Ok- let’s recap and give you some details about the story I’m about to share:

  1. My dad has always been the driver of the car in his relationship with my Mom. My Mom hates to drive and ever since they moved to New Jersey (which she hates) she really doesn’t want to drive. Something about Route 9 and jug handles gets to her.
  2. My Dad has been ill, has some mobility issues and was having trouble getting into his rather large SUV.
  3. If you’re about to ask whether or not my Father should still be operating a motor vehicle- right there with you.
  4. My Mother continues to let him drive because she said it’s good for his mental health, and he needs the win
  5. Yeah- I know…
  6. My Father was driving and had an accident with my Mother’s 13 year old Volvo (no one was injured but the car was not worth repairing)
  7. Yeah I know…
  8. My parents were left with a large SUV, with a lease that was about to expire and they would need a new car

So now you are up to speed:

So my Husband and I took a day and went out to New Jersey to car shop with my Mom. As my Dad chose not to be on the lease, and the car would essentially be my Mom’s, he did not come with us. This was the first time ever that my Mother would be buying a car without my Father.

First- we had to return the leased car. That was basically easy except for the having to go back to my parents apartment so that my Dad could sign tons of paperwork because old lease was in his name, he was allowing my Mom to return the car, etc… But at least it was straight forward.

Then we had to begin car shopping.

First thing you should know: My Mother only wanted to get a car from a certain dealership because it was close to the house and she would be able to easily get there to service it. The options were Subaru or Ford.

Second- my Mother loves Volvos and has driven a Volvo since 1985.

So for the first hour of car shopping, my Mother complained about how my Father shouldn’t have gotten into an accident with her car.

Seriously- for an hour we heard about this.

As you might be aware, there is a car shortage right now. There are not many new cars available. At this particular Subaru dealership there were six cars available. She ruled out three cars immediately because they were just too large for her to handle.

So for those of you who grew up before common core math and do not go to school in Oregon, this means there were three cars to choose from.

Three cars. Two were the same model, one was more souped up than the other, and the remaining car was very basic and one of the lower end Subaru cars.

They were all SUV’s. My Mother has never driven an SUV. She doesn’t like SUV’s- she likes sedans. The only sedan on the lot was the powerhouse Subaru that was about a million inches long- my Mother had already ruled out the sedan…

We then had another twenty minutes of grieving for the Volvo.

We asked if she wanted to go to the Volvo dealership. She didn’t. It’s a 45 minute drive and she knows she doesn’t want the service bay to be that far away.

So I reminded her that if she wanted to be close to home she needed to buy a car from Subaru or Ford. So we went over to the Ford section.

Admittedly, I fell for this really cool Mustang, Ford had less cars for sale than Subaru, and I could not entice my Mother to buy the Mustang.

Back to Subaru.

Where she walked around the same three cars over and over again.

I told her we didn’t need to buy a car if she didn’t like anything. She balked and said that they really needed a car, and I couldn’t argue that with her. They do live in an area where a car is a necessity.

Finally, I got her to eliminate the lowest price model, which although the smallest, (small is key for my Mom and cars) it did not have electronic seat adjustment, and as she has arthritis and hand issues, she would not want to buy a car with manual seat adjustments.

So now we are between the same model, but different features. I asked the uber patient car salesman what the differences were between the two vehicles.

One of the biggest differences was the safety features- and my Mom is big on safety. Frankly, it also helps that louds noises are made when something is too close. It seemed that one model was better than the other.

Except when my Mom sat in it she said the panel looked like a spaceship.

And then we heard more about my Father ruining her 13 year old Volvo which didn’t resemble a spaceship…

I sat in the passenger seat as she sat in the drivers seat. I pointed out the gear stick had the same controls that her Volvo did- R N D. I pointed to the odometer, the speedometer, the steering wheel, the turn indicator…I showed her that the basic things for operating a motor vehicle were exactly the same…

The salesman took her for a test drive…

She admitted it was a nice smooth ride.

She asked me what I would buy- I told her the Mustang. But my Husband told her he would buy the car that she was looking at.

After I believe six hours of being in the exact same dealership, my Mother signed the lease on her new car.

When we finally got home, I slept for about sixteen hours.

