A New Yorker Buys a Car in South Beach
By Natalie Greaves
visits to South Beach, I occasionally hear the expression,
"art imitates life." Interestingly, I will never
forget the time that the art of buying a car became the greatest torture of my life.
too long after my 25th birthday, I decided to trade my native
concrete jungle of New York City for sunny South Beach in Florida.
Once, my only form of transportation was a Metrocard for subways, now
I had graduated to car owner.
first stop at a dealership entailed being headed off at
the door by a used car salesman who tried to sell me the
previous year's model for $1000 less than the new one.
second stop included "Mr. Machismo" with his slicked
back hair, and super-shiny jewelry. After five minutes, he bullied me into filling
out a credit application.
While I did the application, he chatted about living with
his mother in a one-bedroom apartment on South Beach and
had only been working there for two months.
credit was great, but when he realized that I wasn't budging
on financials, he suddenly didn't have any inventory. Never
mind the billion I passed on my way to the credit application.
nightfall, I pushed myself to visit a newer place about
20 miles from my still empty house. On the way, I had called
a friend screaming, "Car dealers are evil!"
response, "I know. You forget I dated one of them."
screeched up to the last dealership and ran up on the first
man I saw. "Hey!
You! You a car dealer?" You can take the girl out of
Brooklyn, but you can't take the Brooklyn out of the girl.
then proceeded to tell him my entire life story and about
how I believed that I was going to be pushing a rental car
for the rest of my natural life. I then gave this nice,
sweet rookie car salesman the longest (three days total),
most entertaining selling experience that he ever had. Thanks
to my careful research, I got a great deal, and lots of
free coffee and popcorn. I even felt bad when I realized
that his commission turned out to be the size of my measly
rebate. He eventually quit the job two weeks later. I'm
still in denial about whether I was a factor.
friend later told me that I would have probably gotten a
better deal if I had worn a shorter skirt and shown a bit
more cleavage. I have a suspicion that she might be right.
In a nutshell, for my 25th birthday, I created a new life
for myself highlighted by the purchase of a new car. For
my 28th, I got a hummingbird tattoo. Way less painful,
although the artist had the same customer service savvy
as in my first two experiences.
I'm thankful that I created this new life 1,500 miles away
from my mother so that she never has to see this year's