Monday, December 04, 2006

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

I learned a valuable lesson this weekend: a man comes in handy, and there are certain things that a single female shouldn't attempt without a handy mandy around. Before you get all women's rights on me, let me just say that I'm all for female independence and all that, but let's be honest - there are some things that are just easier to do with a man. Making out is one of those things.

Or, for example, trying to cart a ten-foot christmas tree home. Or trying to set up the christmas tree in a tree stand that's too small to hold the trunk. For these situations, it helps to have a) a truck; b) a saw; and c) a guy who doesn't care about getting sap on his hands. This was a lesson learned last Christmas when we used a screwdriver to stab holes in the trunk because we didn't have a saw to cut off the end so it could drink the water. Needless to say, that tree dried up pretty quickly. And no, it was not the very same screwdriver that I recently used to start my car.

Thank goodness for Brit - our new Christmas Tree Maintenance Man, and his truck, saw, and acceptance of sap. The weekend ended with a ten foot tree, carefully whittled at the base, beautifully decorated in purple and silver.

It also helps to have a guy around when you're looking for a new car - another lesson I learned this weekend. Now, I'm not a certified mechanic, but I feel like I know enough about cars to avoid being scammed, especially after taking an 8-week beginners automotive class this fall. Who am I kidding - all I wanted to do in that class was ride on the car lift. Either way, my dad taught me enough, and I've been through enough with my car that I feel like I can hold my own when it comes to car salesmen.

Before I went to the lot, I had an idea of what I did and didn't want. I won't share my shopping list out of the fear of offending people who's cars match my do-not-want list. But I had my schpeil prepared, I was cool, calm and collected, and was ready to appear as an intelligent, independent girl who couldn't be pushed into a sale.

But something went horribly wrong. Maybe it was the wind chill, or the hunger pangs of my stomach consuming itself, or the fact that I really had to pee. Because when the salesman approached me, our conversation went a little something like this, and I turned a car salesman's dream:

Salesman: What are you looking for?

Bone Junior: Um.......Something pretty?

Salesman: Okaaaaaaaaaaaay. What do you think of this one? (Points to a green Mercury Cougar. Not Eagles green, mind you. This was more St. Patrick's Day hangover green.)

Bone Junior: Oooh, that's pretty! And it looks pretty inside too! Can I drive it?

Salesman: (Eyes me suspiciously.)It's a five-speed manual... is that OK?

Bone Junior: Immediately snaps out of it and resumes Independent Girl Appearance, rolling eyes at stupid car salesman who assumes that just because I'm a single girl, I can't drive a stick. Well, I'll show him. Snatches keys out of salesman's hands. Um, yeah, I drive a five-speed manual. My BMW is a five-speed manual.Thanks. Wow, I sound snooty. Watch this, smarmy salesman. Eat my dust as I peel out of here in this pretty sports car. Check me out in all my stick-shift driving glory. Hmmm... this is a different set-up than I'm used to. How do I get it in reverse? The diagram says its all the way to the right, but its not getting into gear....if I revv the engine and jump forward one more time, smarmy salesman will know something's up.... how the heck do you get it in reverse?!?! Now ALL the salesmen are watching me! If I go forward any further, I'm going to jump the curb! Crap!

The story concludes with me hobbling up to the salesman with my foot in my mouth, and asking him meekly how to put the pretty car in reverse. Turns out there's a secret ninja button that you have to hold in before you shift it. Who knew.

When I got back from the test drive with my tummy full of humble pie, the salesman asked me what I thought of the car. What was my Independent Intelligent Woman response?

"It's pretty."

Next time I go car shopping, I'm taking a man for the sole purpose of having him hold his hand over my mouth before I can make any more of an ass out of myself. I've got that part down pat.

Feliz Navidad Total: 17
Rocky Balboa Countdown: 18 days


Anonymous said...

its can say your list of cars you don't want...i won't be offended that you don't like big ol' trucks. Also, I won't be offended that you went car shopping without me even though I have been telling you should get a new car for who even knows how long...I still love you.

also, I am excited to see your purple rain christmas tree.

Anonymous said...

I find that when car shopping, it helps to have a Huge-Bald-Guy-With-Biceps-as-Big-Around-as-my-Head to aid in keeping my mouth shut (also to intimidate smarmy salesmen). Maybe you could find one that you could enlist for help?

Just a thought....

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I think a certain point was directed specifically toward me and/or my wife (although I don't know why a 1991 Plymouth with half of its paint peeled off, and a custom rust job would be on your "don't want" list of cars). I think I have a pretty dope ride.

Anonymous said...

ah hunnneeeee you are funnneeee- and I agree with Tarable.

li'l mil said...

i think tarable has the perfect point there...

...and who wouldn't want a caaaamry, a caaaaamry? i'm not offended that probably all the cars i suggested to you are on your "don't want" list, although some of them come in really pretty colors :)

Anonymous said...

Don't buy American cars.

Take it from a former mechanic: Don't buy domestic. It's okay to buy a foreign car built here in America but never, and I mean EVER, buy a car that has an American car brand name on it.

And I'm serious.

For once.

Bone Junior said...

Not even a Mustang?

*heart and dreams shattering in background*

sniff, sniff.

the queen said...

I took my mom and toddler test driving once. Didn't realize the e-brake was on the whole ride and wondered why the manual stick shift was so stiff. I kept remarking to my mom, why is this so stiff, my car isn't like this. Arrived back at the dealership in a cloud of smoke and the stench of burnt brake. My toddler announced to salesman, "it smells like a barbque around here"

Anonymous said...

No domestic. They have a much higher percentage of lemons than foreign, and foreign cars were designed better to start with. (I speak of mechanical design and not of styling.)

It's possible to get a foreign lemon, and it's also possible to get an American gem, but it's highly likely you'll be more satisfied more often buying foreign.

If you gotta spend multiple five (5) digit sums on an item why not reduce your risk of buying a shoddy product?


Anonymous said...

Did I mention I spent ten (10) years working as a mechanic?

Anonymous said...

I wish you could have pimped the Odyssey 2000. Now THAT was a dope ride...although domestic. (Sorry S.R.) However, I highly recommend a Honda- love mine, and they're cool because from the front, the headlights look Chineese.

Bone Junior said...

Every day, I pass a pretty blue mustang for sale, and my heart sighs because all I can think is that stupidramblings (a mechanic with ten years of experience) has officially vetoed it, and destroyed my lifelong dream to own a mustang.
That's how I roll.

stupidramblings said...

The Odyssey 2000 was foreign. Isuzu fool.