Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My First Time

Do you remember one of your first times?  Probably only the very first?  You look a little confused by that statement.  Let me explain.

Yesterday I drove my brand new car home for the first time.  I purchased a Toyota Camry hybrid XLE.  It has 90% of the bells and whistles but none of the post production add-ons.  I paid about $1,000 more than the lowest target price recommended on the various web sites I visited and close to other prices given on other sites.  I might have gotten the seller down another $400/$600, but I admit I just wanted to get out of there.  I did discover after I got home that I also got the floor mats which I had not asked for, so I am happy.

Earlier in the week I could not get the seller to provide me with some negotiating enthusiasm until I started searching on-line and his dealership got my name and information via the Internet and emailed me.  He suddenly wanted my business once again. He asked if I was shopping around and I said, of course!

Well, we went to the dealer after working on the museum grounds today and the deal ended up taking half as long as I thought.  Learning how the navigation system, radio, heated seats, gas saving systems, etc. worked took much longer.  The dealer linked up hubby's phone via Bluetooth to the car and now I have dozens of stupid names to sort through in making a call.  Hubby adds EVERYONE to his phone.  (During this week I am going to learn how to delete contacts from the car's database!)   I was encouraged by the salesman to get my own "Smart" phone.  I am not sure why I want a phone smarter than hasn't helped hubby much that I have noticed.

Anyway, after much training I was finally able to kick both of them out of the car so that I could drive this little beauty home.  I get 60 (90?) days of free Satellite XM radio so I selected a nice jazz station and put the car in drive and enjoyed the ride back to my house.

By the time hubby brought home the "old' car that had been a love only 15 years ago, I had decided we needed to celebrate by eating out.  We headed to my favorite Italian restaurant with him driving so that I could have fun with all the buttons and displays as we headed there.  We had a delicious Italian seafood dinner with several glasses of wine -- me only as hubby does not drink. and is therefore, always the designated driver.

We got into the car and both noticed weather had turned colder.  I turned on the heated seats with such decadent pleasure.  I no longer had to wait until my butt warmed where I sat!  On the way home it started to drizzle and in the dark there was some quick discussion on how to turn on the wipers.  Hubby fiddled without success and I directed without solace.  Finally we admitted it was too hard to read buttons on the lever and other symbols in the dark and I looked for the cabin light.  There were a lot of buttons to select overhead.  I pushed a few randomly waiting for light.  Soon I realized as my face was becoming damp that I had pushed open the moon roof in the rain!  I had had enough wine that I got the giggles and it took me some time to find the button to close the roof of the car once again.  We finally got the wipers going and the right station on the radio and began to enjoy our ride home once again.

Now for the part of the story that brought us back to earth.  We approached the bridge over the river and noticed traffic was very slow up ahead.  Once we got to the other side of the bridge we saw lots flashing lights and a detour sign.  As we left the bridge to detour from the main highway we were able to see across the median a good sized truck in the ditch sitting cross ways and just a few feet away was a sedan with a crushed roof and covered with white fabric to prevent those of us driving by from seeing the scene beneath the crushed roof as our headlights made the turn.  We slowly passed as two ambulances arrived and the rain started in earnest.

We came back to earth with a jolt and hoped those involved would be safe as we were reminded the real reason for automobiles, getting easily but safely from one point to another.


  1. Wow, Tabor! I went from giggling with you to the sober event you witnessed. No smile on my face, now.

    Life IS short! Enjoy that ride!

  2. I agree...that is sobering!!
    Congrats on the car!! Sounds fab

  3. Good job with the dreaded car buying process. Glad you made it home safely, when the rain begins things can go awry badly.

  4. You are going to love it. Bravo for doing so well getting the car. :)

    Have you been getting my emails? I've sent you a few with our Washington info. Do let me know.

  5. Ooh, back to earth for sure. I completely skipped the cell phone and just got my first iphone but don't know how to use most of what it can do. I am a techno clutz and wonder why they can't improve the quality of sound since they can make it do almost everything else.

    What color is your new car? I pictured it as whitish.

  6. A sad ending to an otherwise amusing post. I hate buying cars although I have a gift for negotiating and a son who knows more about cars than I'd ever want to.

  7. Congratulations on the successful purchase. Sounds like fun.

    As we drove home from the beach yesterday, I commented on how fast life can change, in a split second, when one is driving. There is no way totally to prepare for what another driver might unexpectedly do. As they make autos safer with air bags, and other protections, I keep thinking could they do better if they truly wanted?

  8. Enjoy each ride, stay in the moment.

    Glad you're done with this, having to buy a car is a pain.

  9. Yes, I recall my first time -- for buying a new car -- was in my mid-twenties, totally on my own and I succumbed to Whispering Art Cohen, as we privately called this new car dealer who had managed to get our TV station mgr to allow him to host his own not so low-volumed commercials. He promised me a deal and it was a reasonable one, plus I was spared all the haggling and game playing -- quite unlike the car I have now that we purchased several years ago. In the latter instance I walked out on one salesman after telling him what I would and wouldn't do. Guess he thought I was playing chicken. Several days later he phoned only to learn I had purchased that other car just as I told him I would do when he started playing car-buying games.

  10. I am such a serious driver I could not find the events funny. It worried me that you did not pull over somewhere and locate the correct buttons. It worried me that you had enough wine to feel giddy while driving.
    And then I had an "Ah-ha" moment when you came across the sad accident. It is an extremely serious matter to be entrusted with the handling of such a large piece of moving machine. Do you feel like a parent has just lectured you?

  11. I am a white knuckle driver. More and more so as I get up in years. The less I drive the happier I am!

  12. Yep to Annie. But remember I was NOT driving. Wine means no car keys.

  13. Interesting about the bluetooth. On mine, you just say the name, and the voice recognition system dials the associated number. I WAS surprised to find that its the car, not the voice system on the phone, that does that, though -- all the phone provides is the actual transmit/receive.

    Sounds like you got a great car there....

  14. I truelly hate too many car gadgets on the dashboard- Drove a Ford Fusion to Maine n went crazy until I shut down the satellite read-out n could concentrate.

    Looks like angels stopped you a bit to avoid experiencing that accident-
    You got me laughing at the Moon Roof rain tho-

    Remember to read the manual-

  15. Anonymous1:32 PM

    Congrats on your new car. By the way I really like your 'Occupation'. Wish I'd thought of it first.

  16. It's the smell of a new car that I like best. I'm no good at bells and whistles. I think my next car will be a mule. Or an adult trike ;)

  17. So true. We have more to be thankful for than we even know.

  18. I've never owned a new car. At this age, I think I'd be scared to. I'm so used to having cars that come pre-dinged in some way, I'd be terrified every time I drove it.


Take your time...take a deep breath...then hit me with your best shot.