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2002-06-07 - 1:35 p.m.

Guess what we did last night?

Mazda Protege5

We bought a car! I'm so excited. We've been looking for the last couple of months and knew we wanted to buy one this summer. Everything just came together all at once last night, somewhat unexpectedly. We went out for dinner and then to test drive the Mazda Protegé5, the last car on our list we hadn't driven yet (the other cars were the VW Jetta wagon, Subaru Impreza wagon, and the Toyota Matrix--do you see a small wagon theme here?). Actually that's not true, we hadn't driven the Jetta wagon yet but ruled it out based on price and gas mileage.

Anyway, we went to the dealer to test drive the Protegé5 and discovered they were having a massive sale. It was a quota thing for the dealer--if the dealership sold a certain number of cars by mid-June, Mazda would reward them with special things dealers like (probably money). The sales guy said that these were bottom line prices, lower than the salespeople wanted to sell them for because they didn't get much, if any, commission. It was more about moving inventory than big profit margins. He also said (in response to The Scientist's question) that there was no room for negotiation because they were already priced so low. Now, here's where one would start to think, "Typical salesman bullshit." However, I had done my research and knew that not only was the sale price about $2500 under the dealer's sticker price, but it was also about $1500 under Edmund's true market value price. In other words, a fucking good deal. Not having to negotiate was a huge plus for me because the whole haggling process leaves me utterly cold.

So, we drove it, we liked it, and we bought it! Our new car is red (like the one in the picture--in fact, it looks pretty much exactly like the picture) with a black cloth interior, 5-speed manual transmission, CD player, keyless entry, cruise, air conditioning, and power windows and doors. It's a "mid-cycle refresh" car, meaning it's a slightly changed model that comes out in the middle of the 2002 car year. It has a couple of extra running lights, a slightly restyled center console, and a better gearshift knob. We got it literally off the truck/boat. When we got into it for the test drive, the odometer said 3. Three miles! The dealer took my car (1995 Dodge Neon) for the Kelley Blue Book trade-in price. Assuming our financing went through ok (by this time the dealer was officially closed and they couldn't check on our credit, but of course they let us stay since we were actually buying a car and writing a large down payment check), we pick it up today at 6:00. I keep thinking, "Isn't this supposed to be harder?" Of course, I thought the same thing about wedding planning, finding a job, and moving. Being a planner has its rewards. Having good credit doesn't hurt either.

stars

I'm a little sad to see the Neon go away. It was the first new car I ever bought (ok, the first new car my dad ever bought for me). The Scientist also drove a 1995 Dodge Neon, which we just sold a month ago to a nice college girl. The Neons were part of our early history together. We knew each other before we started dating, but it was mostly seeing each other at parties, bars, and shows, not a close friendship. One night at our mutual friend Joel's after-bar birthday party we played on the same music trivia team. Sparks! We left the party at the same time (I dawdled around by the door so we would go out together) and after a short ambiguous goodbye outside went to our respective cars. The Scientist was parked around the corner so I didn't see him get into his car but as I drove away I got a honk and wave from a green Neon (mine was red).

The next week at work I received an email with the subject line of "Neons." The Scientist had persuaded a mutual friend to give him my email address. He somehow avoided giving off a stalker vibe and asked me out for coffee (he was a grad student four buildings down from where I worked on campus). I accepted. We had coffee/lunch a couple of times, went on a pseudo-date to the state fair (two friends were along as a buffer), went on a real date (dinner, movie, ice cream, bar), and that was history. I took him to bed (heh) and never looked back. It's amazing to think back on the transition--he went from being someone I saw around town who knew people I knew to the person who means the most to me in the world.

 

 

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