Parts of life here in Sunnyville seem to speed by at 100mph, I look around and think wait! How did we get here already? Sometimes I handle the changing needs with grace, and other times - well we seem to muddle through. Teen buying her first car falls into the muddle events.
See, Teen had earned a truck from the neighbors for babysitting last summer. It was a nice truck, but would need some work. As excited as she was to own this vehicle, there was definitely some trepidation about fixing it and making it her own. Consequently, she sold it - for cheap. Then she promptly got a job to earn money for a car. She has been saving her money well, though you don't make much working at the local ice cream shop, and felt she was ready to buy a car - Hubby and I were not so keen.
Daily she brought cars to our attention, and daily we found flaws and issues until it dawned on me that this was a futile exercise. She would buy a car. She would grow-up. It is pointless to attempt to halt the practice. So, I began to help. Then she found it. An old sedan that met all her requirements - cheap and good gas mileage - and she was off. She researched the KBB value, the car, and what to look for when you are buying a used car. We went for the test drive.
Is it old? Yes. Does it run well? Yes. Does the AC work? Yes. Her questions were answered. She drove around accelerating and decelerating quickly with no rhyme or reason to test that it shifted well and even checked the oil and for leaks - she was doing well. Until it was time to settle on a price.
Let me start by saying I am not laughing at Teen (and myself as well), I am laughing with her. Yes, there is a difference. The three of us stand around the car; me, Teen, Seller. I asked a few questions they were answered, Teen stated she wanted the car.
I look to Teen and say, "Well, now is when you decide how much you are will to pay for the car."
"Okay, well, I have $1200 in the bank..." DOH!! Yes, she really said that aloud to the seller...who was asking $1200.
Trying for salvage, I laugh and make a joke before reminding her, "Okay, but consider how much you will have to spend to fix the tail pipe and how much you will have to pay for title and tags..."
"Oh! But you said you would help with those for my birthday."
Yes, I am not kidding, it was like a bad comedy of how not to buy a car!
Thankfully, Seller was a nice guy, who laughed and said "You are supposed to rehearse this stuff you know!"
We all laughed and Teen got the car for $900 - not too bad for her first attempt and the rocky start...
sometimes there is grace, sometimes there is blindly groping in the dark and sometimes it is a bit of both. Plus, now I know, explicit instruction in haggling is needed for my children. Maybe this summer we'll haunt some flea markets...