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Monday, November 06, 2006

Eulogy for a Friend

When I dropped her off this morning, I never imagined it would be our last ride together. I knew she wasn't feeling like herself over the last week, but I didn't think it would be this bad. And then I got the came late this afternoon and the news wasn't good. Tears sprang to my eyes, as the initial panic rose and I wondered where to go from here. How do you move on quickly? You have no choice in the matter. You either move on or stay stagnant and unmoving... Rooted forever in one place.

But it's hard to take the necessary steps when you have just lost a good friend. After all, she was there for me over the years, every time I needed her. True, I manipulated her as best as I could, but what can I say? I'm only human, and can be rather selfish when it comes down to it. But I tried to do what I could for her when she needed TLC. And for the most part, she treated me with the utmost in kindness and comfort. She always offered a warm respite from the cold, a dry haven in the rain, or a spot for a quick nap. She offered to give rides to my friends on late nights and accompanied us all through quite a few adventures.

Not to say we didn't have our differences here and there. Like the time earlier this year when I was trying to be responsible, but she didn't want to stop. It took an intervention, but after about a week I convinced her to get some help and the healing had begun. Then later this year, she left me stranded without a ride home in the parking lot. Granted, it was the parking lot of my apartment complex, and only a 5 minute walk for me to get home. Of course, I had to call in an expert to help us communicate the next day. But after I gave her a little extra attention, she came around.

I guess those were all warning signs, and I should have seen this coming. Especially this past week, when she kept getting hot under the collar. I was just waiting for her to blow her top. I just thought it might be prevented. I tried to give her space and time to cool off. But I have to realize that when it's time, it's time. And she and I had a good run, there's no denying that. At least I get to see her at least one more time to say goodbye...I need to pick up her personal effects, and let me tell you, that girl travelled with a lot of baggage... But all that said, I will miss her and will keep her in my memory.

In Memorium
Chevy Lumina
You shall be missed
Donations will be accepted for those generous enough to give in order to honor her memory...(j/k - okay, not really - I'm poor! Need money...okay, that's not helping.)
Does anyone have any tips for buying a car? I need all the help I can get. I don't even know where to start! (And the car overheated this morning, so I dropped it off at the dealership. Word from them is that repairs are in the neighborhood of $4,000...which is probably more than the car is worth at this point.) Makes, models? Anything...I'm desperate...(don't tell the salespeople that though)


Dagny said...

4-1/2 years ago I took my Honda Prelude in for regular servicing. She was 18 years old and had been cross country and back. She had almost 270k miles on her. When I went to pick her up from the shop, I was informed that she would need new brakes, tires and a clutch. The brakes and tires I could live with but the clutch? It was the original one. They estimated $2000 to $3000 in repairs. I told them that I did not need repairs; I needed a new car.

I picked up new Honda brochures. I then shopped online. Honda is kind enough to do online pricing. You pick your model and features and they give you a price. You take into your local dealer and there is no haggling. I signed up for Consumers Report online. They were kind enough to supply me with recommendations. They also supplied me with the wholesale price for the car I had selected, including options. The online quote was $600 more than the price that Consumers quoted. I went in and told them I would take it. (They had even let me pick out the color online.) I had my new car within a week.

Bessie? Well, I sold her as is to a mechanic. And I know that she is still cruising around because he got a ticket before he finished the title transfer.

Orelinde_03 said... had me going for a minute. Great post. I felt that way, and still do about my aunt's '79 Pontiac Firebird, that I had learned to drive on. When we were kids, my cousins and I used to hop in and out of the open windows of my aunts Firebird, playing 'Dukes Of Hazzard', and the car was the 'General Lee'. When we had to get rid of that car I CRIED!

I own a Hayundi Santa Fe...bought it brand new.back in 2003. It handles great in any inclimate weather, and drives like a gem regardless. It was reasonably priced at $23,000. Hope this helps....good luck in your quest.

Fluffycat said...

I don't know if you are a member of Costco, but that's how I got my last car. They give you a list of dealerships, then they give you a "Costco price" which is supposedly very little markup.

If I were going to buy a new car now, I would get a hybrid, probably a Prius. But it doesn't hurt to do some test-driving and figure out what you like.

Joie said...

Well, I dunno if you are in the market for new or used. I would truly recommend used. You can buy these puppies with half their life for WAY less than half what you would buy a new one for. Unfortunately, it takes time to get a really good deal. I know that's something you don't really have....

The way I did it, was pick the make and model I was looking for. Pick only one or two. Use Consumer Reports to help you pick. Then I scoured the paper for cars for sale. You need to get an idea of what things run, and what a good deal is.
No matter what, if it comes down to dealing, remember, YOU ARE THE ONE WITH THE POWER. Decide what is the max you will pay, and don't go higher. If they want more, be willing to walk away. But leave the door open. Tell them to call you if they change their mind. (My Dad is an expert at this!!)

And that is how I got my 3 year old car, with just under 70K miles for only $4000.

And btw, YOU are a total BRAT!! I fell for your story for a while. Pbbbthhh!!

Kristy said...

Good luck with the car search. What a hassle. I don't have any real advice in this area...

I hope against hope that you will still be able to join us on Saturday for the sewing up....

Kristin said...

Its ok, the car did what it was supposed to do. You have advice from me and support. Let me know what I can do. I recommend buying 2004 or newer and 30k miles is about right or less. I dont know what you like, but after seeing the drivers mirror on the lumina, I suggest a smaller car.

Jill said...

Never again will I come to your blog in a precaffeinated state. Never. For about .10 seconds, I thought your friend, Chevy, died.

Great post, by the way! :-)

kerri said...

SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT DIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???????????? OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am shocked! Why didn't you tell me? (OMG, you scared me, and then I got it. Good one).

Tami said...

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I took the day off tomorrow to go meet my father (yes, I'm a 31 yo independent woman who needs her daddy!) to look at cars. So far, I'm leaning towards used, and foreign. Which kind of goes against my patriotic side, but I have to listen to my budget and reliability stats too. Of course, my co-worker is on a campaign to get me into a Ford Mustang (and I do like a Mustang...but they are not the most affordable, nor practical choice...and God knows that I am too practical for my own good...)

Oh, and sorry if I misled any of you with the eulogy! (Jill - never do anything precaff! What am I saying? I don't have my first caffeine until I'm already at work...)

Margaret said...

condolences, for your loss

I used to be married to a car salesman, the newest salesman on the lot will give up the gross and give you the best deal. You'll feel better about the deal you got with a more experienced salesman, but will have paid more: take advantage of the rookie.

Joie said...

Though I am an "all-american" girl myself, and personally have found Fords to be reliable, I would encourage you not to feel unpatriotic about buying a used foreign car. The money you are spending on a used car stays in the US. Used purchases, or resale, really benefit only the local area. The money goes back into the local economy, so you are not costing anybody a job.

And don't feel bad about taking your Dad. I did. And to be honest, in my experience they deal more fairly with men.

Good luck!!

Gloria said...

At first I thought a pet had died. I'm still driving the car I had when I first started driving, 10 years ago. Since I am still in school (albeit grad school), I feel that it's still my parents' responsibility to deal with my car problems. Including my commenting, every once in awhile, that maybe a new car would be nice. Like a hybrid. Because as much as I like my car, she's starting to get old.

bitchwhoblogs said...

I am going for the Prius through Costco myself

Caitlin said...

Tami how are you currently getting around w/out a car? Let us know what you decide to get???