Vail Daily column: Just like buying shoes
I came to a very important decision this week. Well, two, actually. No. 1: I bought a new car. No. 2: I’ve decided I can never be the leader of the free world because when faced with a big decision with a large price tag attached, I am overcome with the feeling that I could burst into tears or throw up at any moment. Or both.
If I were president, I’d be the world’s largest individual consumer of Tums and Kleenex.
I’ve just been trying to buy a car. Can you imagine if I’d been trying to buy a small country?
The whole search started so innocently, fun even. I looked online at all the different cars, read reviews, priced them, found the options I wanted, all in the comfort of my home. Delightful. Just like shoe shopping.
Once people found out I was car shopping, there were a lot of opinions offered about what car I should consider. Everyone has a favorite, but as I discovered, not everyone has the same needs, desires and driving styles. It’s just like shoes. What could be a fabulous style and fit for one person may feel awkward and ungainly to another. I needed to find a car that fit me.
So once I narrowed down my choices, it was time to get behind the wheel. I headed to Glenwood Spring, with one of my car guys in tow for a second opinion, to test drive a few of my selected models. At this point, I was still having fun, with just the slightest indication of an upset stomach.
A few weeks later, I switched my search to Denver and brought along my back seat testers. They were a huge help, bringing up things I wouldn’t have thought to look for, assessing the room for backpacks, checking out the cup holders, ensuring good ski storage, clear views, a great sound system and ample space to dodge a brother’s swinging arm.
Climbing back into my old car at one of the dealerships is when the reality of the situation hit me and the left side of my head started to hurt. I not only had to decide which car to buy, I had to say goodbye to an old friend, a member of the family.
You see, I become emotionally attached to inanimate object. I fully understand that they don’t have emotions, feelings or thoughts. And yet, I do, so it’s hard for me to let them go. That’s truly when the nausea set in.
I knew it was time to move forward, so I made the call to start the ball rolling on the sale and steeled myself for the ordeal of closing the deal. To calm my nerves before going back to the dealership, I went shoe shopping.
Some people thrive on negotiation. I am not one of them. So as I walked into the sales office, I tried to convince myself that I was just buying another pair of shoes. Really, really expensive shoes.
I’m quite certain I was not the first woman to well up with tears at the sight of that ginormous number at the bottom of the offer sheet. I kept the tears at bay and tried to play the game while the offers and counter offers went back and forth to managers, all the while thinking, “The salespeople at Nordstrom would never put me through this!”
I’m not sure if vomiting on the desk in the sales office would have hastened the process or not, but it did cross my mind more than once. That place should come equipped with barf bags.
The most painful part of the process was realizing that my beloved car was not going to be restored to some version of its former glory and enjoyed by someone else for another couple years. I think they’re sending my sweet car to a farm in the country where it can live out its years peacefully with other old cars, without traffic and honking horns.
Somehow I made it through without embarrassing myself. With the deal done and the ink dry, my new friends at McDonald Volkswagen handed me the keys to my new car. As we drove off the lot and felt the car devalue by a few thousand dollars, I took solace in the fact that I was wearing a new pair of shoes.
Linda Stamper Boyne of Edwards can be contacted through email@example.com