Here it is, the story of the second reinCARnation – and it’s incredible. To refresh your memory, here is the car Sweetie & I owned in 2011 / 2012:
And when this one died, we went car-free for almost a year. Here is the car we purchased in 2013:
It was a nearly IDENTICAL red toyota tercel. That second car died after only 6 months of use. After that, I vowed I would not buy another beater, but wait until I could afford a reliable car. Driving a beater is for people with better tolerance for living on the ragged edge. Will we get over that hill? Let’s see! Will we make it to town? Who knows!
I would rather have no car than a sort-of car that costs money to insure, gas up and repair, in exchange for tenuous functionality.
So we have an under-the-table secret: we desperately need to move. We are not getting any sleep here, and our landlady does not follow the Residential Tenancy Act… and there is a housing crisis so we have been unable to find another place to live. We’ve been looking for over a year.
Okay, well, it COULD be worse… but it’s pretty darn bad right now.
I’ll need to do another post on how to deal with energy vampires like this in your life. She’s a perfectly nice lady by day, but a door-knocking, micromanaging, laundry counting / critiquing, crazy-making, texting while Sweetie was at her father’s funeral (and wouldn’t stop) emailing multiple times a week kind of gal.
I have set boundaries over and over and over. She spent the last year saying “I know you’re angry with me,” and her new rhetoric is “I wish we could be friends again.” I have never said a mean thing to this lady, all I’ve asked for, over and over again, is space. Space and privacy.
Apart from that, she really is a nice lady. There is no way we could see this coming when we rented from her.
I’m just so grateful they don’t play music. It could be much worse, but yes, it’s pretty darn awful for me at times.
So, we need to move. We’ve been looking for a new place for months and months. There is a housing crisis in Tofino, and it seems to be worse this year because many landlords are choosing to kick out their long-term tenants in order to turn their rentals into B & B suites.
There has literally been nowhere for us to go.
Except, maybe, Ucluelet. We lived in Ucluelet from 2009 – 2012, and I love that little town. It has more of a redneck personality which actually suits me better than the nosy neighbour hippy-dippy culture in Tofino, where everyone has opinions about your recycling and composting habits.
In Ucluelet, the groceries cost a bit less, the tourists are not quite so thick, the 12 km long Wild Pacific Trail snakes along the Oceanside opening spectacular views and the sea lions of the harbour bark up a storm all winter long, reminding you that you actually live on the wild west coast.
I love Ucluelet. But I work in Tofino, and while housing costs less in Ucluelet, I would have to own and drive a vehicle almost daily to make it work.
Honestly, I was resigned to another year of crazy landlady, no sleep in summertime, incessant texts and psychotic mis-counting of every load of laundry we do. (We’re sure she doesn’t harass her kids when THEY do laundry.)
Then I thought, “Well, let’s just see what’s possible.” I researched car dealerships and contacted one with a good reputation. The following series of emails assured me that yes, in fact I *could* afford to have a car and drive it 30,000 km a year. IF the car payments were X.
The sales guy, we’ll call him Fred, assured me that yes, we can certainly get payments under the amount of Y.
I have to have payments no more than X, I repeated. Sure, sure! Absolutely do-able!
So I bought a one-way bus ticket from Tofino to Nanaimo, rattled the 5-hour journey away by listening to my ipod and chatting with a flirty man in his sixties.
I guess when the dealership picks you up from the bus depot, they think they have a leg up on you.
I test-drove the 2013 Chevrolet Sonic that we’d been discussing. Then Fred dropped this line:
“Wow, you’re doing really well, driving standard.”
In my head: Did that just happen? Does he mean, for someone with a VAGINA!? Good thing I packed my PENIS so I’d know how to drive a manual!!!
Then I thought, so that’s how it is, eh?
We get back to the dealership. Of course, as expected, pre-negotiated number X was off the table. So was Y. They came to me with number Z.
Of course I said no. You always say no to the first number.
