It arrived Saturday — a presorted standard piece of mail from Jersey City Ford: “Turn in your old Ford/drive away with a new car for $78 a month/be awesome.”
“Junk mail,” I thought to myself, as I passingly clung to the thought of a new car, with little money down, for the price of my storage space each month. I kept the piece of mail, which contained a personal bargain code specific to my name, and continued pondering the possibility of a new Ford Fiesta. A new car that was good for the environment and wouldn’t destroy my bank account or force me (back) into a ramen noodle/potato a night budget.
Meanwhile, our 2000 Ford Focus with 135,000 miles sat in front of the house, waiting in earnest to be moved to the other side of the street. Because it was Saturday, I let the car be, and left the piece of mail on the kitchen table, returning to it a few times an hour, staring at the lime green Ford Fiesta and wondering if a new car was actually a possibility to me.
Monday came, and so did two appointments: one with the dentist and one with the sales service at Jersey City Ford. I needed a filling topped off, and as a result, the right side of my mouth was numb with novocaine, leaving me with what felt like a Savannah drawl and a sloppy drinking tendency.
The dentist was methodical and precise, doing everything in his power to limit my discomfort. I left his office with a numb face, but confident that he had done the unfortunate job that needed to be done on the tooth in my mouth.
Being numb, having needles stuck in my gums all morning, it felt like the perfect time to deal with people that wanted to get me into a new car for cheap. Our salesman collected the buyback piece of mail, inquired about the 2000 Ford Focus, and took down our credit information before asking us about a test drive.
And the test drive went great. The 2012 Ford Fiesta was definitely a fiesta to drive when compared with the dulled focus of a 12-year-old Focus. And somehow, inside, I knew that the pleasant encounter with our local Ford dealer was about to come to an end.
“We can do this price for you — $299 a month,” he said, way above the price listed on the piece of mail I had initially called “junk mail.”
I said it that was way too much money, and that I was really hoping to pay $78 a month for a new car, as indicated by the mail we had received.
The sales person brought his manager over. He looked like the actor Luis Guzman, and stated that we could’ve just called and asked about the price instead of wasting their time.
We left soon after, uncomforted by their aggressiveness to get us to spend money with them, the junk mail to lure us in with, and the ability to switch to rude once the idea of spending money was off the table. I’m still trying to shake it off, which brings me back to the dentist.
Here is a doctor, who is knowingly employed by putting people into uncomfortable situations, for the health and benefit of their teeth, gums and mouth.
And in the other corner is the auto sales person, who is knowingly employed by also putting people into uncomfortable situations, for the sake of a new car.
I guess I really should’ve known better than to try to knock out both encounters in the same day. But I really would’ve appreciated that dentist at the entrance of the auto dealer, saying, “Don’t worry, this will dull the pain and get you out of here that much quicker. And it’s pina colada flavored!”
And I realize this whole entry sucks, but I sorta put off the whole free writing thing all summer long and this was my first meager attempt back at it after a long, long summer.