If only it was as simple as buying a car


First thing to know, I hate buying cars. Always have. Itís true of portions from the very first experience I had. Never look forward to it. Little about the process that I enjoy. So, if Iím heading out comparing something to the ease of buying a car, there is definitely something way off-kilter being presented.

Iím guessing my opinion isnít surprising. For me, thereís something about the effort that seems off.

A dealership could have three cars on the lot that are essentially exactly the same. Model, trim, color and more. Same car. Three customers could walk onto the property on the same day and after a vast combination of scenarios plays outó research done, questions asked, initial offers exchanged, if the salesperson feels particularly kind or particularly cranky after lunch and on and onóeach person could pay a different amount for their car.

The majority of my shopping is handled by walking in to a store, seeing the price of something Iím interested in, and ultimately making the decision if thatís the price I want to pay. Simple. Basic. Straightforward.

As much as Iíve enjoyed the cars Iíve owned over the years, and been excited about adding a new vehicle, thereís always a moment or two (or more) where I wonder about what I paid and if I could have done better. Not regret, mind you. Just a collection of uncertainties, such as the feeling that no matter how prepared I was and what I did, I put extra money into the purchase than I should have.

Then thereís the math. The add this and add that and waiving the other thing. The back and forth adjusting your insurance. There are the fees that come in, even after all the paperwork is signed. (You know. ďYeah, I get your frustration. But thatís the way the state requires new registration fees to be done.Ē Something like that. And there you are, paying an additional $89 or whatever as a final exchange.)

Even if some of it goes smoothly, thereís always a part that does not.

So, yeah, I hate buying cars.

That understood, thereís a certain part of a car purchase that is fundamentally very easy. Itís so straightforward and basic that the complexities involved are easy to miss.

Most of us know basically what we want.

(I said basically.)

We have a general idea of the needs involved. Are we looking for something that assists with a commute? Is the vehicle necessary for work (such as carrying tools and equipment)? Do we need a lot of passenger space?

Most of us know, fairly quickly, if weíre in the market for a sedan, truck or minivan. We know whether we need a wide range of entertainment options, and have a decent grasp of what we like from a GPS system.

I was thinking about this a bit lately because I couldnít make some decisions about what to do around my house.

Yup, I was comparing life to buying a car, and wishing the decisions were as simple as knowing what I needed.

Of course, as youíd probably guess, the more I thought about it the more I decided it was an effort less about knowing my needs and better suited to comparison with the negotiating a price aspect: awkward with the occasional second guessing of decisions.

There are days when, from the moment we roll out of bed, everything falls into place. We know what we want to eat. We know what we want to do. It feels comfortable, likely enjoyable, and we move smoothly from one activity to the next.

And then there are the days where everything is wrong. You forgot to wash your clothes for work, so right out of the gate youíre scrambling. Thereís nothing on TV and you donít feel like meandering through the offerings on streaming services. Maybe the power goes out. Youíre two steps behind as the sun rises, never find a rhythm to the day, and then top it all off when you canít get to sleep after the sun sets.

A lot of work goes into organizing chaos. Thoughts and actions that prepare us for what we need to do. (And a lack of thoughts and actions that set everything up to settle into place however it might fall.)

Nothing is simple. Even when it feels right.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com