Now that the cold temperatures are here and I have no garden tales to tell, I’m finally getting around to a subject I’ve been mulling around for some time. It’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart – shopping. However it’s not my heart strings that are being tugged, it’s my brain that’s being confounded. You see, one word rings over and over in my mind, and that word is Why?
It all began when I noticed big-time ground breaking on Route 6 right next to the entrance to Cortlandt Town Center last spring. Route 6 is our major shopping strip, and Cortlandt Town Center is our major shopping center. It’s not spectacular but in addition to these establishments, it has what I need to get by.
Months went by, and several buildings began to take shape – boxy squat shapes. However there were no “coming soon” signs and since they were too small to be Trader Joe’s, the only establishment that would send me into ecstasy, I lost interest as summer brought me big and better things to look forward to.
When September rolled around, I decided to treat Mighty Mouse, my grey compact station wagon, to an oil change and maintenance service. After all, he’d been good to me all summer. The dealership is on Route 6 directly across from the mystery construction spot.
As I settled into my seat in the waiting lounge, and accessed WiFi, I looked up and across the wide street and saw that the word was out. The mystery was over.
But wait, isn’t this inside the shopping center:
You mean this one inside isn’t enough?
or this one either?
And then there was revelation #3.
Of course, just what the world needs, another Starbucks. Especially since tucked within Barnes and Nobles is a nice cozy….
Oh well, variety is the spice of life, I guess.
PS. I have since been informed that GNC and Vitamin Shoppe appeal to totally different markets: the body builders and jocks vs the health-conscious. Oh well, live and learn……. and shop!
No, not the book, that’s Fifty Shades of G-r-e-y. I’m talking about cars. Have you noticed parking lots and streets have turned a paler shade of gray?
Last Sunday my friend, A. and I drove into Manhattan. After 15 minutes of cruising the streets I found a parking space, which is the same thing as instantly by Manhattan standards. It wasn’t the biggest of spots, but I did a reasonably good job of parallel parking – only two do-overs. Parallel parking is the only kind of parking in Manhattan unless you want go to a parking lot or garage – but readers of this blog know I gravitate toward f-r-e-e.
We attended a street festival, and when it was time to head home we walked back along the street where I’d parked the car. Our conversation went like this.
Me:“Look at that, of all the cars on the street, those guys have to lean on my car?”
A: “That’s not your car, that’s a VW.”
Me: “Oh no, I got a ticket. For what?”
A: “That’s not your car; that’s a Toyota.”
Me“ Man, almost every car on the street is gray – gray and boxy.”
A: “There’s your car.”
Me: “No, that’s not mine. That car has a red inspection sticker I have a blue one.
A: “There’s your car.”
Me. “Are you sure? I thought I parked closer to the curb. Yeah, it’s my car. What a lousy parking job”
I came home and set a challenge for myself, and a bet. I bet myself a lottery scratch-off ticket that I could do an online search of 2012 car colors and come up with fifty. Are you ready?
- Harbor gray metallic
- Radiant silver metallic
- Shimmering- air metallic
- Shimmering-silver metallic
- Titanium gray metallic
- Harbor gray metallic
- Camel pearl
- Iridescent silver blue pearl
- Desert bronze metallic
- Tungsten metallic
- Brilliant silver
- Metallic slate
- Gun metallic
- Platinum gray metallic
- Moon rock silver metallic
- Reflex silver metallic
- Sterling gray
- Ginger ale
- Ingot silver
- Light pewter
- Earth metallic
- Steel blue metallic
- Frosted glass
- Ashen gray metallic
- Gray stone metallic
- Mocha steel metallic
- Silver ice metallic
- White Diamond tri-coat
- Taupe gray metallic
- Blue granite
- Ashen gray
- Classic silver metallic
- Cosmic gray mica
- Cypress pearl
- Magnetic gray metallic
- Shoreline blue mist
- Flaxen mica
- Medium silver
- Mercury metallic
- Opaline pearl
- Verdigris mica
- Truffle mica
- Alabaster silver metallic
- Polished metal metallic
- White orchid pearl
- Cool mist metallic
- Urban titanium metallic
- Opal sage
And there you have it. I know someone is saying some of those colors don’t sound like they’re gray. But trust me, in each case, the paint chip picture looked gray. Besides when I bought my car, I chose Tungsten metallic. Do you know what I got?
