Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Moving Forward

I was driving to the gym the other morning and heard the last part of a radio talk show that was discussing a recent study about the differences between men and women drivers.  Unfortunately, I missed the beginning of the program where someone might have told me who, in particular, conducted this study.  As many of my longer-term readers have concluded,  I have become a tad (or profusely, you be the judge) cynical over the years and have come to the opinion that studies are rarely believable. I think my mistrust of various polls, surveys, and studies took a real hit when the Gallop Poll people got routinely replaced by  Survey Monkeys.  I just really have a hard time believing statistics brought about by something (at least in my mind) as being conducted by pollster monkeys as being all that accurate. 

Anyway...this study supposedly said that women were generally safer drivers than men.  That isn't exactly news as  most studies say that.  It's just  most MEN  don't say that. Statistically, men get more tickets and cause more accidents than the stereotypical "bad" women driver. Hey, guys...I'm just the messenger here.  Take it up with the researchers. (NOTE: There are a few polls that say women drivers are far worse but the ones that determine insurance rates beg to differ.)

But, I digress...the study the radio host was talking about did point out a couple of interesting facts.
That while men are more aggressive drivers and take more chances resulting in them not faring optimally in terms of tickets and crashes they do better in other categories In particular  the study says that men are more PROFICIENT drivers when it comes to actually maneuvering a vehicle. 

In this study it showed that women are very poor parallel parkers.  Turns out that male drivers (allegedly) have  better spacial perception than women do.  Actually, I don't know about other women in general but this SO applies to me.

I don't know where it all went wrong...there was a time that I could parallel park a car in uncannily small spaces. My first car was a Chevrolet Nova and I could park that car with just inches of dead space in front and behind other cars and do it quicker than the person behind me had time to mouth any disparaging "women driver" comments.  Sadly, those days are long gone.  

I don't really know what happened.  Perhaps the infrequency of having to parallel park caused me to lose my mojo or maybe the fact I have been driving SUVs for a number of years and no longer have any notion of where my back end is. The fact is, I consider myself a pretty respectable driver as long as my transmission  is in D. The R is a little more problematic for me. 

Which in a round about way is where I am driving to.... topic wise.  I decided I needed a vehicle with a rear-view camera in it. 

A few weeks ago, I went in to get an oil change.  For most families this is a routine task that rolls around every 3000-6000 miles or so depending on your vehicle, I guess. On our vehicles it's 3000.  The maker of our cars is one that provides free oil changes and routine maintenance for 10 years so I am pretty diligent to go in and take advantage of their generosity.   

In my case, however,  I have now on four occasions over a number of years taken my car  in for it's maintenance and came home driving a new car.  Don't get me wrong, I don't trade cars all that often but when I do it seems to always be when I am sitting in the customer service lounge  at our car's dealership,  while my car is getting it's multi-point lube and tire rotation.  

Last week, while my now ex-car was in spending part of it's afternoon on a hoist getting whatever it needed I was drooling over the new model of my SUV and was thinking that the back up camera was nearly worth the price of the car.  As you might imagine, the salesman who knows me by my first name (and at this point, probably the birth dates of my children) came over with visions of a commission check floating in his head, said something to the effect of there being "incentives" to buy NOW.  

Clearly, I am a salesperson in my own right so I am immune to most of the sales jargon but that computer screen in the dash and alloy wheels were throwing me off my game.  

After a little of the salesman doing the dance and me doing the counter-dance, I drove the car home to show it to hubby.  

Have I mentioned lately that NOTHING I do surprises or for that matter, upsets hubby.  The man has ice water running through his veins in term of remaining cool and calm.   Totally unphased by my antics.  BUT he does have reasons to be on his toes when it comes to me bringing vehicles home.  

Prior to this most recent purchase, the last SUV that I bought while getting an oil change was a "present" for him.  Hubby was out of town and I was sitting waiting on my car to come down off the lift when an "older" women brought back her SUV claiming it was just too big and she wanted something smaller.  She had put 88 miles on it but now the dealership was going to have call it a "pre-owned"  car.  I smelled a deal.   Like a shark smelling chum, I asked the sales guy how much would come off the list price  

Now you all know that the first words out of any car salesman's mouth is the classic "I have to go talk to the manager."  Total crap...he knows what his margin of profit has to be and how desperate he is to meet his quota that day but I'll dance the dance.  So while he is probably  in the back room talking about how the Royals are doing, I am calling husband asking what he thinks the lowest possible number would be to get a super sweet deal. on a current year SUV with 88 miles on it.   Between us we came up with the most insulting offer two people could possibly devise. 

Salesman comes back with "the manager's best-he-can-do" offer...which isn't nearly the best I am willing to do, so I shoot the sales guy the really horrible "are you kidding me?" offer that hubby and I came up with.  His eyes rolled back into the sockets of his head, so I was pretty sure that one wasn't going to happen.   Well...after numerous trips back to talk to his manager along with  various accusations that I was probably going to cost him his job....I did buy the car.  
  Here's the problem though!  It was a really rainy, cloudy day in Kansas that day.  AND I swear to you that that SUV was a SILVER color.  BUT when I got it home it had a tinge ...OK, OK maybe a bit more than a tinge, of blue to it.  Now that isn't the worst thing in the world, I suspect .....but I had told my out-of-town hubby over the phone that his new vehicle was silver...no mention of blue.  I knew that he was going to be less than enthusiastic about a light-ish blue-ish silver kind of SUV. As it turned out he was totally unphased.  It could be that he drove it mostly on cloudy days but I can't say for certain. Luckily for him, we have long cloudy winters here.

Back to the current situation.  After coming home with the  "might be ours" car which was also a silvery kind of color, I probably shouldn't of been surprised that  hubby wasn't overly excited. I am thinking he was beyond taking another chance that the sun would come out and we would have another light blue car.  So we both went back and picked out a color called White Pearl with a lovely back up camera built into a lovely little computer screen so that in the future I might know where my back end is.  That is a wonderful thing.

To be continued ....HELL at the DMV

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