The second number was insulting too. When I asked what had happened to number X, they said “The bank shortened the term of the loan.”
Yeah, bullshit. Not buying that for a second. Fred goes back into the “manager’s office” and says “You’ll hear the boss screaming and yelling at me!”
Finally they came back with a monthly payment that was X plus $15. I figured yeah, I could live with that.
Then they kept me waiting for 45 minutes, during which time a guy named Bob came up to me to chat, as did a guy named Rick. They were being all friendly, trying to make me laugh. To smile is to show weakness during negotiations, and I knew they weren’t sincere. Their boss wouldn’t be paying them to socialize with clients, they’re being paid to size me up.
Then they funneled me into the insurance office – they wanted me to sign up for insurance before I’d even seen the paperwork on the car! Uh, NO! I asked to see the financing paperwork first, into the finance guy’s office. Turns out it’s Bob. Bob smiles a big smile, because we’re friends, you see. He told me a joke.
When I sat down to look at that paperwork… It was ridiculous. The cost of borrowing was astronomical. Now, I realize I’m in a credit re-building phase, but I also know that there are banks and dealerships that exploit desperate people with marginalized credit scores. I am not desperate, and I am not going to screw myself financially just to have a car. Not when I can live with crazy landlady for another year and try for better financing next year.
I saw an $800 charge on the paperwork. I pointed to it. “What’s this?”
“Oh, that’s your tire insurance.”
Blink. In my head, What the fuuuuuuuu??? I can buy four new tires for $800.
Interpreting my silence as misunderstanding, Bob explains: “Yeah, if you hit a pothole and your tire pops and your rim is damaged, this insurance will replace it.”
In my head, They think they can pull it all over on me. They think I’m really, really ignorant.
That’s when I started to get angry. What I said: “I will decline that insurance. What else here is extra? What’s this $500?”
“That’s insurance for damage.” Bob went on making it sound like it was insurance that was a really great idea to have.
“Bob, can I see the paperwork for that insurance, please?”
What Bob hands me is not an insurance policy, but a flier for “Theft Protection”. That is, if I paid $500 now, IF my car is stolen and IF it’s damaged because it’s stolen, they’d kick up to $2,000 towards repairs.
Absolutely ridiculous. I doubt it was a real insurance policy. I suspect it was a dealership cash-grab, and they’d want repair work done *at* the dealership.
I asked about the “staff discount” they were giving me, as a hospital employee. “Oh that’s been applied to the sticker price of the vehicle.” Of course, most of that was cancelled out by a $500 documentation fee.
Then Bob whips this comment out: “Well, the car’s a standard, so you’ll be saving lots of money on the brakes!”
The words hit the table between us with a splat.
In my head: He thinks I don’t know what break pads cost.
Later, when I recounted this story to Sweetie, she cranked off this remark: “Yeah, ‘cause I go through break pads like tampons!” I nearly peed myself, I laughed so hard! Next time I buy a car, Sweetie needs to come with me so she can make snide, sarcastic, glib and undermining comments like this during the negotiations.
At some point, I got up and left the room. I went to the bathroom and started to tear up, because I was so freaking disappointed. I was not going to say yes to a financing agreement and a bunch of people who showed me no respect. I wondered if they’d change the deal when I told them I was going to walk.
But it wasn’t good enough. Every time I asked a pointed question, Bob had a runaround answer for it. He was a slippery sucker who was difficult to pin down. He even tried to convince me by saying “You AGREED to these terms in email!”
Oh, bullshit. I was so angry I started to cry. In that moment, I remembered an excerpt from Tina Fey’s autobiography, “Never, ever cry. Unless you have to. Sometimes a well-timed emotional scene is a good negotiating tactic.”
Then I remembered Lady Gaga, and how upset she was with the first set of photos for her first album cover. She said, “I had to cry for a week to get them to change it.”
And finally, a voice popped into my head that said, You’re not going to get anywhere with these guys if you’re NICE.
