End of an Era, Beginning of an Age

carYesterday I made the biggest purchase that I’ve made in my life so far, I bought a car. It has been awhile since I realized that I indeed needed a new vehicle, but I tried to ignore it for as long as possible. It’s not that I didn’t see the excitement in purchasing a new car, but I felt the overwhelming anxiety of purchasing something that I would be paying off for years. I also loved what I drove, a 2002 Ford F150. But the truck I love is 13 years old and has over 195,000 miles, and my daily commute is around 120 miles. You can see the issue.

But, I LOVE my truck. I was given my truck for my 16th birthday, and it is still the best birthday present that I have ever received. As a teenager, that was all I wanted, a truck. I had horses and was heavily involved in 4H, and there was massive respect for trucks. I was also raised as a ‘ford’ girl, so an F150 was my dream vehicle. My parents picked me up in my truck from high school on my birthday and I was floored. Of course everyone saw me in it and for a moment, I was the cool kid. And in high school, we all live for that moment.

My truck came to define me in a way. Soon people knew me based on the fact that I drove a truck. I pointed it out in the parking lot, yep that truck is mine. I drove to the drive-in with all my friends in the back, I would help people move. I was the girl with the big truck. It took me to my first Rolex 3-Day Event, to Texas and back, to Louisville for college, to countless IHSA Shows, and more. It hauled horses, hay, jump standards, exotic plants, you name it-my truck was used for it. I was recognized on the street while driving it, I got attention from other drivers and respect. It wasn’t often that you saw a little girl like me driving a truck. To be honest, I wasn’t sure that I was ready to let that go. But the gas cost was killing me, and I was killing my truck with that commute. I knew she had be retired.

I hate car shopping. I’ve heard enough to believe in the stereotypical sneaky wheeling and dealing car salesman and I hate not being able to trust people. I overly trust people and I don’t do well in a scenario where I have to be on my toes, ready to be deceived. While I knew I needed a car, I kept putting it off. Finally I decided to go out test driving cars last weekend. I needed to find out exactly what I wanted. I test drove a Ford Focus, a Hyundai Elantra, and a Nissan Versa. Small cars with good gas mileage but still on the cheaper side. The Focus was a huge disappointment to me, it was extremely tiny and the interior seemed very cheap. Even my salesman told me it was a cheap car and he couldn’t fit his kids in his. I fell in love with the Elantra, it was far and away bigger and nicer on the inside. The Versa was nice, but it didn’t compare to the Elantra with me.

After my test driving excursion, I searched on the internet and found that most of the 2015 Elantras were gone. This was a let down because I knew my best shot was to get a cheap 2015. I did find a 2015 at a great price. I called the dealership and set up an appointment for the next day. I was emailed twice the next day to make sure I was still coming to the appointment. I even had my parents meet me there. When I showed up and asked for the person I had been communicating with I was told that they don’t deal with customers and the car I came to look at was sold yesterday. I was shattered. I had put everything on this car. When my parents showed up, my dad let the salesman have it which embarrassed me and it was all around a mess. This is why I hated car shopping.

But I picked myself up and started emailing dealers again this next day. My car search took me to Beavercreek, about an hour away on a rainy Saturday. If I didn’t come home with a car, I would be crushed all over again. But I wanted a good deal of course, but most of all I just didn’t want to be lied too. After 5 hours, I drove home in a brand new 2016 Hyundai Elantra SE. I was elated. This is the most adult thing I’ve done. And I paid for it 100% by myself and I dealt with the financing on my own, catching the ‘extra’ expenses they tried to throw in. It was so nice to feel proud of myself for actually completing something this large in my life. Maybe there is hope for me yet in the adult world.

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