90 thoughts on “Car Shopping

  1. Ah, but which car did she buy? Because whoever attached their recommendation to it will be forever getting the blame for all those things she decides she doesn’t like about it (or the fact that it’s not her old Volvo). Or at least that’s how things work with my mother 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Lol. If that works! Btw, I just had to buy a new car after deciding that my 16-year old Honda Civic probably shouldn’t have to spend another winter enduring the ice-melting (and car-rusting) salt from our roads. As you say, no cars for sale. I went to check out two options I had researched with the help of my friend, Mr. Google. Two cars of my choice at one dealer, no cars of my choice at the other. Next morning I called the first dealer to arrange for a test drive. Those two cars had been sold! There might be one arriving on May 24. I decided I’d better reserve it. Got a call on May 19 that it was in. I went and picked it up the next day. No choice of color, no test drive, no bargaining. Couldn’t be happier just to have the car. How can car salesmen make a living when there are no cars to sell??!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good job. Hopefully your daughter will be there for you like that one day. 🙂 I went to chat with my mom yesterday after she returned from her solo trip to her favorite place, Vegas. I was watching her tell me all the stories about everything she did there, so animated, like a young girl. She’s 81. I love her so much. But I see her changing. It’s hard.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. The other day she said something that really knocked the wind out of me. “I’ve really been feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit. I can feel him with me.” I was like, fuck! She’s going to die.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It was painful. It’s not like she’s a car enthusiast or there were a plethora to choose from. I get that it’s a loss of control, but still….

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  3. Oh LA! I think you need a hug right now! So I’m sending you a big virtual hug.
    How challenging it must have been for you. I truly applaud you for being so patient, kind, and helpful to and with your mother. I know it must be frustrating for you. But also you should pat yourself on the back. You were a good daughter and provided your mom what she really needed. Your help. She emotionally is experiencing changes In her life and while she’s a handful for sure. I want you to know that while your mom may not tell you thank you. Your assistance was necessary for her. You were there. As someone in between your age and your mother’s i can tell you that getting older and buying things and having to get modifications because your body is aging, really sucks! And I’ve been there when each parent’s health failed. That’s not easy.
    But it’s got to be scary being in your mother’s shoes. Her world is different now. I know that feeling. It’s not fun to be in a position where you sometimes have to depend on your kids to help you. Ah the circle of life! But you did good kiddo! Now rest up! 👏

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Your mom sounds so cute. I’m glad she found a suitable vehicle she learn to love. Good on you for being patient she needed the guidance.
    I have a 13 year old Ford Ranger I love and I too will grieve when it needs to be replaced. Good story thanks for sharing

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, there is comfort in knowing a vehicle well.
        I know exactly how to line-up my bumper, to a parking spot to park perfect. A new car requires a new feel for such a task.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Amen to “Except when my Mom sat in it she said the panel looked like a spaceship.” No truer words. I feel that way when I drive my husband’s sedan. It’s overwhelming. I’m glad you finally found a car that was acceptable.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. You have the patience of a saint. I have car issues with my dad. But the opposite of yours. We went to visit him and he had a brand new EV Hyundai. He drives maybe 100 miles per year. Why did he need a new car at 90? Last time he got a new car he made me furious. He had a Saleen Mustang (a souped up car like a Shelby). My husband had two friends who wanted to pay cash for the car at a fair price. He showed up the next day in a brand new Cadillac sedan and had traded in the Mustang for peanuts.

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    1. It’s amazing how I’m pulling out the parenting toolbox. Mothering really doesn’t end…you just switch to your parents

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  7. I’ve read somewhere that seniors use complaints to ask for what they need. Her world has changed and she might feel fragile. I remember going car shopping with my late mom. Ultimately it was about buying the car she needed at that moment. Luckily she loved her car till the end. Now you’ve taken care of her, you should take care of yourself. That is balance. We love balance

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  8. All I can say is that i am glad that my mom lives with my brother and he is a car guy. I know you try to be a good daughter but it’s not always easy. You did a great job!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Car shopping ranks near to a funeral or reading the obit of someone you love-mentally taxing and yeah, I need a person with me who knows cars and can deal with the saleswoman/man.

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  10. Oooh bless you! I hope someone baked you a really yummy cake after all that. Like A Martha Stewart one. LOL!
    I am glad that at least your Mom did leave with a car and you didn’t have to go back a 2nd time.
    Your common core math remark cracked me up! 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Hahahahaha. Sorry, I have to laugh. Wow! That’s painful. Only 16 hours of sleep. Oh, and this made me laugh the hardest all day, “and do not go to school in Oregon” Ahaha. So true.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, you had a much worse car-buying (leasing) experience than usual, and that’s saying something! But I laughed out loud at the line about “for those who grew up before common core math and didn’t go to school in Oregon!” Sad, but true…and also funny.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. These circle of life moments just keep happening, don’t they? I could give you a very ,very long story about Mom and her car(s) and a long story about me and my cars and a shorter story about my kids and their cars, but I’ll spare you. Suffice to say, after a shortened (because I didn’t have the luxury of time) search process I also just ended up with a Subaru. That was my choice after test driving a bunch of other SUVs, which brought me to the realization that what I really needed/wanted was a mid-size. Subaru was recommended by many people I know well and whose opinions and experiences I seriously considered in this case. My final rationale was that this vehicle, and the top of the line styling I chose in what I was told was the most popular model (Forester Touring edition) had all the features I needed and wanted in my new environment. There were also quite a few available, 2019 models coming off leases, which sealed the deal.

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