I stood up. I pointed at the paperwork and I yelled / assertively projected my voice at Bob, “If the numbers had looked like this in email, I WOULD NOT HAVE COME. I am CRYING because I’m PISSED OFF! I am going to stay in a HOTEL ROOM TONIGHT and take the BUS HOME tomorrow because YOU GUYS did not come through!!!”
“Please sit down,” Bob whisper / screams and pats my hand. “Please, sit down!”
Immediately, the manager comes in – turns out it’s Rick. He ALSO pats my hand and asks me to please sit down.
Now, if I were a man yelling, do you think they’d be patting my hand? Of course not. I stayed standing.
Both men try to use their louder voices to interrupt me. I kept talking. I grabbed my purse to walk out.
They knocked more off the price, brought my payments down to X and brought my cost of borrowing down to a reasonable amount, if I choose to keep this car (rather than trade it in a year from now to get better financing.)
Finally, I was ready to sign up for insurance. By this time it was after business hours, and they had to call in an insurance lady to do my paperwork. That took a half-hour, at the end of which it turned out the insurance premiums were going to be nearly double what I thought they’d be.
In my head, Well, that tears it. I can’t own a car at those insurance rates. I guess it’s over.
I went back into Bob’s office and explained politely that while I appreciated they were giving me a deal on the car, I can’t take it as the insurance rates were much higher than expected.
Again, I was ready to walk. Bob insisted I wait, and hustled back into Rick’s office. A few minutes later, he came out and offered to pay for half my insurance premiums for the first year.
I took a long, long time to decide. By this time it had been four hours, and if I hadn’t memorized the key figures before I went into the dealership, I would have just walked away from the deal because I was so far from capable of making a decision that would affect me for years to come… but I did know those numbers, and my mushy brain could at least match them up.
It was an hour after closing time, Bob started practically begging me to take it. “You got what you want! We gave it to you!” He did everything but say, “Please take the car and leave so I can go home!!!”
I don’t know why on earth they were willing to take such a hit on the profit. I think that at the end of the day, they didn’t want a customer with a big mouth walking out the door unhappy.
I signed the paperwork, got into a car so new that it didn’t feel like mine, and drove it to Tim Horton’s where I promptly burst into tears.
I had no idea car buying could be so brutal. On Sunday, I spent the evening dry-heaving the exhaustion, anxiety and sheer “ick” out of my body. It took 48 hours for the fear to wear off and the tentative happiness to seep in.
I look at that paperwork, and honestly, I know it’s immodest but I am damn impressed with myself. I found an assertiveness gear in my guts that I didn’t know I had. I don’t think the dealership made any money off of me at all. (The bank will, if I keep this car and pay it off at this rate.)
The idea is that I’ll trade this car in for a different one at a better financing rate in a year, and I understood that I *had to* get a deal I could afford on this first vehicle, because this deal would affect the next one. What if they didn’t give me a good enough trade in offer?
I stopped at a Wal-Mart at the halfway point on the journey home. I like to stop at Wally’s to use the bathroom, maybe pick up some French fries or a toaster. That night, I just wandered the isles, stretching my legs and leaving my eyes unfocused… until I got to the women’s clothing section, and it snapped into focus: A faux-vintage t-shirt with “The Beatles” logo.
Thank you, guys.
I was too tired to really talk to them, but I think I heard “nice ride!” as I started the car up again to go home.
These are the small signs that a lot of people experience, and it’s easy to write it off as coincidence. Did John and George really care that I got a good deal on a car?
I think so. I think I needed all the help I could get, because now, Now, NOW Ucluelet is a housing option again! After our series of harrowing drives in beater cars, I was unwilling to buy another beater and be dependent upon it to get to the hospital.
I think they were helping me. The deal I got on this car was a small miracle. I don’t know why they didn’t let me walk, why they stayed an hour after closing. There was just the *right* amount of customers in the dealership that night – enough to witness my yelling and possibly change their minds about buying there, but no one who was serious about buying *today*.
