I am currently sitting in a cushy black office chair on the sidewalk outside of a small auto dealership in South Portland, Maine. I can hear what is probably a Boeing 757 making its final descent into Portland Jetport, and can smell the tantalizing aroma of french fries and fresh pizza from the shop next door. Why am I here? I'm buying a van. Well, I'm hoping to buy a van. I think. Am I?
Remember what I said Wednesday about being a camp spouse?
I get nervous when I'm asked to do adult-ish sorts of things, such as my present task. I'm a terrible negotiator, respond poorly to confrontation, have trouble changing my wiper blades, and know next to nothing about automotive standards. As a child, I probably didn't even like to haggle for a later bedtime. I am clearly the least qualified person who could have been sent on a quest to purchase a used 15-passenger van for our organization. But in this business, if you have an upturned beach umbrella and a paddle, you might find yourself suddenly sailing around the world for a camper flying into Cape Town. It's spontaneous at best and unpredictable at worst. And a whole lot of fun.
So as I sit here and awkwardly survey the sales lot, I am mentally considering purchasing a black 2003 Lincoln Town Car limousine. You see, I'm also currently in possession of a camp credit card (Dollar Tree shopping spree!!), and there are some vehicles that are starting to look a lot more appealing to me than the white 15-passenger shuttle van that is staring me down from the handicapped spot. Actually, it's an 11-passenger van. The reason I'm sunbathing on the pavement is because an employee is running down the back seat that someone thought was irrelevant. So it's an 11-passenger van disguised as a 15-passenger van.
But no, Mr. Used Car Salesman, you can't pull that trick on me; you'll have to work a little harder. However, this does make me wonder at how gullible I appear at first glance. I can just see them in the back room... "Maybe she'll never notice. Let's take the gas cap, too."
I can't blame them. Without clear guidance, I'd probably ride an elephant off the lot.
And be happy about it. I like to call myself a good "life spectator". Calling it "observing" would imply that I pay attention, and we all know that would be just too much.
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