Last year in Florida BR decided he would buy me my very own car. One that I could actually drive (without crying or hyperventilating which is usually what happens when I’m forced to drive one of his fancy sports cars). How sweet of him! So I told him I would like something small and cute and – most importantly – easy.
I also didn’t want anything too flashy or fancy because I really don’t like to draw unnecessary attention to myself when I drive. My driving gets enough attention.
So BR surprised me one afternoon by taking me to a Mini dealership. Perfect! We would look around and BR would let me pick out my very own small, cute, easy-to-operate car.
BR: Now Blondie, this is going to be your car. Probably for the next 30 years. So I want you to get something you really like.
Me: Ok. Well I like the off-white one over there.
BR: No. That’s a stupid colour. How about the silver one. Do you like it in silver?
Me: Well no, not really… I like it in that off-white colour.
BR: Alright Blondie. I will consider the white one. But you’ll probably end up getting it in silver. So I would suggest that you start liking silver.
BR began walking towards the car.
Me: No, not that one – the one over here. With the extended back.
BR: No Blondie, I disagree. I think you like the smaller one.
Me: But I can’t fit the dogs in the smaller one! Don’t you think this one’s more practical?
BR: Now Blondie, I’ve already told you – this is your car. I want you to love it. But the smaller one is definitely cooler. In silver. Don’t you like it better than the bigger one? I think you do.
It was becoming painfully obvious that BR was having a “difficult” time letting me pick out my own car.
BR: Oooh Blondie, look over here! This one has a Union Jack on the roof! You’re getting that.
Me: I don’t really want that. Besides, neither one of us is British.
BR: Blondie, the car is British. That’s why it’s cool.
Me: No, the car is German now. And you don’t really like Germans.
BR: No, I don’t like Nazis.
Me: Right. And because of the war, you’ve banned all German cars. So I’m actually surprised we’re even looking at these, because you’ve repeatedly said that you don’t want either of us driving a “Nazi sleigh.”
BR: That’s true, I don’t want either of us driving a Nazi sleigh. Which is all the more reason that your car should have a Union Jack on it.
Me: I really don’t want the Union Jack.
BR: Blondie! It’s not optional!
And that’s how it went for the next hour or so. I would pick out something I liked and BR would swiftly stomp all over my dreams. This was going nowhere fast. And if I did end up getting a car that day – which was starting to seem highly unlikely – I would probably end up running him over with it.
Finally I suggested that maybe we should look at a few other brands. My heart wasn’t necessarily set on a Mini… with a Union Jack on the roof… and checkered racing stripes… in silver. So BR took me to look at some Fiat 500’s.
Me: BR, these are super cute, but they’re even smaller than the Mini’s. I’m definitely not going to be able to fit two standard poodles in here.
BR: Blondie, the dogs will fit if you squish them in the back together.
Me: I’m not squishing our dogs.
BR: Blondie, don’t be ridiculous. Just squish them together and they’ll be fine. Besides, don’t you remember how much fun we had driving one of these around Italy?
Me: No, you had fun. I almost barfed.
BR: Blondie, it’s not my fault that the Italians make their roads really windy. Now do you want a Fiat or are you going to keep acting like a selfish, Nazi-loving Christian?
Me: (blinking and staring)
BR: Perhaps you would like me to buy you a great big Mercedes with a licence plate that says Heil Hitler on it. Maybe a nice swastika bumper sticker! Is that what you want?!
So we left the dealership. BR was acting a bit nuts and I was frustrated. I just wanted to go home. But then we drove past a Volvo dealership.
Me: Pull in there.
BR: Where? Volvo? Are you kidding me?
So we pulled in. And pulled up right beside a very cute, very practical little hatchback.
Me: I want that one.
BR: Blondie! Come on! Volvo’s are for old people and soccer moms!
Me: I don’t care. They’re very safe and very easy to drive. I want that one.
BR: Blondie, be reasonable. You’ve obviously gone bonkers.
Me: I am being reasonable. I’ve picked out a reasonably priced car that won’t make me cry and that I can probably parallel park and won’t smash to pieces… probably.
BR: You’re killing me.
Me: And look, the seats fold down! I can totally fit our fluffy children in here.
BR: How about a Porsche. Would you like me to buy you a Porsche?
Me: No, I don’t want a Porsche. I want a Volvo.
BR: Who doesn’t want a Porsche! I WILL BUY YOU A FUCKING PORSCHE!
Me: I don’t want a fucking Porsche! Where am I going to drive it? I only drive to Target and the grocery store and the FUCKING DOG GROOMERS!
BR: Fine. I’ll get you a Maserati. Would you like a Maserati?
Me: I can’t drive a Maserati! What is wrong with you? Why won’t you let me have a Volvo?
BR: Because… if I’m going to spend money on a car for you, then I would at least like it to be something cool. Now do you want a Maserati or not.
Me: BR, we’re in Florida. Everyone here owns a gun. I get lost all the time and some neighbourhoods are sketchy.
BR: So? What does that mean?
Me: It means I don’t want to get a car-jacking on my way to Target! I just want a normal car!
BR: Fine. I’ll just get you a bicycle then.
Me: You know I can barely ride a bicycle.
BR: Ok, fine. A unicycle. And then all of our neighbours can point and go, oh look there’s Blondie riding her unicycle again. She must be going to TARGET!
