Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Car

Earlier this week I made a very significant purchase. I bought a car.

I've had the same car for 8 years or so. It was never anything fancy and in recent years it has threatened to give up the ghost many times. The poor thing saw some hard times, and I suppose it was a miracle that it was still functioning earlier this week.

I'm not really a car guy. I don't know anything about them. I've never been that interested in them. Sometimes I couldn't even tell you what kind of car I was driving without thinking about it really hard and looking to people around me to start mouthing the first part of the word. So it was with that background that I approached this most recent car buying.

I casually mentioned a while ago to my friend Sam, who lives on the other side of the country, that I was probably going to buy a car in the coming months. Sam loves cars more than any person has ever loved anything in the history of all mankind. You know how much I love Paul Simon? And how my lifelong wish is to be surgically connected to Paul Simon so they would have to start making clothes that fit two people connected together? Sam loves cars even more than that.

Before I could even get out a full sentence, Sam started bombarding me with links to every single vehicle in the state of Utah and demanding that I give each my full attention and respond with all of my thoughts.

I kept telling him, "I have no idea what any of this means. Just pick out a pretty one and tell me where to go get it."

This sort of thing is exasperating for a car-lover, but he was patient. And then in December when he was visiting Salt Lake City, he basically handcuffed himself to me and dragged me to eleventy car dealerships to test drive all of the vehicles that have ever been created. I think we even test drove the Magic School bus. I don't really remember. They all looked the same to me.

Then as quickly as he came, Sam flew back to his home and left me to fend for myself.

A week later he informed me that there was one car I should go check out as soon as possible. And this car seemed like a really great deal. So I decided to go and buy it if it didn't fall apart after kicking the tires.

I immediately called Bob and asked him to come with me. Because I'm a 29-year-old attorney WHO DOESN'T DARE TO ENGAGE IN LARGE TRANSACTIONS WITHOUT HIS DAD.

Bob and I showed up and the moment Bob introduced himself I was cut completely out of the picture. The car dealership had no interest talking to me. Even when I asked questions, the people would turn and answer the question to Bob.

After signing five trillion things that nobody has ever read, they handed over the keys and we departed.

We got into the car.

Eli: Oh my gosh! I am SO proud of myself! I am growing up!

Bob: Seriously? What about anything that happened in there made you feel like you were growing up?

Eli: Five years ago I would have been super embarrassed that I brought my dad to something like this and had him handle all of it. But I seriously wasn't embarrassed at all!

Bob: I'm a failure as a parent.

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. So what kind of car did you get?!? (Maybe have Sam explain it?)

    1. Shiny. White. About this big [holding arms out].

  2. ROFL!!! That is totally me and cars, too. "Pick out a pretty one and tell me where to go get it." Love it!

  3. This blog is my favorite way to start the day.

  4. My response to "What kind of cat did you get?" was always "Cute!". Occasionally I threw in the color. My car fanatic friends were never amused.

  5. My question is: WHY DIDN'T YOU GET THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS?!?!?!!?!?

    Just think of all the adventures you could have had!

  6. Nice. I love the resolution to this. We have bought two cars without our dads being physically present, but I have always had to talk to one or both of them on the phone about it before making the purchase.

  7. Why didn't you just buy the Stormtrooper?

  8. Eli, I call my mom when I buy kitchen appliances, or anything bigger than that. Last year for Christmas I bought her a food processor, and I had to make the decision on which brand to get all by myself. It was the scariest and hardest thing I have ever had to do. I started screaming, grabbed the most expensive one, threw some money at the cashier, and then sprinted to my car. I finally stopped yelling when I got home and had a cup of tea. It was terrible.

  9. It's like the DMV all over again. But that's okay. My dad helps me buy big things too. Except he makes me actually BE part of the process, which I consider rude a lot of the time. He's all about "teaching me" the "lessons" because "I won't be around forever." Yeah, yeah, yeah...

  10. Bought my last car with my dad present, too. It's worse if you're a woman (30 y.o. at the time). The dealer was disappointed because we paid cash for it... less rigamarole. They condescendingly did ask me why I wanted 4WD. I felt like stamping my foot but maturely answered because I like to drive off road (we live in a rural area... everybody has 4WD or AWD). That was over 10 years ago and you can see I'm over it.

    ...bought my first house with Dad present, too... and I'm not single. Never underestimate the power of having Dad present! Good on Bob for being there.

  11. My oldest daughter purchased her first car when she was 20. She had saved cash, so she bought a used car. When her father and I asked her what kind of car she was going to look for she said, "Red and rounded". She got one all by herself, and as a bonus it ran well too.

  12. The true question here is who bought the ice cream on the way home?

  13. Congratulations on your new car! And welcome to adulthood. I too am no longer embarrassed by sitting alone at a restaurant and the wait staff asking if I'm ready to order and looking at them and saying, "I'm still waiting for my mommy."

  14. I have taken my mother with to every time I've bought a car... I'm 28. I do know what I drive, but yea... lol

  15. I hate when you check into a hotel and they ask for the make and model of your car. I always write down red.

  16. My uncle buys cars at dealers auctions in Las Vegas, so when I needed a car just over a year ago I called him, told him my budget and said I wanted something small, 4 doors, and cute. Being the great uncle he is, and knowing that I knew nothing more about cars, he looked through the auction list for the week, picked out a model, and simply responded "what color do you NOT want?"

  17. I'm the same way with cars, but I bought my car all by myself and was super duper proud of it. Even though I totally got a bad deal on it. Whatever.

  18. I'm the same way about my taxes. I can buy my own car, rebuild the engine, and change the oil. I absolutely, positively refuse to file my own taxes. I just throw all of my receipts at my dad and make a run for it. So far the IRS has not contacted me so I think he is doing it right?