Monday, June 8, 2009

Cars & Girls

I took a few days off to do something important called "living". I didn't know exactly what I was going to write about when I started writing again but, I was driving around this morning and it came to me. I didn't mention to you all that I bought a new car two weeks ago... a 2008 Nissan Maxima.

Yes, sir! I sold "Ol' Betsy" for... well, let's just say I was mildly insulted by what I was offered. I'm kidding... that car was 12 years old when I got it from it's previous owner 5 years ago but, it was in good shape. It had low mileage for a car with that kind of age and it got me where I needed to go. Within the last two years I had to run back and forth to the shop with it to get repairs for one thing after another, as will happen with old cars.

I decided to get something close to new (from this century) that I knew would have a reduced price. I figured with the 2010 models about to be released, now was as good a time as any to get an '07 or '08. Finally, I said screw an '07, I want an '08 so, that's what I got.

This post is really not about cars but, about me and something I realized about myself when I was buying the car. I have been treated really badly by a lot of people in the course of a lifetime. I haven't always spoken about it here and I may speak about it more in future posts. I've mostly shared some of the more humorous incidents in my life as opposed to the painful ones.

When I first went to the car dealer, I was basically ignored for close to a half an hour, while they sat and talked to white customers in tony slacks from J. Crew, nice crisp shirts, and cute kids looking up at their mommy and daddy and giggling. There were a couple of black couples in there too that looked like young Claire and Cliff Huxtable, who were also getting attention. I had on some white linen shorts, brown sandals, and a navy blue t-shirt that read, "America's Dream" on it. I was clean shaven, my hair was cut nice, and I made sure to use some Mint Fresh Scope before I left home. I was wearing clean underwear too!

I was ignored for 30 minutes. Finally, a black salesman asked me if he could help me. I told him that I had my eye on a 2008 Maxima and I saw one on the lot that I liked if he could find it in black instead of white.

The first thing he asked me was, "Well, sir... what kind of financing will you be using? We do have financing available here for you." I told him that financing wouldn't be necessary. Well, once I said that (and, this is no lie), it was as if an alarm went off in the place. The manager came out and told the brother that he would take care of me. He asked me if I wanted anything to drink and then, he bought me a Coke (with his own money, I kid you not) and took me out on the lot.

He showed me a number of 2008 Nissan Altimas and Sentras that were black but, I insisted on a Maxima. He showed me a white one (the one I own now), took me for a test drive, and gave me the hard sell. I was impressed with the car but, I told him that I really wanted a black one so, I would check at a few more places and if I couldn't find what I wanted, I would come back. He gave me his card, his cell phone number, a number of pamphlets, took my information, and implored me to come back.

After looking around for a few days, I did return with my wife and the title for my former car and informed him that I would take the 2008 white Maxima because it was the closest to what I wanted. Again, he bought me a Coke and some chips this time. He conversed with my wife and I for 1/2 an hour, gave us the keys to the car, and let us test drive the car ourselves, while he readied the paperwork. I was treated like... well, a human being, and I enjoyed it. I just enjoyed having the upper hand for a change.

A lot of women have equally ignored me in life until either they got to know me or someone else got to know me and started talking about me. And, just like the car dealership, when I was placed in a position of finally being noticed or seemingly having the upper hand, I enjoyed it... maybe a little too much. Unlike buying a car, when dealing with a woman, I was often too happy that I was being acknowledged or getting any attention. This caused me to read a lot more into some of the situations I was in with women than what was really there. It caused me a lot of heartbreak and a lot of hurt.

If only I had dealt with a lot of women I met the way I dealt with the car salesmen, I might have avoided a lot of heartbreak and misunderstanding. (1) I wasn't or didn't appear to be too excited to get a car. (2) I asked for what I wanted and when they didn't have it, I left(even though I knew I was coming back). I didn't show my hand too early. (3) I did ask for and got a car fax. A little investigation into a lot of the women (and people in general) that I dealt with would have saved me much trouble. (4) I allowed them to do something for me in good faith before I signed a thing. With women, I was always doing most of the giving and never receiving much on my investments.

We could argue that maybe I dealt with the car people the way I did because I was dealing with another man as opposed to dealing with a woman... but, it was all the same. I had the same feeling when I was in the showroom and I didn't get any special attention or treatment until I let them know that I wasn't their average customer and I felt the same rush and exhilaration when I was being treated kind of special. Someone buying you a Coke isn't really that special but, it was the same with the women in my life. Very few of them really did anything special for me either. Yet, the little that they did do, I thought was incredible and it actually wasn't.