That’s why I named him Mighty Mouse.
What about you? Have you succumbed to The Long Gray Line of cars? I’d love to know. Leave me a comment.
Friends have been asking that question since 1969.
My answer? Pick one
- I don’t feel like I’m driving if I’m not shifting
- It gives me better control in the snow
- It’s all I’ve ever driven
And recently, I’ve added a new one:
Car buyers today,for the most part aren’t even thinking about a standard shift car. Most have no experience with them. So when one of us rare birds walks in, the car salesman may be cringing inside but his smile is just as bright and reassuring as it would be if he were dealing with a normal person. You’re given your preference in color, accessories, trim but you never get to drive the car off the lot right away, or even the next week. That’s because once they have your signed sales order, by hook or by crook, they have to come up with a car.
My frugal ways make it a bit easier. My requirements are always the same – nothing extra – just the basics: wheels , engine, standard transmission, seats, and anything else that’s free. Computers have made the search a bit easier. A few clicks of the house and my salesperson was able to find that there were still 41 standard shift Hyundai Touring wagons in inventory – in the country. I narrowed her search somewhat – find one a gray one. It took her five days but she found a dealership in NJ that was willing to swap. The search back when I purchased Truckito took much longer – nearly a month.
And here’s the sweet part – in my case the cars always have more accessories than I ordered. But since meeting sales quota are of the utmost importance, the dealer is willing to eat the cost and I get a car loaded with bonus surprises.
Truckito had fancy wheels, a sliding back window and an upgraded stereo system,
but Mighty Mouse came loaded up with more, and fun ones at that.
Remember my woes with Sirius radio?Initially I thought all cars came with a Sirius receiver, but a co-worker of mine who just bought a fancy schmantzy Nissan 380 Z (or whatever number they’re up to) left work a few hours early the other day. Why? To go get satellite radio installed – after market. Woohoo! Mighty Mouse, you rock.
Bonus # 2
Free pinstriping. Nice touch huh? One of the salesmen told me it was a $700 plus add-on.
And how about Bonus #3?
No idea what it is. I’ll give you a hint – that’s my glove compartment.
Another hint? – see AC. No? still no idea?
Okay I’ll tell you. Mighty came with a heated/ cooled glove compartment. Now I can keep a slice of piazza warm until I get home, or a bottle of iced tea cold. Will I? Probably not – but you never can tell
And the surprises keep piling on. Not all of them pleasant.
Last week I was parking in the gym parking lot, trying to back into one of the few shady spots since I don’t use air conditioning, despite the heat and humidity of our NY summers. I managed to stall the car. The shifting pattern is my only beef with Mighty. Reverse is one of those anti-theft secrets – under first , not always easy to find the right spot and since first and third gears are very close together, it’e too easy to put it in third when you take it out of reverse.
(Ask the parking valet who had to put it in neutral and push it out of its space at a restaurant last month.)
But that’s his story, back to mine.
I stalled, started , stalled , started and finally decided to just chuck it all go forward into a sunny space. Satisfactorily situated, I took the key out of the ignition, gathered up my stuff and opened the door – starting off a staccato honking of the horn and syncopated flashing of amber lights.
What the heck, I thought, it’s as if I had an alarm.
I shut the door to fig, trying figure out what to do; maybe if I started it up and moved it. But it wouldn’t – start up, that is. And the brakes, they felt like they were frozen stiff. The car was dying before my very eyes – either that or having a temper tantrum. Finally all the hub bub stopped cold. I opened the door and oh, no, it started all over again.
A good Samaritan tapped on the window and asked “Do you need help?”
Does a tiger have stripes?
A leopard, spots?
He asked for my keyless entry, which I handed over promptly. So what if he was a car thief – or a kidnapper, if he could shut the car up, he was my hero.
He instructed me to put the car in neutral than pushed a few buttons and ah, isn’t silence golden?
this sticker is for real!
PS Sirius and I are still an item. As of today we’re on day 100 of our 90 day trial marriage, er, subscription.
Did they forget about me? Sh-sh-sh.