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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Four more ... months

When I got home on Tuesday night, I felt like I needed a shower or some other form of decontamination. We went looking and test driving cars, and even went as far as the, "OK, you tell us what our trade-in is worth."

I almost don't mind (read: I really hate it) the whole haggle/bargain process of buying a car. I'm just confused why we can't just go in and know that we're getting the best price possible when looking at vehicle. And I'm so groomed and jaded by the whole car-buying experience, that I don't believe those "one price" offers. I figure there is no way I'm getting the best possible deal on a car if I don't have to fight for it.

Back to Tuesday. We found a Yukon that we liked (somehow I went from holding out for a hybrid to test driving a guzzler). Then we actually had to go searching for a salesman -- that should have been the first sign this is a place we don't really want to deal with. While I  don't like that feeling of being prey to the salesmen vultures when you walk onto a lot, c'mon, someone should acknowledge us after we've been there for 20 minutes! The next sign that maybe this wasn't the car for us: the gas tank was empty so we had to go put gas into it. The salesguy put in $5, which wasn't even enough to turn off the low-fuel light. Scary.

We drove around, loved the car as I love to drive any new car, or look and dream about any new house. (The grass is always greener...) And back to the cube to find out how much they would give me for trade in. This is where I start to feel violated. I guess I am a car person and my cars kinda become babies to me. (Hmm, could it be because I've named almost every one of them? First there was Max, then an unnamed car that I never really loved, then Reba, Frankie, Elvis and now George.)  To have these vultures looking at George, driving George and then telling me George is worth about $5K less than I thought. Hell, they might as well tell me that my daughters were ugly. (OK, I woulda clocked them if they said a word about the girls!)

From that point it went something like this: Friendly potential customer (me) says, "No way" and shoots friendly, goofy salesman a dirty, are-you-out-of-your-mind look. Friendly, goofy salesman gets mean and starts pointing out all the reasons why the car ain't worth what I think it is (hail damage? that's like calling one or two pimples acne! new tires? they're just gently worn). Husband and wife walk away. Mean, nasty salesman sarcastically says, "Thanks for coming in." Ugh.

After that, I think George will be staying with us -- maybe not for another term, but at least through the winter.

posted by Laura at 6:16 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The S-word

A commercial for The Simpsons came on last night. Maxine turned to me and said, "Mom, I like The Simpsons ... except they use bad words."
"What words are those?" I asked.
"They say the s-word."
Now, I haven't kept up much on Simpsons viewing lately, but I was pretty sure they haven't used the S-word.
"They do?" I asked.
"Yup," she was very sure of herself.
So I went out on a limb and asked her to tell me the s-word. I assured her that she would not get in trouble for saying it.
Much to my relief, she said, "OK. They say 'stupid.'"

posted by Laura at 3:22 PM | 0 comments

Friday, July 23, 2004

4-year-old logic

Damn. I hate it when they're right ... even when they're wrong!

The conversation in the room next to me just went like this:

Daddy: {a lot of important blah blah blah}  ...  You don't listen to Mommy and Daddy.

Madi: I am listening.

D: What did I just say?

M: I'm not listening.



posted by Laura at 7:33 PM | 0 comments

Quitting time

Patience was never a strength and at times the girls stretch mine to limits I didn't think I was capable of. Like 20 minutes ago. I was scheduled to make an 11 a.m. phone call and decided to do a quick check before I launched into my 15 minute telecomm (that's code I learned after doing a number of these interview calls, it means they're in between meetings, probably wearing a suit, and I'm in between refereeing fights, probably wearing a hat because I didn't take a shower yet). Max responded quickly, "Playing." It took extra bellowing to reach Madi. And her response? "I don't know what I'm doing." (That's code for: I'm doing something that would upset you greatly Mom.)

Down the stairs I went, with minutes to go before I had to call. I walk into the half-bath to find Madi with soiled shorts around her ankles, a cup of foam, sticky letters in her hands, a few letters stuck on the walls, and poop in the toilet, on the toilet and on the floor. I did a quick clean up of child, of toilet and floor. I was disturbed to find that my Clorox pop-up wipes were nearly dried out.

And I was disturbed to find that when I ran back upstairs, breathlessly dialing the number (it was 11 a.m. and using a calling card can sometimes take an extra minute, and I am nothing if not prompt!), only to reach voicemail.

posted by Laura at 11:14 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Quality control

Since when do we have to pay $49.99 for a lifetime warranty on a product (earrings) that really should be solidly constructed to begin with? Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I think that when you buy earrings (for $5 or $5,000) and after just a couple months one of the small diamonds gets dislodged and lost, the "jeweler" should not inform you that it will take a $15 setting fee (even though the diamond itself was under warranty), plus the other loose diamonds in the earring need to be tightened and the warranty doesn't cover that. Maybe the original salesman should have pointed out that these were delicate earrings and should not have suggested that I sleep with them on. Maybe I could have waited for the other diamonds to fall out and then I could pay a $15 setting fee each time I lost one (though I'm pretty sure with the size of these cute diamond flecks, that $15 earns that store a profit).
Instead I calmly explained how frustrated I was by the entire purchase and ownership experience and would likely not purchase from this store again. That sent the jeweler running to the store manager, who agreed to exchange my earrings. Still, the jeweler strongly suggested that I purchase that $49.99 lifetime something warranty. And still I was frustrated by the experience.

posted by Laura at 8:01 PM | 0 comments
Today I became a "soccer mom."
Well, I guess I'm not offically a soccer mom until the girls make it through practice and a game or two. For that we have a month or so to go. That ought to give me enough time to figure out exactly what's expected of me as an SM. And that should give me enough time to figure out exactly where to buy shin guards and soccer "boots." (Sorry Madi, these boots will disappoint you little fashion diva.)
Taking the girls to sign up was a big step for me. They can't wait to put on their purple and black uniforms and run around trying to kick the ball. They'll be great little soccer players. I'm just not sure I'm cut out for this whole SM gig. I guess I'll know I'm truly indoctrinated as an SM when I wake up one day wishing we had never traded in the minvan!

posted by Laura at 7:51 PM | 0 comments
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