The Penny

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.

[Friday, June 25, 2010]

Did I Just....

Oh, boy. Did I just do what I think I did?

I bought a new car!

I loved my 2002 Corolla S, which treated me great, but with the amazing deals at Toyota right now, combined with my USAA discount, I just couldn't pass up this opportunity.

Two weeks ago, I was at the dealership with my sister, Katie, who got herself a new Yaris. It's so cute! Black. Very sleek. I started to think gee, I might be in the market for a new car in a few years, and I'll bet the deals won't be as good... I doubt 0% financing will come around again. I thought about it for a couple of days and decided not to do it.

Then it came to mind again two days ago. Yesterday I went back to the dealership, this time with Laynie in tow. I wouldn't want to go alone. Katie is at a deaf campout this week, lucky girl. So poor Laynie had to hang out watching mouths move for a few hours. She was a big help though, especially in deciding what color to get. And agreeing that the fabric is unbearable: leather is a must. The fabric would create static easily, which is dangerous for the electronics in her head, and besides, the texture was giving me sensory issues. You know that feeling of yarn between your teeth?

But I digress.

Yesterday I drove a Camry and a Corolla. Hated the Corolla, loved the Camry. I planned to get the base model, but they only had silver (had enough of that) and a blue that I didn't really care for. So I was looking at the Camry LE in "spruce mica" (translation: green). The guys put together the numbers for me and I about had a heart attack. It turned out that the price I had gone in expecting was for a 2010 Camry, which is no longer available, what with us already being halfway through 2010 (note my distinct eye roll). The manager, who I already knew from when I set things up for Katie, tried his spiel, but I had to sleep on it.

Oh, and my Corolla trade-in was worth $4500 at Carmax! And the dealership beat the price by $300! Score!

So I went home feeling like I probably would not do it, really unsure. I kept playing games with myself, looking for signs. Okay, I'm checking the mail... if there's a bill in the mail, I won't get the car. Hm, no bills. (Score!)

This morning I woke up feeling good about it. Surprising. I said that to Laynie, and she said she had the same feeling. Of course, I decided to pray about it. I hate to do that about something as "worldly" as a car, which is why I hadn't up until then. I always remember something my mother used to say: "God doesn't care what color your carpet is." Some things that we think are important decisions really are not, in the eternal scheme of things. But I prayed about this decision, and then I opened my scriptures, which is my habit. I asked, "Should I get this car?" I opened to D&C 130 and looked straight at the first line of verse 5: "I answer, yes." I nearly laughed out loud, I was so surprised! Seemed like a pretty clear answer, and I felt really good.

I spent some time doing due diligence online, looking at every other car in the range of a Camry. Camry was still the clear choice for me. I started to get cold feet again, so I went to pray and just talk about it. I got some pretty clear impressions on exactly why this was a good decision, and I recalled the time when the Lord told Oliver Cowdery, "Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter?" OK, OK, I'm good.

So I called Chris at Toyota and told him to get a green Camry ready for me.

I was pretty sad about saying goodbye to my Corolla. Is that weird? I felt almost teary about it. I went through my records and carefully removed my identifying information from service paperwork, so I could hand that over, along with the title, etc. Then I ate a couple of Tums and headed down to clean out my car.

When I saw it, it looked like any old (and I do mean old) car. Not my precious anymore.. or not as much. Seriously, I loved that car. You have no idea.

But I said goodbye to it at the dealership. Goodbye. You will be good and take care of some young family or college student, won't you? Remember mommy loves you.

I test drove my new car before signing the paperwork, and it was RIGHT. Whew. I met with the "jack up your price" lady, who was disappointed about my lack of desire for undercoating, paint shield, or LoJack. She made sure to emphasize the number of Toyotas that get stolen right out of people's driveways on their first night home.

I met with the financing guy, who was the same one that helped Katie. He's really nice, very laid back. He thought it was so cool that both Katie and I sign with Laynie, whom he assumed was our sister (basically right). He remembered that Katie and I signed some things while he was working up her paperwork... Duh, so we could talk without you listening in. Sign language is the best.

He had to change the price (down) a bit, because I told him that I had just renewed my registration this month. My monthly payment went down... to 5 cents more than the monthly payment had been on my Corolla. I remarked how funny that was, and he typed some stuff and then said, "Wanna give me $3?" He showed me on his screen that the monthly payment was exactly the same as my old one, to the penny! That will certainly make it easier to remember. What a difference financing makes, hm? I was sim-com'ing (signing and talking at the same time), and I commented that my dad was nerdy (like me!) and would get a kick out of that. A few minutes later, I realized that I had signed "Nazi" instead of "nerd." Oops. If you know ASL, you'll understand why that was an easy slip to make!

So here is my beautiful new 2011 Toyota Camry LE in spruce mica, which will have leather installed next week. Just in time for me to drive it to New York on Friday.

Here am I, the happy owner:

Looking fab, I know. I was totally focused on the car issue all morning and did not take the time to make myself look presentable. Well, life isn't a beauty pageant, is it? At least I'm rocking my Brandi Carlile t-shirt!

Oh, that reminds me... I may have left a burned CD of Brandi songs in the CD player of the Corolla.... Every fan a missionary? ;o)


Laynie | June 27, 2010 at 5:09 AM

WOOO! WHOOO! WHOOOOIE! That means we use this car more often than my car? :D

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