Here's the loosely translated exchange that happened yesterday or so in our house.
Us: [with false enthusiasm] Hey, kids! Let's go drive an hour to go look at a car that we might want to buy, but which we're not actually going to buy tomorrow! Then, we'll have to probably load you back up and do it once more if we actually decide that we should buy it! Doesn't that sound like f-u-n?!?
Kids: [groan] Uggggghhhhh!!!
Us: [with more false enthusiasm] Yeah, well...it will be F-U-N!!!
Kids: [groan] What color is it?
Us: White. Or maybe dark blue. Possibly even black.
Kids: [groan] We want lavender!!!
Us: [dropping all pretense of enthusiasm] Well, no.
Kids: [hitting on a brilliant idea] Hey, Daddy could paint his car lavender then!!!
Us: [feigning caring] Well, no again.
Kids: [starting to get testy] WHY??!????!???!
Us: [with the utmost patience and logic] Because.
Kids: [again, logically] Well...then...when we grow up, we're going to paint our car RAINBOW COLORS!!!
Us: [relieved] Absolutely. Alright...let's go get in the car.
Well, in a decision that can best be described in the terms of "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!" and "I'D NEVER DO THAT IN A MILLION YEARS!" and "WE WERE BACKED INTO A CORNER!" we loaded up those two little suckers ("Hey kids...don't drive us absolutely crazy and we'll totally bribe you with lunch at Fazolis!") and headed out to go dance the dance of wheelin' and dealin' at a used car lot.
We're searching for our 7th car since we've been married (10 years now...on paper, this is not a good ratio), and only one of these has come from a car lot. We've done well at finding what we need otherwise from individual sellers, and neither of us really feels comfortable trying to fight the good fight with someone who does this for a living. Are we really getting a good deal? How do we know that we're getting a good deal? Maybe if we just say that we're getting a good deal, then it will be so. Maybe not. WHO KNOWS?!?
But I think we have finally/laboriously/hair wrenchingly/snail pacedly decided on the kind of car that we should pursue. We're talking a long haul vehicle, not just a 4-6 years vehicle. We're thinking a drive-it-for-10-years-and-then-pass-it-on-to-the-Elder-with-a-cool-200,000-miles-car. So based on the average number of miles I put on my vehicles for the past few years, we need something pretty new.
Friends. "Pretty new" also means "pretty pricey." Oh, yes, it does.
But, the boy being who he is, he set up a spreadsheet which factors all sorts of glob together to come up with gook that tells us how much any particular car costs over a set amount of time. Which has led us down this worm hole, for which there seems to be no end. To get what we both want and think will work best for our needs over the next decade+, we're probably going to need to practice a used car lot tango. And then we brought kids along just to make it that much more fun.
Of all the many car lots within a reasonable distance of us, there's really only 1 (o-n-e) that has a few cars for us to chose from based on what we need. And here's where we have to swallow a bitter pill: It's the most-annoying-tv-ads-for-at-least-3-decades-now auto group. That's right, kids. We're probably going to help fund those ads that much longer. As if it could not get better...
...But it actually can. And it did. This car lot's showroom had a multi-story play space for kids right there beside those shiny new wheels. (It also had funky, modern bathrooms, a beverage counter, and a sleek recycling center. Posh Hotel? Used car lot showroom? Six of one...half dozen of another.) And this meant that the hour and a half we basically lounged about this place was a calm and comfortable experience. The enjoyment factor was right there beside the massive cinnamon rolls I picked up at a little bakery this morning.
Oh, happy day. Maybe we'll even take the kids back some day to play again. Or, to actually buy a car. Or both...?