Me: I don’t understand, I thought you’d be happy that I’m picking a Volvo over a Maserati. I’m saving you like a hundred grand!
BR: No Blondie, you’re costing me a hundred grand. Because now I have to go out and buy another sports car to compensate for THIS GEEZER-MOBILE YOU’RE MAKING ME BUY!
BR and I were clearly not seeing eye to eye. In retrospect I shouldn’t have been all that surprised that he wasn’t letting me pick out what I wanted. He has a difficult time “giving up the reins” so to speak. Which is a nice way of saying he’s a bossy control-freak.
But after a week or so, he began to change to his mind.
BR: Ok Blondie, I’ve thought about it. I’ve weighed all the options. And I’ve concluded that you might be better off with a Volvo instead of a sports car. I think it will be easier for you to drive, and you can fit the dogs in the back.
Me: Those are excellent points BR. You’re so smart.
BR: I know.
But the battle wasn’t over yet. BR had to do his “research” and find the cheapest Volvo on the planet that also had all of the things I wanted. As it happened, my exact little dream car was sitting at a dealership about 20 minutes away. So a couple of weeks went by and once BR was convinced that he probably couldn’t find that exact car anywhere else for less, he began his ruthless process of negotiation.
Another week passed. Apparently this particular car salesman wasn’t as cooperative as BR would have liked. Then another week passed… still no car.
Me: Um, BR? How’s my car coming along? Did you and the salesman agree on a price yet?
BR: Not exactly.
Me: What does that mean?
BR: It means I gave him my final offer and he’s not returning my calls.
Me: Are you kidding me? How much more does he want?
BR: Never mind.
Me: What do you mean, “never mind.” You must have really low-balled him. What does he want, a couple thousand?
BR: Not exactly.
Me: How much are you fighting over.
Me: How much.
BR: Six-hundred dollars.
Me: Six-hundred dollars?! It’s taken you five years to finally get me a car and finally we agree on one that I like and you’ve lost it over SIX-HUNDRED DOLLARS?? I would have given you six-hundred dollars! I can’t go through this whole demented process with you again, IT’S EXHAUSTING!
BR: Blondie, that’s not the point. It’s not the money, it’s the principle. And that salesman is being a real douchebag. And I refuse to buy a car from him.
Me: (blinking and staring)
BR: Apparently he’s also refusing to sell me one.
Now, I know BR has very frugal tendencies. I know he’s a control-freak. And I also know it takes him an abnormally long time to pull the trigger on anything – practical that is. But the thought of having to go car shopping with him all over again was about as appealing as gouging out my own eyeballs with a rusty spoon.
So I started to cry. Not out of disappointment, but out of sheer psychological frustration.
Another couple of weeks passed and I was starting to accept the fact that a new little car would likely not appear anywhere in the near future. Then one night BR told me to get dressed to go for dinner. So I did. We got in the car and drove for an unusually long time.
Me: Where are we going for dinner? Miami?
BR: Blondie, do you have any sense of direction? No. We are not going to Miami. Oh look, there’s a Volvo dealership up ahead. Let’s just pull in and see what they have.
Me: What? No. No no no.
BR: Come on Blondie.
Me: BR, please. I’m starving and I really don’t have the energy to battle it out with you in another dealership right now. Let’s just go to dinner, we can look at cars another time.
So we pulled in. We walked inside and a nice salesman approached us. He told us he may have something I might like.
Well duh, of course he’ll have something I’ll like – I’m not the one who needs convincing.
So we followed him around the corner and there in the middle of the room, wrapped in a giant red bow was… my new car!
Me: Holy shit! You actually bought this for me? In secret? It’s exactly what I wanted!
BR: Yes Blondie. Happy birthday.
Me: Awwww, thanks BR!
I jumped up and down a little and then threw my arms around him.
Me: Um, not to ruin the moment or anything, but you know my birthday was like 3 months ago.
BR: What’s your point.
I was so thrilled I couldn’t even be mad at him for having no idea when my birthday was. He bought me Volvo!
Me: Do I get to drive it home?
BR: Yes. After we make a quick stop at Best Buy and get you a GPS. You need one. You think we’re in Miami. We’re nowhere close to Miami.
So we went for dinner, picked up a GPS, and I followed him home in my super cute, brand new car just for me. I was beaming. I was also singing along loudly – with feeling I might add – to George Jones for most of the drive when I realized I had left my interior lights on. Embarrassing, but oh well… I’m in a Volvo bitches!
When we got home BR immediately got into bed and grabbed his Ipad. After a couple of hours I finally asked him what he was doing.
BR: I’m looking at freightliners Blondie. That’s what I’ll be buying next.
Me: Oh. Can I ask why? I mean, where are you going to drive it?
BR: Anywhere and over anything. That’s the point. You and your little Volvo better watch out.
Did I roll my eyes or make any comments about him having Napoleon Syndrome? I did not. Did I point out the fact that it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever for us to own a freightliner? Nope. I just let him browse freightliners until he got really sleepy because I knew how hard it was for him to pull the trigger on a car he didn’t like… a car that wasn’t even for him.
Me: Well if that’s what you want then you should totally get a freightliner.
BR: I will get one. I’ll show you. I’ll show everyone…
And then he fell asleep.
Nighty-night BR. Thanks for the Volvo.