My plan of a midweek happy hour drink and meal turned into driving a sexy little red sports car with a stranger, and it only cost me a kiss.
After a particularly long week (see previous blog), I decided to go out for Wednesday happy hour. As I sat at the bar enjoying my meal and drink, I read the book that I have been carrying around for over a month. It was nice to unwind, to read.
After finishing my book, I started chatting up some other bar patrons. There was banter about relationships, movies, and even cars. One of the bar customers happened to work at one of the local car dealerships. We chatted about the different models and how I was less than impressed with one of his pushy sales people. On my last visit to his business, his employee quickly ignored my request for information on three different model cars as soon as I stated the amount I wanted to pay. Perhaps I could only afford the less expensive model, but as someone who worked in sales for several years, I know there is always a possibility of up selling a better model if a customer expresses some interest in it. Nope. This salesman had no time to explain why I would want to pay more for the sports car over the compact sedan. He just needed to sell the car, and do it today. That was clear when he said, “I bet I can get you into [the compact] today.” After stating a number of times that I was in the research phase of my car search, I simply replied, “I do not think you will, especially after saying that.”
Shortly after telling the dealership guy about this experience, he states, “Well, would you like to go drive it?” My immediate thought was…um, it is 9:45 p.m, yeah right. But, my sense of opportunity and adventure overruled my mouth and I energetically replied, “Of course I do! Seriously?”
So here it is, right before 10 p.m. on a random Wednesday night and I am following a bar guy to the dealership around the corner. (No, I was not so naïve to get into a stranger’s car.) We get to the shop, he walks in and gets keys, and I start cruising in this sexy red sports car. It was amazing! The roar of the engine, the feel of shifting gears (yes, I am girl who can drive a manual transmission), and the pure spontaneity of the experience was nothing short of exhilarating.
Of course, as I am enjoying my ride, he makes his sales pitch…but it was not about the car. He paints a picture of how much fun it would be to drive this car down to the beach together so we can spend the weekend together on his boat. Sure yeah, that sounds like a wonderful offer, except for one factor. He is married. (Ironically, this is the second married man to offer me an unprovoked boat weekend this month. Apparently, I must appear to be mistress potential, come off too friendly… and single men do not seem to have boats.) I mention the whole marriage factor and he simply states that it is not an issue for him. Well, it is for me. (Call me selfish and old fashioned, but I want to be a guy’s one and only – not the dish on the side.) I am here just to drive the car, plain and simple.
Nothing in life is that simple though typically. Everything comes with a cost. When we choose to eat that huge cheesecake, the cost is calories, and a lot of them. When we choose to ignore our problems, the issues generally still exist or even get bigger. When we take a chance with love, we risk a broken heart. It is the basic law of consequences. Whatever we choose in life has a price. The question is – can we afford to pay it or do we realize the cost at the time of those decisions?
I’ve paid a lot of fees for my chosen actions over the years. Some have been worth the risk and I would do them again. Like the time I decided to join the Army Reserve – that was a life-changing decision. The cost of that decision has been time away from my family, challenging experiences in foreign countries and a lot of pressure to produce results. On the other hand, those costs have also shaped who I am today. I am a much stronger person, both mentally and physically. I have seen Serbian Orthodox churches, eaten authentic foods from different cultures, and was baptized by a Polish canon in a Sadam Hussein palace pool. Witnessing such vast cultures has made me able to truly appreciate what I have. I have been honored to meet and remain friends with some of the most loyal and honorable people I could ever imagine.
However, the decision to step in front of the large paper-covered hoop on the football field did not turn out so well. As a high school cheerleader, we always made painted signs for the football team to bust through at the beginning of the game and at half time. Well, one particular half time, the team chose not to go through the hoop. We all just stood there for a second soaking in the offense, and I chose to start to walk off the field…right in front of the hoop. This was at the same time, that a few of the players either changed their minds or saw an opportunity to crash though the hoop that maybe they never had before since they were in the back of the line. Both of our decisions collided and ended up with me getting stampeded like a Running of the Bulls participant. All I saw were some feet and then the ground. It was all funny in the end and no one was seriously injured. I had cleat marks on my uniform skirt, a few bruises and several years later, an America’s Funniest Home Videos spot light (which sadly, I could never get a copy of).
Either way, consequences surround us in our daily lives. How we deal with the consequences is what makes us who we are I suppose. Do we learn from the experience? Do we dwell on it and become bitter? Do we embrace it as a pivotal moment in our lives or just an experience we had to go through? Or, do each of our choices support the life we want to build, the person we are and the goals we are trying to achieve? I suppose that is for each person to decide.
I can tell you that knew the risk and the possible intent as I got into that little red car, but figured I can handle this. He will make a pitch, I can kindly decline and I will drive a sexy sports car. I can handle this. I’ve been through bigger dangers before.
So as I pulled the car back into the dealership, I quickly said my thanks (which included me jumping up and down like an excited schoolgirl from the thrill of the car), and gave him swift hug and a peck on the cheek. I am sure that was not exactly what he had hoped, but, that was the price I was willing to pay.
Maybe one day, a single man with a boat can actually ask me out. Maybe one day, I will get a copy of my humorous trampling on video. And maybe, just maybe, I will get that little red car when I am ready to buy.