I usually don’t have much to do with buying cars. At one time, one of the cars was always in my name and I had to go and sign final papers and whatnot, but I didn’t have to do much else.

The 2006 Mazda Miata has been in our family for five years (exactly to the day, it was purchased on July 28, 2010). I had absolutely nothing to do with buying it. We test drove a few Miatas and then I went on vacation. I was out in Arizona when Dick found the car and bought it. I came home and there was my cute little convertible sitting there waiting.

It didn’t have very many miles on it, but it wasn’t as fun anymore. It was hard to get in and out of and there wasn’t much room for stuff and certainly no room for people. While my sisters were here, I had to drive Dick’s car because no one would ride in the trunk. It was really nice to not have to shift – after I got used to not shifting. It was also very nice to have a little camera showing me where I was backing up.

There were lots of nice features to the new car. But the little car has been serviceable and paid for, which is always nice. This broke and that broke and they were always not quite deal-breaking bills. But there were getting to be more and more of them.

And then there was the problem of getting in and out of the car. Not so bad if it wasn’t the day after leg day. But after enough squats, wall balls, or lunges – or a combination of them – then it was really difficult to get my fat ass in or out of the car. Especially if someone parked too close to my door while I was mincing through the grocery store.

There was room for exactly five bags of groceries (using the reusable bags, not the Walmart type of bagging where only two items or less go in each bag) in the trunk and if I bought too many groceries, it was going to be difficult to get them home. Sports cars are fun, but they aren’t without issues.

The last time the car broke was right after my sisters went back home. It wasn’t anything major. The thermostat needed replaced and it was around $375 to fix – just under our $400 limit. And so we discussed selling the car. We had said when the last thing broke that the next one would mean it was time to sell. And now, here was the next time.

We had lots of time to discuss this on our trip back and forth to Ohio. We were in Dick’s fancy car 12 hours each way and this was one of the items up for discussion. I really liked driving Dick’s Ford and I liked the features (including the navigation and computer display) and so we looked at Fords. We decided we would go car shopping today.

We left the house right around 11 AM on what I thought was going to be a test drive. We tried a Fiesta, but they only had a low end, bottom of the line model on the lot and I simply hated it. It was awful. The seat was like sitting on a wooden box and we finally figured out that you had to pump the seat to get it to tilt which was absolutely bizarre in my opinion.

I did ask before driving if I could take the salesman to our house because part of the test drive was seeing if I could get it in and out of the garage (I am too uncertain to move Dick’s car in or out of the garage, partly due to its size and partly because it is on the wrong side of the garage). I could get this car in and out of the garage without trouble. But I really, really hated it.

Then I tried a Focus. It had everything on it and much more. It was the top of the line or something ridiculous which meant that its price tag was higher than I wanted. It was also white which wasn’t the color I was hoping for. I was hoping for red or blue. But it is the end of the model year and there were fewer cars on the lot.

I again brought the car to the house and successfully parked in the garage and got back out. It is bigger than the Miata, but not enough to scare the living crap out of me. Everything was way cool, the seat was a power seat and I could actually get it where it was comfortable to sit in. The ride was much smoother, but since I’m used to a sports car, that wasn’t as much of a big deal. I am sure it will be later. It had the computer/navigation thing. It’s got a super sound system with ten speakers – see, lots of stuff I didn’t need.

Everything about it was nice except the price tag. But the sales manager said he could deal with us. He did. He gave us a deal! Sticker price minus the Ford rebate plus about ⅔ what we knew we could get for the Mazda. We looked at him stunned.

We went back and forth and I finally had to get my phone’s calculator all fired up. By now, hours had passed and I missed lunch. I do not miss meals willingly, or politely. As we put numbers in and fiddled around with the numbers game, I finally put in some of my own numbers. I was done by then.

I announced that we would leave and sell the Mazda on our own and if the Ford was still there, we could come back and buy it, but if not too bad. Dick knew exactly how much someone was willing to buy the Mazda for and it was more than they were offering. I even started to stand up when the sales manager finally figured out we were serious about not giving away the Mazda.

Dick countered with an even number and said if he could sell us the car for that amount, we would buy it. They did and we did. By this time I was shaking like a leaf. This is not what I am cut out to do.

Then the paperwork started and that was annoyingly drawn out, but what else can you do. Then we went to the finance guy to sign up for 0% financing. That was also a lot of paperwork but didn’t take as long as it might have. In fact, it was so quick, they hadn’t finished detailing the car.

We waited for about an hour for them to wash the car. We finally got home, with my pretty new car with all the stuff on it anyone could want, at 5 PM. The car needs to last for the rest of my life because I really don’t want to have to go through this again.

I don’t understand why this has to be so hard. If they had immediately met Dick’s price, we would have paid $1,000 more for the car than we ended up paying. But they couldn’t afford to sell it for that and so ended up selling it for less. But, I’m good to go for a long time. I hope.

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Before being cleaned up and made pretty.

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