So a friend of mine stopped by the other day to chat me up and see how things were going. Oh and it turns out he’s one of the people who reads my blog and never comments. (Hiya Lawyerboy! Hello! Hi!) Anyways we got to talking about the past and somehow the story of my first car purchase came up. One of those stories that you swear you’ll never share…and then you end up blogging about years later. Y’all know.
Let me take you back a bit to set the tone. I’m 23 years old and I have had it. I’m working 3 jobs to put food on the table and I am tired. I’m alternating between taking the bus and fixing The Beast (what my daughter and I called the overly used Ford I had saved from a certain junkyard death after my parents got a new car) so that I can get from job to job. My daughter is in kindergarten and already asking to be dropped off a block away from the school so that the other kids don’t make fun of our car.
So I can be impulsive at times.Get a girl to a breaking point and things might happen.I’m just saying.On the day in question we were already running late because Krista was having issues with the outfit I’d set out for her to wear.I’d done her hair in double French braids and she didn’t feel the outfit matched the hair.Of course once she’d perfected the outfit there was the matter of finding just the right shoes.I’m not sure where she gets this from.Must be something on her father’s side.
Anyways, we finally get everything “just so” and fly out to The Beast. Unfortunately The Beast had decided to take a vacation day. Without notice. Three bus transfers later the child is settled into her classroom and I am now an hour late for work. I’m sitting on the bus and it’s all I can do not to cry. Nothing else could possibly go wrong at this point.
So of course it did. Amid much squealing and clonking the bus came to a halt on the side of the freeway. I closed my eyes, leaned my head against the window and contemplated hysterical laughter or outright tears as the driver reassured us another bus would be along within the hour to continue our commute. Upon opening my eyes I saw that we had broken down along the 494 strip where all the car dealers lived. This of course was a sign. Divine intervention if you will.
I ignored the protests of the bus driver and stomped off the bus and over the embankment.I had zero credit, a very meager income and a mere 2000 in savings.Each dealership suggested the next one down the road.Finally a nice man in a shiny suit took pity on me.We test drove a cute little red car and he assured me she was just the car for me.She had a rear spoiler, a moon roof (remember those?) and under 50,000 miles.I was in love!The nice man continued our test drive to my nearest bank location and I handed over my 2000 dollars and filled out all the paperwork.While I waited for the final papers to be drawn up I sat in the car and just started it and turned it off over and over.It started every time! Magic!Joy!Moonroof! Red!
Twenty minutes later I walked off the lot in tears. Not only had I not been approved, the dealership wouldn’t give me my 2000 back. They gave me a cashier’s check instead. There wasn’t a bus stop for miles. I had no cash to get a cab and by now I was probably fired from 2 of the 3 jobs. With the check clutched in hand I stumbled through the next dealership’s parking lot with my head down so that I wouldn’t have to look at any other cars I couldn’t have. There was a gas station on the other side of the lot and I was hoping they’d let me use their phone. I was almost through the lot when I was intercepted by a car dude who asked if he could help.
“No!” I sobbed. “You can’t. My money is no good. I don’t even have any. Just this stupid check that no one wants and I don’t want to fall in love with any of your cars that you won’t let me have.”
Car dude handed me a kleenex, took the check out of my hand and ushered me into the dealership.Did I know his sister had gone through the same situation?Did I know that his sole purpose was to help single mothers such as myself?Did I know they could reverse qualify me and THEN I could just pick out any car that fit my budget?Did I know that he could not only qualify me but get me into a brand new never driven car?!?
“Okay,” I sniffled at him. “But I don’t want to even see it unless I can have it. And I want it to be white.”
Oh yes I did.People this is how I got my very first car.An hour later he told me I had qualified (just sign here…and here…and here…) and I was the proud owner of a car I’d never seen or test driven with a hefty monthly car payment.I was a Car Owner.ME!
She was soooo cute! She was white with a pale grey interior and she had a cute little horn that worked and she had an exotic name from Vegas (Mirage!) and a TAPE DECK and she was mine! Krista would be so excited! I would pick her up at the very front of the school and she would smile at all of her friends as she stepped graciously into the brand new car her stylin mom had purchased all by herself.
I sat in my brand new car and just grinned from ear to ear.This was living people.I had arrived.I was a Car Owner.
So an hour later the car dude came back out to the lot to assure me that she really was mine and I could leave now and why was I just sitting there? So then he took a lunch break and taught me how to drive a stick. J