The Used Car, or How to Get Divorced In 4 Months Or Less (Not Really)

Yes, women are treated like imbeciles while buying a car. So I showed up to do business ... but my husband showed up to make out with the salesman.
Publish date:
June 6, 2011
sexism, marriage, cars, tex avery

I recently caved to my husband’s request to become a two-car family.

We've zipped around in a little red Toyota Yaris for the past three years, Mike’s grandest object of buyer’s remorse. I loved its roller skatie-ness and 40 miles-per-gallon in-town, but Mike had bitterly stuffed his six-foot frame into Chicago’s saddest clown car a thousand times too many.

Car number two needed to be something Mike could call a “truck,” something for road trips and dropping off laundry, something with four doors and power windows. Oh Yaris, my analog golf cart!

I am famously cheap (when I feel like it) and possess a supernatural gift for Google conjuring. I agreed to find a used mid-size SUV under 100,000 miles at a price I wouldn’t get the vapors over.

My witchcraft strong, our dream car appeared lazily at the same dealership the last couple of cars came from, over in their used lot. I maniacally armed myself with facts and figures, punching speedometer readings and vehicle options into blue book calculators. They would pay us to take that Honda off their hands before I finished with them.

The plan was laid out to el husbando: We will test drive, inspect minutiae, make note of any deviations from online info to negotiate our price. We will not pay sticker. Our offer starts at $x and we have a limit of $xx. We will walk away. I’m the Bad Cop, you are the cop that backs up the Bad Cop. NO MATTER WHAT.

Victory assured, we headed over to meet our destiny.

OK, here is what I always refuse to believe and I am always WRONG. Women are treated like imbeciles by professionals, specifically in regards to car-buying and car-fixing. I think I’m shrewd and butch and my tactics are air-tight, but Larry the Used Car Guy still directs everything to my rookie partner with the three -piece set in his shorts. STOP! POLICE!

Perhaps Larry picked up on Mike’s transformation into a Tex Avery cartoon wolf upon setting huge, popping eyes on the hot not-so-little silver number with the cassette deck (baby steps). Hmm.

Larry, despite having neither accent nor basic knowledge of Brooklyn, convinced my husband he was from his old neighborhood. What a cowinky-dink! Ask him about a really obscure place like NATHAN’S! Scheister.

Each protest of mine was shot down by Lawrence of Somewhere-But-Not-Flatbush: This is missing (You don’t need it), this body damage wasn’t mentioned (Find a better price in the state), there are 6,000 more miles than in the listing (It’s normal for us to put miles on while showing a car) and finally, “These factors affect the price we are willing to pay,” countered with “I can’t sell this car for under the sticker price.”

Most important to mention is how Mike tilted his stupid smile-plastered head toward me and nodded in agreement with every Larry statement of Man Club truth. My droolier-half went turncoat on me!

FREAK both-a youse.

So my previously Toyota-emasculated husband happily paid full price and drove his new used truck off the lot that night, and I got to tuck my balls back into my vagina. At least I got lost in the Yaris on the way home and refused to ask for directions. ERA!