Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I wore deodorant for no reason

Is it too personal to share that I rarely wear deodorant? I honestly am just not a real stinky sweaty girl. A stick of deodorant will last me three or four years unless a small child decides to bite chunks out of it or decorate the shower door. The application of deodorant is saved for special occasions like giving a talk at church, hosting Thanksgiving dinner, childbirth, or buying a new vehicle.

As I wrote earlier, in seven weeks we will have outgrown our mini-van when our next little girl arrives. We had always kind of assumed that we would carry on the Ditto tradition and purchase a gas-guzzling Suburban. Birch has long dreamed of the day he would own his own Suburban and drive the scouts and kids on camping trips. Last Thursday he temporarily said "good bye" to that dream. After careful and relentless calculations of gas, insurance, and vehicle costs we both realized that buying a Suburban at this time just isn't a practical decision. The other alternative had been buying a Toyota Sienna. We have several friends who have this van and all RAVE about its convenience, size, and family-friendliness. Birch was SHOCKED after I showed exact measurements of the cargo space in a Sienna compared to a Suburban (in case you are wondering the Suburban only has an extra 2 cubic feet of storage); or that in the Sienna you actually get an extra seven inches of hip room in the third row; or that the middle three seats are each completely separate from each other and are all full size seats.

I spent the following week comparing every Sienna within a 200 mile radius of our house. We finally settled on a dealership just north of Seattle. Birch and I spent hours compiling our "folder" that we read was crucial to have in order to prove to the dealership that we had done our research and could not be tricked over their vehicle pricing. My sister who is taking a negotiations class coached me on ways to not only negotiate the price but also resolve any conflicts that we might have.

So yesterday morning I deemed that it might be a day worthy of the application of deodorant. I made sure to fully cover my armpit just in case the intensity of the negotiating were to bring on profuse sweat. The kids all said "goodbye" to our current mini-van and left for school. We took Nate and Coop to a compassionate friend who knew that the round-trip five-hour drive and afternoon at the dealership wouldn't be that fun for them. Then Birch and I hit the road. We reviewed our spreadsheet, made bullet notes of all important factors, and buoyed up each other with how we would not back down.

After arriving at the Toyota dealership we met with our salesman and spent the next three hours grilling him on things we had gleaned from all our car-buying research. We threw numbers and statistics out that we were sure would start a war of bargaining. Three hours later we found ourselves driving home in our SAME mini-van trying to convince ourselves that we had made the right choice in not backing down and that the trip had all been worth it.

The kids were all so disappointed as we picked them up in the same car and explained that we had no idea when we were going to purchase our new vehicle. So the search, sleepless nights, and money-saving continue. We have a buyer interested in our current van which is a good sign.

In hindsight I should have scraped off that deodorant and saved it for the birth of our upcoming baby!


A big happy family said...

Bummer, was he just not willing to come down on the price??

Ditto Family said...

Um,yes that was the problem. He would only come down $500.

Leah said...

For a second I thought I was reading Julia's blog. You're funny. Sorry about the car.

emily a. said...

Shoot. Did I prep you too much in negotiation or perhaps lead you astray? Sounds like he was a real stickler.

I am impressed though, Sara- good writing. It was a "Julia worthy" blog entry for sure!

Matt's Blog said...

That is very disappointing....I'm sure with gas prices, cars like those are becoming more popular and thus they don't have to do much. Have you looked into a Car Broker? Email me for details...

Cami said...

Bummer! Car shopping is not one of my favorite things. Good luck with the search.

Mama Nirvana said...

Sara, you are hilarious. I think not wearing deodorant makes you an awesome person to know -- pretty soon you'll be doing cloth diapers, like me.

You were VERY smart to walk away. Nothing is worse than car buyer's remorse. Believe me, we have it.