Buying a Car and Other Social Experiments

Buying a Car

We moved passed our frustration with Mazda’s decision not to take any responsibility for my 4.5 year old engine dying and decided to buy a new car.  Maybe a bigger, safer car would be a blessing despite the big drain on our savings.  So we delved into the world of car buying.

Few other retail endeavors leave so much to the imagination.  In this country the casual consumer hardly ever haggles.  Prices are given and prices are paid.  Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never challenged my hairdresser with a lower bid or told the Trader Joe’s clerk that I’d only buy the strawberries if they threw in the lentils.

Then there’s car buying where everything is a secret and you can trust no one.  To be honest, the whole thing stressed me out big time.  I was ready to shake hands and say “gee, thank you so much!” when we were given “the absolute lowest price”.  Luckily Ari thought it was fun to be more confrontational.  He recognized our position of power as buyers and made sure we were competitive in our negotiations.

You see a wide range of approaches when you patron 6 different dealerships.  There was the Straight Talker, the Soft-Spoken Soother, the Buddy Buddy, the Underdog, and even one salesman who I’m pretty sure didn’t actually work for the dealership.  (He didn’t have the car keys, didn’t go on the test drive with us, and kept calling Milo a girl!)

In the end we got a deal that we feel very good about, including a very reasonable value for our trade-in.  We are now proud owners of a new Nissan Murano (in an awesome dark blue color).  We picked the Murano for its place on the IIHS Top Safety Pick list, its V6 engine (mama needs good pick up!), its sleek look, and all the fun goodies on the inside (blind spot warning, automatic lift gate, navigation, etc.).  So far we are both happy with our pick.  Hoping this car lasts (much) longer than 4.5 years.

 

Meetup.com

Meetup.com is a website for people of similar persuasions to form groups and host real-life events together.  It’s a great idea for anyone looking to make new friends, pursue hobbies with others, get involved in the community, murder unsuspecting suckers in a dungeon.

It’s kind of like a virtual club fair for adults.  It’s a good platform for me in particular because a. I want to meet more people who live near me, b. I’m not great at initiating contact or conversation, and c. I’m pretty good at making friends once there is an opening.  Meetup.com can potentially provide that opening.

So with this in mind, I joined the Pompton Lakes Moms group and decided to attend a meetup at the organizer’s home.  Luckily this was an event for moms, dads, and kiddos, so the whole family went.  And guess what?  No murder dungeon!  What’s more, we met some really nice people who we hope to see again.  Score!

 

Keeping the Old

My best friends are a big part of my identity.  They’ve been in my life for a really long time, which is something I’m proud of.  I’m also really glad that so far having a baby has not changed that.  I still call and text my girls all the time and try to keep up with their lives as they keep up with mine.  Sometimes important events slip through the cracks or don’t get as much attention as they should, but with 25+ years under our belts, the closeness does not seem to be affected.  Lucky.

My oldest friend Stacey, who I met in her mother’s Mommy and Me class at age 1, now has a little boy herself.  We played Barbies together and made up dances together, and soon our babies will be playing together.  Nuts.

It’s surprising how many people fall into the friend category throughout high school.  I guess by virtue of exposure and comfort, I had a lot of friends.  Naturally closeness does not linger for all friends, but admiration may.  Or at very least friendliness.

For at least some of those reasons I have two interesting meetings lined up for this weekend.  First, lunch with a friend from high school who recently moved to a nearby town.  Second, a get-together with a couple I grew up with in Hebrew school and their son.  Sometimes you see an old friend and the old connection is revived, sometimes there is a new connection created, and sometimes you understand why the connection faded in the first place.  We shall see!

 

Between family (who are extra excited to see us Milo), good friends we’ve been seeing a lot of, old friends who are only a phone call away, and potential new friends, for the first time in a while I feel sufficiently social.

 

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One thought on “Buying a Car and Other Social Experiments

  1. I admire your assertiveness–getting out there to meet other terrific families like your own, or different but offering other expanding experiences. You go, girl. AL

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