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I am officially a grown up

July 23, 2006

It’s out with the old and in with the new. My poor little civic (which has 200,555 miles on it) has officially been retired. It’s been through a lot, as well as many long-distance trips, it’s last being the move from Seattle to Denver. Well, unless you count us towing it to Flagstaff last week. No more looking at its psoriasis paint job. No more praying it will start each time I turn the key (and then getting pissed when it doesn’t). No more trying to shift it into fifth and realize that it doesn’t have a fifth gear. No more clown car jokes. It all ends here.

As of Saturday afternoon, I am the proud owner of a new Jetta. Which I love. I always thought I’d be a Honda girl, but once I drove a Jetta a couple of months ago, it was love. It wasn’t all that easy to get there though.

I had looked all over Flagstaff for a Jetta, Civic or Corolla, but no one had one that was a manual and a four door and in my price range. Well, some of the dealers couldn’t even come up with a manual anything, much less one of the three cars I was looking at. So as is always customary for we Flagstaff residents, I wanted to look in Phoenix. However, because my parent’s DSL line had been knocked out in the lightning while we were gone, I didn’t have a chance to look online until Thursday. I managed to find two that fit all three of my “musts” criteria.

So I made appointments with both dealers, which, little to my knowledge, were on exact opposite ends of the valley (sorry Dad). I chose to go look at the car that I didn’t want first, just to have something to compare it to. Boy, was it a horrible experience (note to those that care, don’t ever shop at Bell Honda). Those salesmen were so slimy that I wanted to take a shower after I left. Aside from getting mobbed by just about everyone in the place before I even got to talk to the guy I had been e-mailing for two days, the whole thing just gave me a bad feeling. The guy hadn’t kept any of the notes from when we talked the before, so I had to give him all of that information over again. Then he offered us water (it was only a record 114 degree day) like four times and never brought it to us. Then I test-drove the car, and I happened to learn that the car was originally bought and titled in Washington (Lacey, to be exact) and I was curious to know how it ended up in Phoenix. The guy didn’t even know that little tidbit, but still proceeded to pull a dumb story out of his ass, using our clues to help him along. Then we got back to the dealership and I told him the things that I liked about the car, and the things I didn’t, and I said we had another one to look at and that we might be back. So he went to get a card, and brought back his sales manager, who then proceeded to tell me why Volkswagens sucked. Basically, they talked me out of buying the car that I was interested in, which I thought was funny. Thanks to my darling daughter, who started screaming her head off in the waiting room with my mom (I didn’t know they were in there), and I said, “oh my god, that’s my daughter” and got up and walked off. They then peppered my phone with calls all day to find out if I was coming back. I heard from everyone at the dealership except the salesman I was originally working with and the janitor.

The other dealership was awesome. The salesman was laid back, knowledgeable and totally helpful. He even tried getting me a better APR financing through VW, but no luck because I have no car purchase history on my credit. When he said that he found that odd, I said, “Yep, I’m 27 and this is my first, all I’ve ever had were hand-me-downs!”

I had a choice of two cars, and I ended up going with the one that I was originally looking at. They were both 2003’s, same price, but one was white and had about 30k less miles on it and the black one had the leather package, which included all kinds of stuff like the sun roof and heated seats. I test drove the black one (and was so excited about it that I ran a red light…whoops) and said, “yep, I’ll take it.” As we were walking in to the office, another couple wanted to look at it and I was thinking, “just my luck, I fell in love with that car and someone else will probably end up getting it.”

By the end of the day, I ended up getting my car, fully loaded, for $2000 under asking price and only $100 out of pocket. I was really really happy. Plus, it was almost $1500 less than the Jetta I originally looked at two months ago — with way more stuff. I’m already spoiled just by having power windows & locks, and a car that starts, so all the other stuff is just bonus. I still can’t believe that it’s mine.

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