I laughed, I cried, I waited, I kissed a bunch of hard-earned $ goodbye

So, before there was work traveling or an eerie silence across Puddintopia, there was Saturday. The Puddinette and I took the three older kids to see Toy Story 3 with my parents. Everyone had a great time, I got to consume a ridiculous amount of tasty, evil, theater popcorn, and the movie was great.

If you haven’t seen it, what you’ve heard about Toy Story 3 is absolutely true. It’s fun, immensely entertaining for the whole family, and a little heart-wrenching, I suppose. The Puddinette was seen wiping tears from her eyes at one point.

There’s a vile and completely unfounded rumor going around that I too was feeling the weepiness, but obviously that just isn’t true. Big boys like the ole Puddin don’t get all misty eyed at cartoon movies, no matter who leaves a room completely empty save for the wallpaper covered in puffy soft clouds. The last thing I’m going do is get all choked up at that point in the movie where everyone’s holding hands and sliding, you know, towards that thing. And there’s just no damn way I developed a lump in my throat the size of a VW bug when those plaything characters waved goodbye, a goodbye that was clearly intended for me.

Sure, the Puddinette might suggest that I was so verklempt I had to keep my hand over my mouth to prevent the spontaneous escape of sobbing noises. The truth is that I was just holding my head up because I was…um….sleepy or something.

I trust everyone out there knows exactly what really happened.

So after our fun family trip to the theater, I took the wife and kids home. At that point, I strapped on the battle gear, grabbed my shield (in this case the manila folder), and left immediately for the car dealer. I spent the next hour and half discussing the options for my future. The lease on my Accord was up (today as a matter of fact), and something had to be done.

Of course, I wanted to get a brand new car, because I always want a brand new car. But I’m an older, wiser Puddin, not the snotty-nosed kid that used to enter a car dealership wide-eyed and ready to sign whatever they set in front of me. In the old days I might as well have been dragging a big neon sign behind me that read “Yes, I will buy that.”

No, I’m a big boy now, no longer wet behind the ears or willing to drop a fat pile of cash just because I want something. It turns out I want to retire before I hit 80 more than I want Bluetooth. So I took my car to the dealer to listen my guy’s spiel, and he told me what I already knew. I’d gotten a hell of a deal when I leased my car three years ago, and there was no deal he could make that would be better than the lease buyout. And yes, I was buying this time, not leasing. Three year ago, my Stratus blew up like the Death Star two months after paying it off; leasing at that point was unfortunately a necessity. Not today.

Long story short, I spent two hours at a dealership Saturday afternoon, and ended up making a sweet deal on a car. Unfortunately, making a deal on a car you’ve already spent three years driving kind of takes all the excitement out of it. The only thing you really get is a wasted block of time on a Saturday and a new temporary tag. I’m not really complaining, though. It’s a really good car and I did get a helluva deal.

I do still very much wants me some Bluetooth, though. Maybe one of you out there can surprise me with something in a red-bow for Christmas? That’d be great, thanks! Until then, I’ll just be content to shine up my new, old car before we go cruisin’ on the weekends*.


*Because that’s something we totally do; I hand-polish my car and go “cruising” at least, um, once a…yeah, I guess I’ve never done that.

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