First, you take your old car to the mechanic.
Four days later, you go pick your car up from the mechanic.
Because your car is not just a death trap, but also ten years old, you decide to buy a new car. Daredevils both, you and your husband jump in your rattlemobile and drive to the dealership that is the farthest away from you in the world because they have the car you want in the color you want.
You sit for your first extended wait of the afternoon as someone brings your new car from The Other Lot.
You will test drive a new car, which will be better than your ten-year old car in every single way it is possible to be a better car and even a couple where it is not.
Now is the time in the car buying process when the dealership will take your death trap trade-in to see how much it is worth. I suggest that you take this time to place bets on what offer they will come back with.
Now they will tell you how much they have decided to pay you to take your car off of your hands. You will be momentarily excited that you won your bet, but then the reality of how little money they are paying you for the second most valuable thing you own after your house will hit you and your emotions will change.
Now you haggle. You can avoid this most terrible of steps by paying full price (not recommended), using a pre-negotiated car-buying service (highly recommended), or faking your own death so your significant other can get a sympathy discount.
Your car salesman will bring you a paper with all your charges and discounts listed on it. He will have intentionally left out at least two of your discounts in hopes that you won’t catch them.
You will now be left alone again for a long period of time. Why is unclear. A price has been agreed upon. The car is there; you know because you were just in it. It can’t possibly take more than three or four seconds to print out a sales contract. Nonetheless, you will sit there unattended for what feels like hours.
You will turn down a service contract sixteen times in five minutes.
They will send in a third person to try to sell you a service contract. And undercoating.
This same saleslady will then put sticky notes as bookmarks in your owner’s manual so you will be able to find such important information as how to set the clock. She does this by looking in the index. Because, you know, not many people know about the index.
The clock-setting lecture takes place three and a half hours into the process. It is ironic, what with the fact that TIME HAS LOST ALL MEANING.
Chapter Twelve Through Eleventy Billion:
At this point you are so worn down that you would consider paying for the optional paint protection if it means they will just let you go home. You will eventually be moved to another room where you will sign anything they put in front of you just so you can leave. The business manager who is handing you these papers will uncover a $345 in-your-favor mistake the salesman made. When the salesman tells her to just waive the $345, you are so grateful, not because of the money you are saving but because you would not have been physically able to stand the extra four hours it would have taken to fix the mistake.
Yes, DESPAIR. In all caps. BECAUSE ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!
Chapter Eleventy Billion and One:
You are done. You have your owner’s manual. You have your keys. You are sitting in your new car. Your salesperson will still not let you go. Evidently, you have to connect the bluetooth so you can talk on the phone in the car.
Presumably to the salespeople who want nothing more in life than to chat with you.
Chapter Eleventy Billion and Two:
You will drive home, all the excitement of buying a new car stripped out of you.
But don’t worry. Tomorrow you will love your new car. And just like with a new baby, you will forget how painful the act of acquiring it was.
You may even remember how to smile again.