bunt sign

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

The short version, without pictures, is all you're getting tonight, because I'm exhausted, almost as if I'd worked all day instead of sitting at a Saturn dealership filling out forms and listening to explanations. By the end of the day I was signing anything they put in front of me. I might have signed up for conga lessons or floormat-of-the-month club. But I drove home in my new Ion 3.

It's not that I'm a pushover, but I bought the first car I saw. Not just the first one I saw, but the one that was just inside the door, the first one everybody sees. It was just luck to find the model I wanted with the features I was looking for, in the color of my first choice (medium green). There were options available, and I listened intently, but the only change I had them make was a six-disc CD changer instead of the single-disc player already in the car.

When I first sat in the car this afternoon, it had seven miles on it. By the time I got home tonight (almost six, too dark for a picture session), it had 30. I spent more time in the showroom today than I have behind the wheel. I spent more time listening to the pitches for special coatings and prepaid maintenance than I've spent driving.

It was so late when I got finished that the rush hour traffic kept me from completely airing it out. It was bumper-to-bumper from here to Oxnard, I do believe. I have to admit that I was a little tentative with the new machine anyway. It handles beautifully, from what little experience I have so far, but I wasn't feeling up to giving it a true test tonight. Maybe this weekend, if things work out.

Anyway, I'm happy with my new car, and I'm grateful to Suzanne for going with me and sitting through most of the three-plus hours right beside me, keeping me focused. I could easily have come apart like an exploding pinwheel if not for her calming presence.

And I'm also happy to recommend the folks at Saturn of Santa Rosa, because they were terrific to me all day long. Carol (my sales person) even helped me pick out the $400 in freebies I qualified for. I got to $200 and couldn't come up with anything else I wanted, but she wasn't going to let me get away with that. She was delightful to spend the day with. Exhausting and expensive, but delightful.


Yesterday's sunset. There was a better one today. I saw it out the front window of my new car.

As I might have mentioned (yawn!), I'm exhausted. It's as if the weight of all this trauma is finally starting to take a toll. And then spending the day talking to car people (delightful as they were) about cars (of which I know nothing) made me feel as if I'd just finished a walking tour of Saturn (the whole planet, not the car place). But I found time tonight to read through the more interesting sections of the owner's manual, and I think I'll be able to tune the radio next time I drive the car.

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Some of the free stuff I got: rubber floor mats, molded splash guards, car wash kit (including bucket), hand duster, Saturn Ion Hot Wheels car, hand duster, registration holder, sun shade, a Saturn T-shirt and four CD cases. It added up to almost exactly $400 worth. No mugs, though; they were out.

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One year ago: Understated
"I finished Arizona today. It's satisfying to cross an entire state off my to-do list."

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