My beloved, extremely rare Sunfire GT is probably dying. Its lifespan was predicted to be 100,000 miles, and I’m at 110,000 miles now. Because it’s a Pontiac, the electrical systems have become sporadic and undependable, resulting in me driving with inconsistent or no headlights/taillights/directional signals. Also, my rear defrosters don’t work in any way, and it takes half an hour for my car to heat up to a point where the front windshield can cope with it snowing. And oh yeah, the brakes aren’t that great and it slides terribly on the ice. So the idea of upgrading to a newer car before winter starts and gets nasty has crossed my mind.
The one car that isn’t an impossible-to-acquire 1/1000 Solstice Coupe that’s caught my eye is the Ford Fiesta. It’s cute, it’s small, it’s fuel-efficient, it’s a hatchback, it comes in lime green, and it’s advertised in my comic books. Thus, the Fiesta had my attention.
Plus, I saw an episode of Top Gear where the Fiesta seriously outperformed a fancy sports car in a car chase through a mall, as well as storming Normandy on D-Day. So I’m definitely confident that this car can perform at least as well as my 13-year-old Sunfire GT. If not even better, if that’s possible.
I actually tried three times before to visit Ford car lots and check out the Fiesta and get a book, but all three times failed totally for various reasons. One dealership was closed, one dealership had no Fiestas, and one dealership had no accessible Fiestas and had no books.
My car-smart little brother tracked and found a dealership with an assortment of Ford Fiestas, though, and after some procrastination we ended up on the lot today. We were assisted by Creepy Salesguy Joe, who was apparently new and had little to no idea about the Fiesta.
Salesguy Joe struck me as being kinda stupid and lame. He kept throwing tidbits into the conversation like how he had to give up his cool car for a “family car” because he ended up with a kid, how the area we test-drove in was where he used to visit an ex-girlfriend, and he also expressed that he’d choose between cars based upon which one could hold more women. Yeah, whatever, creepy dude.
I was blessed in having Ryan with me, as he was able to fulfill the necessary small-talk with Creepy Joe, which I’m not really capable of at this time. I heard lots of words like various car terminology and “hookers” thrown out there in their conversation, all of which went over my head.
We did get to take the Fiesta out on the road for a short (short!) test drive, and it drove beautifully. Test-driving a new car was actually a life goal for me. I was terrified of test-driving a new car because I was convinced I’d wreck it immediately, but that didn’t happen. In fact, I drove it during rush hour on a busy road and made a successful sharp left turn across lanes of traffic that I normally would have never ever attempted if I wasn’t forced to. So I felt really slick. Only real problem was Creepy Joe was sitting in the back and kept sticking his head out directly in the middle of the row, thus totally obscuring my rear-view mirror visibility. Way to go, Joe.
Before I realized what was going on, we were inside at the “deal” table. I got the Fiesta book I wanted, and there Joe tried to sell me the car. Today. Now, there was no chance of him selling me that car–none. Two main reasons: A) I’m not sure I can afford it. B) Jen would have my head on a stick for buying a car without her involvement.
I think I handled myself well in the “dealing” with Creepy Joe, though. I mean, I should–I’m a salesman and a store manager myself. I got all of the information I wanted, found out where exactly the car I desire is located, what it costs the dealer, and what it would cost me. No answers were forthcoming about where to find the money to pay for said car, but I wasn’t expecting them.
The salesman made me wait to leave until he had time to tell his boss where we were at on the “sale”. After a couple minutes of waiting, salesman Joe came back out with “The Boss” in tow! Normally I’d not be impressed with such things, but “The Boss” showed a surprising amount of class and refinement when he approached me and immediately complimented my Pikachu-colored shoes: “Those are really cool shoes! You’re getting a car to match your style!” At that point, it took all my willpower not to sign my soul over to the man on the spot. I politely shook his hand, said I’d be in touch, and left.
I so want this car. I just haven’t determined yet where to get the $18,000 to pay for it…
But to summarize: I went to the car dealership. I got the book and checked out the car I liked. I dealt with the creepy-ass salesman and even the Big Boss. I drove an unfamiliar and crazy-expensive, tricked-out car competently and in defiance of my own driving insecurities. I did have somebody with me so it wasn’t all on my own strength, but I still did all those things which I wouldn’t have expected myself to be able to, and I think I could do them again now. Life Goal Achieved.