Sunday, July 6, 2008

my own independence

I read Lisa's post and wrote my own post on my own blog about buying a new car...the second new car I've purchased in my life...and what I really should be doing right now is shopping for car insurance, and re-evaluating my existing car insurance, on my old car and the car my son occasionally drives. 

But I've been avoiding doing that.  I was so wiped out by shopping for and negotiating the price of my new car that my back, neck and shoulders are all stiff.  It's overwhelming, sometimes, to try to figure out all this stuff by myself.  I came home on Saturday night, having negotiated fairly well, overall, on the price of the car...at least I think I did.  I didn't negotiate from invoice price, but from MSRP...Kath says that's a mistake, because you're starting too high (and she's a buyer of electronics for an internet site, so she knows about these things)...but she conceded that the inexpensive car I bought is so in demand, that this might not have applied.  It's funny, I hate haggling.  I'd almost rather pay more than have to argue about money.  In this case, I was tired and that worked in my favor.  Every time the dealership added something on to what I'd decided I would pay, I'd just say, "OK, sell it for that to someone else, but I'm not paying for that" and they'd back down.  In the end, to my amazement, I even got them to agree to do keyless entry for me, a several hundred dollar option, at no additional cost, simply because I said I wouldn't take the car without it, but if they threw it in I'd buy it, so they did.  Wow.  I had no idea. 

But the whole thing left me feeling exhausted and sort of...dirty.  Suze Orman could tell me a thing or two about that, I'm sure.  Anyway, I bought the car, and it's what I need, and it's in my price range, and I negotiated effectively...so why do I feel empty?  And that the last thing I want to do is get insurance quotes?  I'm 58 years old, and although my mom always worked to support us (so I wasn't raised with the idea of a white knight coming to my rescue), still, in most ways my mom was quite traditional.  She was astonished that I had power tools and not only knew how to use them, but enjoyed using them.  Mom ironed; Dad fixed things.  When I got married, in some ways the division of labor was more equal than in my parent's marriage...but in many other ways, it was equally traditional.  When I was married, my husband supported us, and he gave me a very small allowance with which I had to make do.  Although he was a lawyer, he was in private practice and did lots of pro bono work, so we never had much money, and most of the time we were married, we didn't even have health insurance.  In the end, I felt that I was living under his thumb, and I had to get out. 

I got a job, got divorced, began finding my way by myself...and I'm doing OK.  But sometimes, like this weekend, when I needed to buy a new car...or last fall, when I decided to refinance my house...I just wish there was someone with whom I could meaningfully discuss this stuff.  Well, I guess I wish for more than that...I could probably meaningfully discuss this stuff with a financial advisor (I don't have one) or a therapist (don't have one of those, either).  No, what I'd like, at times, is a partner...someone besides myself to worry about landscaping the backyard or redoing the siding...someone with whom I could share a glass of wine or a beer or a cup of coffee or ice tea as we kicked back and discussed these things...and someone to curl up with and talk with at night, before falling asleep...someone to share happiness with, as well as worries...

But then again, I dunno.  I've become so independent in the 8 years since I've been divorced...I don't know if I'm fit to live with anyone anymore...but sometimes, when I get overwhelmed, I find myself thinking about it...

3 comments:

mlraminiak said...

Though I'm sure I could function by myself, I'm not sure I'd want to.  And I KNOW I wouldn't be negotiating the price for any car.  I HATE that one should have to do that.  Why can't they just be honest about it?  Here's the car, here's what we paid for it, here's what we want you to pay for it.  People don't walk up to my counter at the cafe and haggle the price of a burger, and they shouldn't have to.  Bleh.

Lisa  :-]

emmapeeldallas said...

EXACTLY!  I'm certainly better at this now than I was when I bought the used car for Mike & Chris to drive, some 5 years ago.  I have an excellent credit rating, and did then too...so I qualified for a low interest car loan...but the guys that time pulled up some of my ex's lousy credit rating and said it applied to me (we were divorced; in retrospect I think the guys were lying).  But, naively, I didn't challenge them...that will never happen to me again.  When I went into the loan office on Saturday, unknown to anyone at the dealer's, I'd already secured a super low interest rate loan from the credit union at work, and when the dealer tried to "offer" me a loan at twice that rate, I simply said I'd pass, and explained why...but this stuff exhausts me, and I don't have the heart for it.  I don't know how the salesmen and dealers sleep at night.  

mutualaide said...

It is tough making the decisions on your own and being the only one responsible for major life stuff.  It's overwhelming sometimes.  I rely and am relied upon -- friends -- good friends and at night, the cat or the little dog has to do.  

Congrats on getting through the purchase of a new car!  I hope you enjoy every mile of its use.