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Monday, April 26, 2004
It’s nice to have the rare weekend where we don’t have any real plans . . . no show(s) to plan around, no party or social gathering to get ready for. Our recent weekend plans didn’t extend far beyond Friday night’s Iron Chef event.

We’d tentatively planned to see a movie Saturday afternoon, so I scheduled my morning accordingly . . . taking mom grocery shopping and timing it so Mia was at the grandparent’s house for lunch and a nap. (They were going to keep her for the afternoon while we went to a movie.)

I met Michelle for a quick bite at Boston Market. As it turned out, we had time to kill after lunch, and decided to drop off one of our cars at the house on the way (not really) to the movie (The Ladykillers).

We never made it to the movie. When I got to the house (after stopping for gas), Michelle’s stomach was bothering her, and she didn’t feel like she could make through a movie. When it was apparent that any remaining plans for the weekend were fading fast, I contemplated lawn work. But Michelle’s stomach cramping subsided and we resumed talking about our lunch topic: looking at potential candidates to replace our gas-guzzling, British-built SUV.

It was all a hypothetical situation. Just like it was when we drove onto the lot with our VW Beetle six months before our lease was set to expire, and stumbled upon the godforsaken Land Rover.

We talked about the Scions (Michelle likes the boxy cars). We talked about cheap things. So, really, we had nothing better to do than go and look at cars.

It should be noted here that the three things I hate doing more than anything in the world are:
-- interviewing for jobs
-- going to the dentist
-- dealing with salespeople

The Scion (Toyota) dealership was very nice. The salesman was nice, too. We looked at it and were impressed. The test drive was fun. The negotiating process would’ve been great . . . if we weren’t thousands and thousands off from what they were going to give us for a trade on the Land Rover. (That turn from “hypothesis” to actual “negotiation” is never comfortable, is it?)

We still had time left in the afternoon, so we stopped by the Hyundai dealership to scope out the Santa Fe (not the one they had, but the model . . . of which they had, like, 20). The saleswoman (very motherly in a helpful, nurturing way) swooped in and showed us around. She let us drive one. Long story short(er), we bought a Santa Fe. Yes, we are rid of the Land Rover, although the spirit of it still haunts us (in the form of “negative equity”). We now have something that gets much further per gallon, and promises to save us lots of money in repairs and gas and insurance and humiliation at driving a yuppie mobile. Now we’re in a SUV that’s for sensible, but poor, people.