Did I Say That?: Joe Pisani shares how he avoided some of the car shopping hassles
I’m ashamed to admit this, but my family members insisted I had to be honest and let everyone know the ugly truth because if I didn’t, they were threatening to take out a paid ad in this newspaper and tell you themselves. Even worse, they planned to pay for the ad with my money.
To them it was a question of integrity and not misrepresenting who and what I really am. Or as my wife said, “People should know what you’re REALLY LIKE,” which if I recall correctly was the same exact thing my mother used to say. So here goes:
My daughter bought me a car. Wait, that didn’t come out right. I don’t mean that she BOUGHT me a car with her money; I mean she bought a car FOR me with my money, unfortunately.
Everyone in my family was threatening legal action, legislative action and any other kind of action they could think of if I didn’t get a new car, but I refused because I liked my old clunker. It was a Toyota, and I wanted to see if I could hit 150,000 miles just like my friend did.
No such luck. The wheels were rusty so I put on a new set. Plus, I just got new brakes and new wipers and paid $500 for new tires, so the last thing I wanted to do was trade it in. I considered taking them off and storing them in my garage, but the dealer wouldn’t take a trade-in without tires. Besides, my wife said there’s already too much junk in the garage.
My oldest daughter was driving me crazy about getting a new car, and I said no because there are only two things I absolutely hate to do. Buy a car and buy a mattress, which I recently did. I’m still recovering from that experience, so I didn’t want to accumulate any unnecessary stress in a year that has been fraught with stress and promises to get worse.
I finally compromised and said, “OK, you buy it and I’ll pay for it.”
“What do you want?”
“I don’t care.”
“That’s not an answer.”
“It’s the best I can do.”
“How about a Cadillac Escalade?”
“Are you insane? How about one of those tiny Fiat 500s?”
And so it went for three months while she did online car shopping. I’d rather have an appointment with my gastroenterologist than spend time in car showrooms. Not that I have anything against the salespeople personally.
My daughter went from driving me crazy to driving every car dealer in the tristate area and Canada crazy. Every evening, she gave me an update on her search and peppered me with questions:
“Absolutely not, I’m bald and don’t want sun beating down on my head.”
I wanted forest green. She said it was ugly so we compromised on dark gray.
The truth is I don’t think they wanted me to go to a car dealer because my last trip there 10 years ago went something like this:
Me: “We’ve been here five hours. Let’s get the #%*@! out of here! Jump in the car!”
Wife: “This car only has three wheels!”
Me: “Don’t worry. We’ll adapt. I got a great deal on it.”
You get the idea.
Anyway, in all honesty, my daughter Joanna did a great job and got me a great deal on a great SUV — at least she has me convinced it’s a great deal. One of the reasons I hate car shopping is they always insist I’m getting the best deal in automotive history, but as soon as I sign the papers and I’m driving home, I’m certain I got suckered.
This time I tried to get my wife and daughter to sign the papers so I could stay home, but they refused. I did NOT want to spend two hours signing papers about stuff that makes no sense to me. But I went anyway and I went by myself.
Just between you and me — I love my new car!
Joe Pisani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.