Today I found the perfect car.
So I bought it.
Estelle is a 2005 Ford Escape.
She was priced below the money that I got for the Civic, so I was feeling pretty good about my chances of finding a car. I took her for a test drive, and I was hooked. She drives well, had very low mileage, and had a really clean bill of health. My dad told me before he left for vacation to just wait for him to come home before I did anything, but I saw Estelle, and I knew that she would be just what I need for the next couple of years. I called my parental units to let them know what was going on, and ask my dad what I should ask for in terms of pricing. He gave me a number, and wished me luck.
I went in to the negotiation knowing that if it didn’t feel right, then I could easily walk away and keep looking. I set the price that my dad gave me, and the salesman brought out another sales dude to try and work me over. I was prepared for that, so I stuck to my guns, and told him I was holding firm on my price. He came back with a number that was slightly higher, and I countered with a number in the middle, told him to fill the gas tank and pay the tags and we’d have a deal. He looked me in the eye, told me I was tough, and then shook my hand. The original salesman told me I was strong and he liked it.
I smiled like I do that all the time, but to be honest, I was doing the happy dance in my head. I have been really worried for the last two weeks that I was not going to be able to afford a car, or the ones that I could afford would not be something I wanted to drive. I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do this without anyone’s help, and that I was adult enough to buy a car that was completely mine….of course, I think it helped that the people at the dealership were really really nice, and have a good reputation for fair prices and good cars.
Today was the first time in over a year I felt like me. I knew what I wanted, I didn’t take crap from anyone, and I didn’t let myself get taken advantage of. I was snarky, wasn’t stressed, and I left feeling really good about my choice when I left the dealership. She may not be as good on the fuel as the Civic, but my commute is about to get smaller, and I think I can do without any new shoes for awhile. I feel good about the purchase, have a little money left, and actually feel like an adult.
So now, while I am stuck in the current cycle of work, school, homework, repeat, I have my little white Escape to get me through.
Summer school still sucks, but there is less than month left.
Studying for the qualifying exam sucks, but the director of the other program gave me some good study tips, and I know that I will get things done.