Thursday, September 24, 2009

The queen and me

Hi. Today? Suuuuuucked.

Let me tell you a little story.

I am selling my car. Selling a car is an ugly, tawdry affair. Yesterday I took great pains to write a lengthy and informative ad on Craigslist, with a photo. I put an ad in the local paper, too. And as soon as I was done, the calls started coming. And with those calls came exposure to all sorts of people, with their weird hangups and insecurities and need to prove themselves better negotiators, and more knowledgable then the owner.

So today I had an appointment to show the car. The guy had spoken to the dealership, knew the exact condition of the car mechanically, and just wanted to see it. He was meeting me in town with cash. I dropped the car off to be detailed first thing this morning, and took the bus home - a lengthy process with multiple stops and a circuitous, 2 hour route that left me carsick and aggravated.

Three hours later, I had to walk to both schools, collect the kids and then run (in the rain) to catch the only bus to town. With the kids. Did I mention the kids were with me ? Then I had to catch a cab, because we missed our connection. At the bus stop, in the rain, with the kids (have I mentioned the kids ?) my phone rang. The guy who was meeting me couldn't meet me. I offered to bring the car to him. He agreed. He had the cash. He was ready.

In the midst of all of this, we missed our connecting bus, had to take a cab and then, hours after we started, finally got to the car. Grabbed the kids some take out. Hit the road. Called the guy to get directions. Found out he lived 15 minutes PAST the town he had told me before.

And I should have stopped the car right then.
I should have turned around and headed home and said never mind, screw this, I am too old and too tired and too busy. But I wanted to be fair, and he had called first, and he had CASH and was WAITING. So I said OK, but that I had to leave at 5pm, in order to get the kids to their classes tonight. "Of course !" he said. "NO problem."

45 minutes later, when we got to his house, he did not produce cash. Instead, he jumped in the driver's seat and started driving. He wanted to go to his mechanic, in another town. Sure. No problem. I had nothing to hide. I welcomed the idea of having the mechanic confirm what he had been told by me, and the dealer. I went over what needed to be repaired again. Reminded he would need new tires. Pointed out the flaws. Left him and the mechanic to take a look.

5:05pm. Still looking.
5:15pm. Still. Looking.
5:20, he is done.

And he wants to make a deal. And I tell him no, no deal, I already came down in price. I drove out here. I disclosed everything. You confirmed my disclosures. Money. Please. Now.

"Well, the dealer said it would cost ____."

"Right. But you aren't taking it to the dealer. You are taking it to your mechanic. Who doesn't cost nearly as much."

"Right, mechanics are always cheaper, so-"

"No. I know how much the dealer would charge, and I wouldn't pay that and neither would you so it doesn't matter. Kids, get in the car."

The kids were watching, wide-eyed.

He says, "Well, if you want to see if you can get a better deal....."

I look at him. I look at my two kids, who have now missed gymnastics and tae kwon do.

Seeing as how he was a single gay guy, living in a fabulous child-free condo, I had a feeling that he wasn't real familiar with the wrath that can shower down on someone who denies kids their gymnastics and tae kwon do. And dinner.

"Kids, get in the car. Buckle up."

"Mommy, is he NOT BUYING THE CAR ???"


My son is looking back and forth between the two adults, his blue eyes darkening. He knows exactly what is going on. His mommy has just been had. And he is not happy about it. His eyes narrow. He starts to glare.



And this guy, this big stupid man, puts his hand on the door handle. "Can I still get a ride back to my house ?"

And that is when I used every reamining ounce of strength to remain calm. "I said I needed to leave at 5pm. It is 5:20pm. I took 2 busses and a cab and drove an hour and put 100 miles on my car for you. I am leaving."

And I did.
And as we drove away, I looked in the rearview mirror. Both kids were sitting straight up in their seats, with middle fingers held aloft towards the figure disappearing behind us.

I hope he didn't miss the bus.

No comments: