Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Clampetts Get a Car

The time had come. Our vehicles were getting to the point that something needed to be done. So after much prayer and putting it off as long as possible, two weeks ago we finally broke down and did it. Kenny & I, aka The Clampetts, headed off to Brook Park to check out a used car. Car buying for me is almost like a root canal, but at least you have something to show for it when you are done.

Up until this particular trip, most of my car buying experiences involved old coffee in cheap Styrofoam paper cups while we sat on straight-back chairs covered in orange vinyl with a slight rip in the seat where the foam would stick through. And quite frankly I am fine with that. It is one of the joys of small town living. You knew you would be taken care of and could generally trust the salesman. I was also happy that the profits weren’t increased so they could have nicer furniture. Times have changed (not to mention prices!) since we last bought a used car seven years ago.

Most of the ‘shopping’ occurred on-line thanks to my diligent husband. So on a very dreary and misty Saturday we crawled into our 1997 Acura with 237,000+ miles, a slightly large ding in the front and a smattering of rust spots and headed to Brook Park. We had officially stepped into a different world than what we were accustomed to. After bringing the car in from the lot and drying it off for us, we were handed the keys and told to take it for a spin and come back whenever we wanted. Hmmm. Test-drive over we returned and were then escorted to the coffee bar and lounge area. Please note above my previous experience. So to now be offered fresh-brewed Starbucks, fresh baked warm cookies and a comfy couch where you could gaze upon the salt-water aquarium made me a bit nervous. I honestly was looking for a donation basket to put in money for my coffee. People don’t just give you free Starbucks for cryin’ out loud. Ultimately, we bought the car and headed home. We still have the 1997 Acura; after all it might be good for another 100,000 miles. May I also mention it is paid for and gets 37 mpg.

Fast-forward to yesterday. I am still trying to figure out all the buttons and switches in this car. It might be 8 years old, but that is still far newer than anything else we drive. This country girl understands quite well vehicles that don’t have power windows or automatic transmissions; so 5 buttons on my rear-view mirror left me in a quandary. The mirror seemed to have a funny tint and I was hoping one of the buttons would change that. Driving along, push the first button. Nothing. Push the second one. Nothing – oh wait. Is that a voice I hear? A woman repeatedly saying “Pardon, pardon”. Yep. On-Star. Who knew!


Kami said...

This made me smile! We, too, have OnStar in our vehicles and it's annoying! We were content to discontinue the service after our free 90 day trial period.

I love how you describe yourselves as the Clampetts :) Too cute!

Gigi said...

The Clampetts!! I love it! I still own our 1989 Dodge Caravan (and yes, she runs like a champ!) that our kids begged us to get rid of for years (and years) but there are soooo many memories of happy family trips and events in that car...just can't bring myself to part with VannyVan!

I hope your new car brings you many years of pleasure on the road! But aren't you glad the purchasing experience is over?!