Well, I did get my “one more day,” sorta. My one day ended up being half day–the half of which took me straight to the Honda dealer car lot. After my mom got home and ranted to my dad, who sat in silence, as my mom, pointing her freshly polished index finger back and forth between my dad and I, preached about the dangers of a single woman and unreliable transportation in Georgia. The sermon would have been okay and short-lived had it not been for my Lulu’s “Amen” seal of approval. So, my dad and I sat, for two and a half hours, as two ridiculed puppies, staring at their owner who is chastising them for messing in the corner. By half an hour, I began concentrating on the new color on my mom’s nails and tried to determine whether or not it was pecan frost or a new color from OPI. By the first complete hour, I had picked out the perfect outfit that I could wear should I try that color on the next time, I go to Queen Spa and get my nails and toes done–ALONE. When the sermon completed, I had changed nail polish colors, twice, and had determined that I needed more colors in my closet to match my nail polish should I decide to use different polish colors on my nails.
“So, what are you planning to do?” Momma says, giving the benediction of her message.
Daddy looks up at momma with a “is it my turn to speak” pause. Taking a sigh, my daddy leans back in his chair, looks at my mom and says “I’ll take care of it.”
“You’ll take care of it?” Momma sternly questions in protest?
To which Daddy replies “Yup. I’ll take care of it.” He, then, got up from the table and walked away. Clearly, had he not, he would have been required to lay out his complete plan of action while sitting there. The topic was dropped, for now. Unsure of my exact purpose for being there. I am almost post positive that I was there to make sure I get the point that I should not, for the time being, be taking any unnecessary trips on the road without a “reliable vehicle.”
When I went to bed that night, I knew that momma let daddy “I’ll take care of it” suffice for my sake. Knowing that later that night, he was in for the complete bedroo, interrogation. I think he cracked, because the next morning, my daddy, my momma and I were up at 8 o’clock, dressed and headed for the car dealership.
We arrive at the local dealership, my daddy is dressed like Cliff Huxtable from the “Denise car purchase” episode, my mom dressed like it is 30 degrees in June –sweatsuit, jacket and all, and me, I am in a sundress and flip flops. Yup, the salespeople RAN to us.
When we got m out of our vehicles, we passed two sales men in Polo shirts and khaki slacks–passed them. We were never greeted, new acknowledged. That is, until we walked in and a bubbly platinum dyed blonde approached us, power-walking 30mph, with her hand extended the entire trip from her desk to us.
“Hi there! I’m Misty” She said before she reached us. “What can I get you in, today?” She, instantly, won me with her enthusiasm and won my daddy even more when she greeted him with a smile and hearty handshake. Misty walked us over to her desk located about a half – block from the front entrance. By the time we sat down, I knew that Misty is married, a mother of a teenage girl going through her weight loss, has been working here at the dealership for six years and attends Rock of Ages Interdemoninational Church about a block from her home, nearly 15 miles from here.
My daddy began with “we are looking for a simple, stable vehicle.”
“Of course,” Misty responds while nodding her head, frantically. I glance across her desk and notice a 16oz. silver and pink coffee mug which I can only imagine has one scoop too many of coffee. I like that mug. I wonder where she got it from. It looks custom-made.
I come back from drifting away in thought when I hear Misty say, while rising from her seat, “Let’s get the keys and take her for a spin!”Spin? What spin? Who is going to spin class? What did I miss? I glance over are my parents looking for a sign of current events. Mommy knows I missed the entire conversation between present-day “Mr. Huxtable” and “Speedy Gonzales.”
Misty arrives back at the desk with a single key and tag in hand. Waving them she says “We ready?” I do love how she talks to us like we are old high school friends reunited. We follow Misty and key to and burgundy Altmima parked next to a platinum edition black Honda Accord. When I saw it, I felt tears fill my eyes and heard angels singing. I didn’t even realize I was floating to the Honda until Misty excitingly yells “Here we are!”
I snap back to reality and slowly walk back to the Altima. I have always loved Altimas. Until, today, when I gave my heart away to a girl named Honda. The entire test drive, I felt like I was cheating on Honda. This Altima didn’t ride the same as I knew Honda would. The wheel didn’t fit the same in my hands. Oh Honda! You came and you gave without taking, but they took me away. Oh, Honda, I wish I could stop me from shaking. I need you, today. Oh, Honda. As I was about to go into verse, daddy yells.
“Danni! We are here for you! She is talking to you!”
To which I reply, “It’s cool.” I wasn’t really sure if that was the correct response, but it is doubtful that it was by the clinching teeth that can be seen through my daddy’s cheeck and the wide-eyed, shocked expression on my mommy’s eyes and face.
The remainder of the test drive was performed in silence with the occasional Misty sales jnput. When we pull back into the parking space next to Honda, we get out of the car and while walking to the dealership entrance, I ask, “How about that Honda over there?” I point to Honda, wondering if everyone else can see the glow around her or hear the harps playing angelic tunes in the background.
“Oh.” Misty says squinting at the Honda. “It just arrived here, yesterday. I don’t believe I can get you a deal on that one. But, this Nissan is a go.”
“Get the keys.” Daddy says to Misty as he begins walking to Honda.
Misty came out with the keys and we took Honda for a ride–Leather interior, heated seats, all the works, and she was such a smooth ride. When we parked, if I smoked, I could have lit a cigarette right then and there.
When we arrived back at Misty desk, we all sat down and Misty, immediately pulled her calculator to her and began typing, hysterically. She was keying so fast that I was unaware whether or not she was actually pushing real numbers . She stood up, calculator in hand and told us she would be right back.
She walks back over to her desk with a frumpy older man who looks at us and says “Perhaps you would like something more affordable. Do you have a trade-in? This would require at least $3,000.00 down.” He says while shaking his head and rubbing his sweating forehead.
Clearly, the man had no CLUE who Milton Warren James was, or he did, which is why he came at us like he did. But my daddy, Milton Warren James, was completely insulted. He took a deep breath in.
“If you had $3,000.00 in hand, today, what would payments be? Daddy asked.
“Her credit, no trade in, 5 years. You’re looking at least $300 a month.” Frumpy replies
My dad looks at me in the eye. I nod in agreement. We look up at Mr. Frumpy and together–my dad and I– “deal.” I reach inside my handbag, grab my wallet and ask “Who should I make the check out to?
So, on the day of my daddy’s surprise birthday party, Surprise!
Danni got a new car.