Sunday, August 3, 2008

You know you want this

Sarah doesn't know I'm writing this, and if she found out what I'm about to tell you...well, I shudder to think what would happen. But I would imagine that it would involve a panic attack of some sort, followed by uncontrollable crying, and many, many years of therapy.

I'm Sarah's alter ego, by the way. The side of Sarah that revels in the thought of becoming a "soccer mom", the Sarah that gives a darn what the Joneses are up to, and the Sarah that will browse the racks at Liz Claiborne looking for pleated khakis and cashmere sweater sets come winter. Oh, and the side of Sarah that would wouldn't rather have her toenails pulled out one-by-one than to be seen driving a mini-van.

Fortunately for me, that other Sarah wasn't around yesterday when Tim and Alex and I headed to the Honda dealership to check out a 2006 Honda Odyssey. Knowing we would be needing a second vehicle once he starts work in a couple of weeks, Tim had done some research on vans and SUV's, and based on the criteria we had established, we decided a mini-van would best fulfill all of our needs. And, according to Timothy, if we were going to be seen driving a mini-van, it was going to be nothing less than the highest ranked, top-of-the-line one on the market. As if driving a "fancy" mini-van makes an
image-conscious-twenty-something-lawyer-type look like less of a wiener.

Anyway, when this Touring Edition Odyssey showed up at the Honda lot near us, we thought we'd go check it out. Well, that's what Timothy tried to tell me, at least - that we were only going to "check it out", and that he had no intention of leaving the lot with a new vehicle. But he was armed with a detailed spreadsheet listing various payments at various interest rates based on various price points, and he told me that if I really liked the van, I was to flash him a cryptic hand gesture to indicate my approval, at which point he would know that it was time to "play hardball". Yeah, I'm not sure who he thought he was fooling...

We're not super picky when it comes to things like automobiles, but we did have a short list of things we were looking for. More room than the Altima, for one, which most vans would inherently provide. We also wanted a built-in DVD player that Alex couldn't pummel with his feet, and Timothy was dead-set on XM Radio so he'd have unlimited access to sports radio during road trips. The Odyssey seemed to fulfill all of our criteria, plus some. The Touring Edition comes with built-in navigation, back-up camera, XM Radio, remote-controlled doors and windows, DVD player, leather upholstery, voice-activated controls...and about a hundred other things that we haven't discovered yet.

After a looooong discussion with the sales guy, we were ushered over to the finance department, where we expected them to say, "So...neither of you have a job. Exactly how did you expect to pay for this...?" Alex was already pitching a fit, seeing as we had been at the dealership for over an hour and dinnertime was quickly approaching, so he and I hung out in the children's play area while Timothy went off and talked business. We ended up waiting in that room for over an hour, which feels like three hours when you are trying to entertain a curious child. Out of desperation, I let him play with the cootie-covered kids' toys, forcing myself to relax whenever I spied a slimy, kid-sized handprint on or around the stuff he was playing with.

While we were there, Alex made friends with this adorable three year old girl, coincidentally named Alexandra. She didn't speak much English, but she spent the entire time talking to him in Spanish and mothering him and feeding him each of his crackers one-by-one, after which she would offer him his sippy cup, urging him to "Drink, bebe, drink". Now, normally I would not allow some strange child in the Honda waiting room to handfeed my son, but she was sweet and didn't seem to have any obvious signs of cootie-infestation. Besides, you try to keep a bored one year old occupied for over an hour, in a small room, well-past dinnertime with bedtime quickly approaching and see what happens. By the time Tim came back, Alex had manhandled every slimy piece of equipment in the room, crawled on the filthy floor, and even had his first bite of peanut butter, via a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. And yes, he loved it, as if you had to ask.

After much haggling and several threats to get up and leave, Timothy finally managed to convince the financier to give us our Odyssey, at the price we wanted, at the payments we wanted, plus a 100,000 mile warranty. While currently unemployed. With no income to speak of. That, my friends, is some good lawyerin'.

Bottom line is, we are now officially the owners of a 2006 Honda Odyssey, Touring Edition. I know The Other Sarah will find out sooner or later, since she'll be the one driving it and all, plus several of her friends have already taken the plunge into mini-vandom and will likely want to commiserate. But I'd prefer to delay that moment for as long as possible. So let's just keep it between you and me, 'kay? 'Kay.


Grandpa in Peoria said...

Mom will be so proud- and boy, will she laugh when she pulls down 4 fingers and says "I told you so". Incidentally, they make decals other than soccer balls for your side windows. Calvin peeing on a Dodge Caravan? Bullet holes? Choose your poison, you are now in lockstep with the populace.

leah said...

ummm yeah Im just gonna be nice and say "nice van Tim & Sarah" :-)

grammy said...

Like the ride - Nice - but didn't we just have Alex's 1st birthday because that kid looks 2!!!!!!

Weems World said...

Love it-the leather will come in heandy for clean-up.
We have now currently outgrown the minivan-and have moved up to the ginormous suburban-yikes. But having room to move is priceless-

Oliver said...

so what does that make your friends who don't have a top-of-the-line-honda-oddysey?? :)

LOVE the van - looks awesome in every way. all the perks will be so're gonna love it! so excited for you :)

and i love all the pics of alex standing - he looks like such a big boy!!

Chatter said...


Amy said...

Once ya have a van....ya never go back. I'm soooo proud..and satisfied and yes, a little smug.
Granny B

Sarah Rose said...

nice wheels!

Molly & John Telford said...

Don't worry, I won't tell Sarah:0