I know I stayed in that dealership because a) I didn’t WANT to have to find a hotel and figure out how to catch the bus home and b) I really, really wanted to make Ucluelet a possibility.
It’s all about getting out from under Crazy Controlling Landlady, and it’s about actually accessing the amazingness of the wild west coast! Without a reliable vehicle, I haven’t been enjoying living out here as much as I did the first few years. I *love* the trails, the National Park Reserve, the isolated secret beaches and the scenic two-hour drive to Port Alberni.
The car also opens up income opportunity for Sweetie. She can work full time at the gallery, seek work at the library (which has locations in Ucluelet and Tofino) and scope out galleries to sell her work all over the island.
So I stayed, even though I was exhausted, and for some reason, Fred, Bob and Rick were willing to do what it took to get me to take the car.
In the end, I can barely believe I got the thing. It’s almost new, it’s certainly the nicest vehicle I’ve ever owned. It’s possibly the newest vehicle anyone in my family has ever owned. It feels like a rental I forgot to return! I need to adjust to it!
Here it is:
It’s basically Chevrolet’s version of a red tercel: the Sonic.
I did not post photos of my new car for the general public, for a few reasons. Mainly, I know how I’ve felt these past ten years when someone I know gets a new car and posts about it online, all happy and show-offy. I thought, “Must be nice to have money.”
And maybe you’re thinking this too.
The reason why I wrote all about this is I think this car is the first thing I full-on “manifested”.
It’s like it’s finally clicking with me, what it takes to really create something out what you have on hand. I really just wanted a reliable, safe, affordable version of the 1989 Toyota Tercel we used to drive. It looks like that’s exactly what I got!
Last night, I realized something else:
If I had been my usual worrying self about the scenario of owning a car, I would not have even tried to get one. I would have over-researched every possibility, and when I learned of the insurance premiums on a new vehicle, I would have concluded that car ownership was not possible for me right now. I would have GIVEN UP without even trying!
Instead, this is the first time I went into a life-changing possibility completely open to it, without gaming out scenarios. I literally laid out and clearly defined the terms I needed, which mainly focused on numbers, car safety and reliability. I didn’t visualize a specific car because I didn’t really *care* what sort of car I got, just as long as it met the numbers within my safety limits.
It’s hilarious that the car I got is almost a perfect clone of the last two vehicles we’ve owned, except it’s shiny, reliable and safe! I guess the little red car default setting is still a part of my energy pattern.
I feel profoundly changed by this experience. I think for the very first time, I really *get* how worrying creates problems that don’t have to exist. It blocks solutions that others could step in and provide, if you just give them space.
Here’s another topic I’m going to explore in more detail: Parallel realities, and bringing the good stuff from a parallel reality into your own timeline.
I’ve mentioned in the Joyful Telepathy podcast episode on Parallel Realities that I do believe we run multiple scenarios on a life plan in parallel timelines. We’re not just taking the red pill or the blue pill, we’re taking both. For years, I’ve noticed I have dreams and awareness of a parallel reality that is really similar to this one, but in which all the little hardships have just been softened and tweaked. I specifically remember having a new-ish vehicle in that parallel reality, and my decision was to focus on bringing that car from the concurrent reality into *all of them*.
The assumption I had been making about my parallel reality is that I had a nice car because I was making more money than I do in THIS scenario. The first trick was to get over that assumption, because it’s not necessarily true – and even if it were, that doesn’t mean a new-ish car is impossible for THIS scenario. I literally had to open the door to the POSSIBILITY that maybe, somehow, in some way I can’t imagine right now – it COULD be possible.
Finally, I’m sending tons of love, support and compassion to the version of me who wasn’t ready to take the leap and believe in the possibility of affordable, reliable car ownership. I *could have* kyboshed this thing before it began, and as I believe in parallel realities, I think there’s a scenario where I *did*.
So that’s my ReinCARnation Manifestation story!
What do you guys think about this parallel reality idea? Do you have a different idea you’d like to share?