Hampshire. The gardens have the potential (weather permitting) to be very cute for photos and a ceremony, and a nearby Inn has a covered outdoor pavilion that provides a perfect spot for our after party. We'll also be close to Portsmouth, NH which has good food options.
With the early autumn chill upon us, we have also been thinking about getting an all-wheel drive car to make winter slightly more tolerable. This weekend we decided on a 2010 Subaru Forester with roof racks (should we ever get those kayaks we think about). It is supposed to be great in the snow, it will fit Craigslist furniture in it, and it’s a light sage color that I like, so my requirements have been met.
Though these are all good decisions, and again, ones that had to be made one way or another, I confess I did suffer a Libraic anti-decision-anxiety-meltdown on Monday when I realized what we had just done. It was a lot to decide on in a short amount of time and I am just not equipped for these kinds of weekends. In the end, underneath all the anxiety, I am really happy with our decisions and glad they are made. Next time maybe I just shouldn’t squeeze them all into one weekend.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Creepy On CamZone

Sometimes I visit CamZone (San Diego's live camera feed) in the winter to remind myself that the sun didn't actually die just died out here...which coincidently reminds me that I'm an idiot for moving back to the land of blizzards and ice storms. And sometimes I visit CamZone just to be creepy. I like to check in on the little world I used to be a part of.
It's 8:30 here which means it's 5:30 there; the sun is setting and I can see surfers carrying boards into the waves to catch the last bit of daylight. Couples are walking along the shoreline, and shirtless joggers are breezing by (again, why am I here?). Maybe it's the sudden chill in the air, but I spent far too much time tonight staring into this little window watching the waves and the people and that funny little place I'm so far away from now.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Poring Over Prettiness

A friend and fellow Libra shared this wedding blog site with me; it's a popular one among DIY and artsy brides-to-be and it's one of my favorites to look through when I feel like I need some creative inspiration.
My mom and I both took note, however, of how few of these whimsical and gorgeous photos were taken on a rainy day. Something about a downpour really puts a damper on a brides plans to spin around freely in the middle of a sun-filled field of flowers. As someone who envisions my own wedding somewhere outside, and who lives in New England, I am worried there is a high chance my own field-spinning moments will be in jeopardy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wedding Trials and Tribulations

I wish I could report progress on the wedding front, but all I can report is my realization that I really should have been thinking about this for my entire life like normal girls do. When I was about 12 years old I decided I would have my wedding at a big castle in Ireland and for some reason I never revised that preteen dream based on a tiny detail called "reality." So here I am, 14 years later, in no position to rent that castle in Ireland, and with no Plan B. It was poor planning on my part.
That lack of planning has thrown my little Libra scales all out of whack. I still envision something elegant and beautiful, yet also simple and casual. When thinking about the place itself my mind has been all over the map...literally. While I'd love to get married at Dawson's doorstep in North Carolina, there is a lack of funds, and again that pesky reality to get hitched in NC even though it's a place Tommie and I enjoy. Then there was Bar Harbor, a place full of promise that the gods (and Maya) conspired to wreck for us. Then there was a rental home in Plymouth; I do love the look of backyard weddings, but that usually implies it's your own backyard and I'm still waiting to buy that plot of land with the castle on it.

Despite my apparent cynicism, I am still hopeful. These little wedding wanderings can be tiring but they can also be helpful. I am learning what I don't want and what I want to do more searching for. Basically I am doing what I should have been doing when I was 15 years old and should have had enough sense to know that
maybe Ireland wasn't such a good idea. For now, the search continues and no concrete decisions are made (just the way a Libra likes it), but the planning continues and I want to believe that I will find that place that has a good balance of all that I am looking for.