Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rant #158: I Auto Go Broke

My daughter goes to school in Oswego. Happily, she just has to finish the spring semester and she is done with her undergraduate studies. She wants to be an elementary school teacher, and personally, I think she will be a good one.

Anyway, she came home on break, braving a five-to-six hour trip from Oswego, which is a hop, skip and a jump away from Canada, all the way down to Long Island. The trip was uneventful, according to her, and everything went fine.

Then she started to drive the roads of Long Island, and everything went awry.

From what she told me, she was entering the Long Island Expressway, didn't see a car ahead of her, and slammed into the car.

Happily, my daughter is fine. Also happily, the car ahead of her suffered no damage at all, and the driver of the car was fine too.

Unhappily, may daughter's car, for all intents and purposes, was totaled.

The repair bill is about twice if not three times the value of the care, so it really didn't pay to fix it.

And she just dropped collision on the car, so she was on her own to pay for it.

She asked me for help. I couldn't help pay for it, as I don't have the money. I asked my parents, and they could only give so much too.

Well, one thing led to another, and guess what? I had to buy my daughter a car yesterday night.

In what became a four-plus hour marathon, I took out a loan on a used car.

The agreement I have with my daughter is that I will pay for part of it, but she must pay for the other part. I am already paying for my own car, so paying for two cars is a bit much. When my daughter gets a full time job, she will take over the payments in full.

All of the finagling and doodling and games that are played when you buy a car simply amazes me. The dealer quotes you one price, says he can get you another, they go through all of this phony posturing, and finally, you get a price that is probably higher than you wanted to pay, but not as high as you thought you would pay.

And then about what car you are getting ... they promise you one, and then they promise you another, and finally, you get one that they say is better than the other two, but they are bound to the price.

As you can understand, I could not wait to get out of the showroom. After a long day at work, this is not how I wanted to spend my evening.

But again, this is what a parent does--they go out on the limb for their children. I don't want to give myself a pat on the back--I can't do that right now because I am hitting myself in the head--but my parents went out on the limb for me, and I want to do it for my kids too.

But now I am burdened with another bill.

Not to be sexist, but one day, when she finds the guy she wants to live the rest of her life with, I hope he has plenty of money ... or maybe my daughter will have a lot of cash, and can help support her dear old dad.

Right now, I am cash depleted, that's for sure.

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