The difference here and the lesson here is that I saw the game as it was developing with the car and after the elation, I got down to business and weighed all of my options. I also made them sweat a bit... something I couldn't have done before in the past.(You see where I was going with this right?) It's funny what runs through your mind on a warm morning in June when you're going for a ride in your new car, while listening to Marvin Gaye on the CD player.


RainaHavock said...

A Nissan was one of the cars me and my father were looking at. But I feel in love with a Corrolla.

The F$%K it List said...

Maxima's LOVE THEM!

Its funny how your mind works just like mine. I totally got what you were saying.

enjoy the new ride.

Nate said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Solomon said...

I love how you compared your experience at the dealership with your past experince 'dealing' with the ladies.

Great post Bro!

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

All that you've written comes w/age and wisdom and grace. Going back and doing things a "little" different would not have allowed "us" to come to know the MAN you are today!

Enjoy your ride. I bet the feeling of cruising down the highway w/Marvin while the rest of us were at work was a great one!

Love, peace and blessings

Toni said...

Heyy Keith,Welcome back...What a creative way to look at relationships.

Angie B. said...

Wow, you take a few days off and come back this anology!

Sunflower said...

Love Nissans....I love the way your mind works too!

James Perkins said...

I totally got what you were saying about the co-relationship between
the car dealorship and relationships..You are pure genius!

Simon Bastion said...

You Mr. Keith are a pure poet! Great Post Bruh!

Grover Tha Playboy said...

Man, the way you put it down on this here post was pure genius man,
but that's just how it is...Women
and Cars!!!

Jazzy said...

Good Post Family.....I like the way you connected the two.

Brenda said...

keith, the reason why you could see
the "game " developing is because you are older and more mature now..You know the game.. You had to go through it to get to it!

Cheryl said...

Welcome Back Keith...Great Post as usual!

Lisa said...

What an anology...this has got to go down as one of your best!

Halo said...

Hey Keith, you left Facebook long enough to drop a gem on us!

Vanessa said...

Wow Keith....This was an eye opening post...I never looked at it like that.

Swaggie said...

Congrats on the New Ride...

Great way to look at relationships
in comparison to the car dealorship.

Tate2 said...

Man, you aint never put it down right..That's why I read this blog..You don't front..You always come with it! Keep on doing it man.

Sean said...

Keith,I have to echo the others..
Pure Poetry man..Pure poetry..I love this anology. This one was for the fellas.

Captain Jack said...

Great Anology..Very creative. I think this is true of all relationships..Straight or Gay..There is an amount of cruelty and game playing in them all!Good Post Keith.

Arlene said...

Fast cars and hot women? Is that your game cuz? Can't be!! Weren't you just extolling the wonders of 20 years of marriage? You got the right woman. What more can you ask for??
On to respect in the marketplace...I know too well the feeling of invisability while shopping. Two worlds: no attention at all or surveilence by store security. Store staff make judgements sometimes based on clothing style and accessories. Ever have someone look down at your shoes to decide whether you should receive service? That happened to me a couple of years ago which is why I wear my "good" shoes for shopping. No matter that I get them on sale at DSW, they're still name brands that are recognizable and "people" treat me differently because of them. Or maybe I feel differently because of them. Whatever!! Great post as usual. Can I get a ride in the new car?? I'll wear clean clothes and shoes.(LOL)

Anonymous said...

You was not lying when you said "I'm back".

That Other Nikka Named Rich said...

This is not a hater response, I'm just examining this on a deeper level.

So what you are saying is you dropped 20 large on a trick who ignored you until she realized you could afford what she was putting out. You played coy for a minute, then decided she was banging as hell, so you parted with the cash.

Thought for the day. Who came out on top in this transaction?

I'm glad you got a ride, but I would have found another spot to drop my loot, especially since you were going to do it anyway. I would have also let them know why I wasn't buying from them. Especially when dude hopped over old boy to get at you. But I guess I always have been one of those people who like proving people wrong, especially when they misjudge me.

Buying from companies who treat minorities like invisible people reinforce the notion that they can overlook us, because at the end of the day they feel like they got the big booty and the breasts and as stereotypes go, a black man just can't walk away from that.

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

Another lesson learned...I need to apply this to my life ASAP!!!

LadyLee said...

A great lesson indeed.

I too have experienced the same craziness. These are the rare times I throw my "Dr." title around.

Great lesson... but I find that it does come with age. We didn't quite think this clearly when we were young.


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