this world is way too small to feel like nothing
Not long after I began to entertain the thoughts of buying a new car, Roomie began the long process of his own new car selection. His current ride, a 2004 Jaguar, was a lease set to expire in June of this year and therefore a replacement was a necessity. He briefly toyed with the idea of downsizing to something practical with a lower monthly payment. Those of you who know him know that was a very very brief period. One thing he did decide on was that he wanted to move to something smaller – a two-seater that would remove him as the de facto driver every time we went out anywhere. He spent hours searching online and finally found the car that would meet his needs – a Mercedes CLK350.
He was buying pre-owned, and had narrowed down the choices to three – one in Houston, one in Dallas, and one in Santa Barbara. The one in Houston was the first choice and was the easiest one for us to go take a look at, so off we went one weekend to make a visit. A beautiful car, with everything he wanted. The only problem was the salesmen unwilling to budge from the sticker price. In fact, they informed us that once we left they were actually going to be raising it. I guess the economic downswing hasn’t affected North Houston. We wished the salesman good luck, put a hex on the car, and returned home. Last we checked it was still sitting on the lot.
The car in Dallas was 2nd on the list, and visiting it was just about as out of the question as visiting the one in Santa Barbara. Fortunately Roomie has a trusted friend in the area that he could call upon to make a visit and report back to him. Once he got the all clear, the negotiations could begin. And this time, Roomie was dealing with a salesman who actually understood how the game was played. A week later the car was delivered and we spent a Saturday driving around getting to know the new member of the family.
Roomie did the first leg behind the wheel of course, but let me take over in the afternoon so he “see how I drove it” before he agreed to let me take all by myself Monday and Tuesday. The windows weren’t tinted you see, wouldn’t be until I took the car in for it Tuesday morning; and until they were he wasn’t going to take it to work. Which meant he was going to continue driving the Jaguar until then, and I’ll be damned if I was going to let a Mercedes sit in the garage while I drove around in a 12-year old Mustang. So after picking up our friend Kevin at the best coffee shop in Austin and then heading to the mall, I was allowed to drive him home. If you’ve ever ridden in a car with me, you can probably guess how it went.
RED LIGHT TURNS GREEN, APRIL FLOORS IT
Me: Glancing in rearview mirror “HA! Lookit them all still way back there at the light!”
Roomie: “You are never driving this car again”
The car comes equipped with navigation system, one of Roomie’s requirements in his new car. While on the way to pick up Kevin he turned it on and the screen came alive with a highway grid showing… the 405?
“Is this… is this car from California???”
“Yeah. When I pulled the CarFax it originated from Long Beach.”
“Awwwww. I feel so much closer to her now!! She’s not really a Dallas snob, she’s a California bitch! Look, she’s trying to navigate us to LA. Take her home. Take her home!!“
He never does what I say.
During my drive time we stopped to get gas (she’s a thirsty one) and while Roomie pumped, I played with the nav system more. From it I reached a completely biased conclusion about the previous owner. Clearly he was gay. Every name programmed in there was male, save for one woman, and then mom.
“And then there’s this entry… it just says ‘Dealer’.”
“That could mean a lot of things…”
“Yea… but it don’t mean Mercedes dealer!”
I did drive it for the first two days, taking care of the window tinting so Roomie didn’t have to suffer the indignity of showing up at work with a car not ready for her public debut. She is most definitely an LA girl. To my delight, this car has an auxiliary jack whereas the Houston car did not, so she and Steve [my sentient iPod] hooked up immediately. Together they pulled the Silversun Pickups on average every other song.
Roomie loves the car, and I am happy for him. It’s a beautiful car. The Mustang is enjoying a nice rest in the garage, as I have been driving the Jaguar for the past few weeks. Truth be told, the Mercedes doesn’t do much for me really. Oh sure, the initial acceleration is nice. But once you get there? 80 feels like 70, 70 feels like 60, and so on. I realize that’s the point. But I like to feel like I’m doing my speed. That you don’t in luxury cars is exactly the reason why I always get my speeding tickets in them. I prefer the Jaguar over the Mercedes for the reasons it drove Roomie crazy – the little bits of road noise and bumps that let me feel the road and let me know where I am. For me, driving the Mercedes is like having unsatisfying sex with a really hot guy. It’s boring and uninspiring. But looks good!
I’m likely losing the Jaguar in a few weeks, as opposed to the planned date of June. It’s probably for the best – I’ve gotten a wee bit attached, to the point of considering buying it myself. It’s probably better I go back to other plan – finding a way to get the old man down the street with the new Shelby to put me in his will.