Shopping For Fun

Yesterday’s sunshine and mild temperatures were calling me to the park. When the dog heard me mention the words, “walk” and  “park” he jumped from his perch at the window and headed for the front door.  Responding to the contagion of the dog’s enthusiasm, my husband and I and the dog went for a delightful, extra long walk by the river. But my husband had other ideas about what he wanted to do with one of the few afternoons in a long time that we’d both had off.

The rest of the world, (or at least 150 million Americans) were expected to be shopping at the malls in celebration of Black Friday.  Crowds of people and too few parking places didn’t appeal to me, even though I hated to seem unpatriotic. The eyes of all economic experts seemed focused on the sales figures from this busiest shopping day of the year. In their view, intense commercial activity could be just the stimulus our sagging economy needs.

One of the items that’s been on our “shopping list” for a while is a new or different car, one less costly to drive and kinder to the environment. This is not a decision one makes in a day, but more an extended research project, since the car that most of us want is still on the drawing board. We elders are rejoicing that it’s finally made it to the automakers’ drawing boards and we’re hoping for competition in our lifetimes.  

My husband is the primary researcher in this search for a car that’s economical to drive and kind to the environment, and yesterday I agreed to go with him to check out one of his likely options.  When we reached the dealership the sales manager put us in the hands of a friendly young man who admitted to being obsessed with cars. I knew he and my husband would have lots to talk about though I wondered if I would be able to understand much of their conversation.

After looking at the various models, we selected one that could work for us, (comfortable front seats, not too squashed back ones, room to haul stuff), and we took it out for a test drive.  My husband drove first and headed over to the park at the salesman’s suggestion. As he zoomed around the curves and up and down the hills I thought, “well this is a different way to see the park.”  Next it was my turn to test drive and I took the wheel. Driving through the park, over hill and dale was fun; I had to admit, though I had a tinge of regret that our dog Clancy was missing out.

But the real outcome from this adventure came when the salesman said, in response to a question about finding a used version of the car, “We don’t get many used cars. Our customers tend to hold on to them. We’re more of an adoption agency than a car dealership.”

So now I know, what I’m looking for – a car I feel strongly enough about to adopt.


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