my karma’s still in the shop

Friday, Gene reported that he’d been notified that his Prius was on a ship that had docked that day in New York. Yesterday, while home sick from work, my phone rang and when I saw that the caller ID said “Alexandria Toyota” I became a little nervously excited, thinking that maybe I was going to get the same news about my own car; the salesman had told me last month that while I’d almost certainly get my new car before the end of the year, it was possible that it could come in the large shipment they were expecting in November.

No such luck, of course, given my track record. Rather than the good news I was hoping to hear, I was told that the dealers are receiving far fewer of the fully loaded model Prius than they were expecting, and that I have two options: 1) downgrade my choice, in which case they can “probably get me one sooner” (notice, though, there’s no commitment to a specific time frame even if I choose to take this path), or 2) expect to wait until at least February for the car I originally ordered. The salesman told me I didn’t have to make a decision right away, but to think about it a couple of days and call him back early next week to let him know.

I was pretty disappointed for most of the rest of the day, though by this morning a part of me is bemused–after my run of bad luck over the past few years, I almost have to laugh whenever yet another thing goes wrong, and while I wouldn’t call myself pessimistic about life, I do find that these days there is a part of me that suspects things will go wrong more often than right. And while it’s a disappointment, it’s not like it’s life-shattering. It’s just a car.

And really there are only two downsides, besides just the disappointment of the dashed expectations. First, if I wait until next year to take delivery, then the federal tax deduction of $2,000 drops to $1,500; but, as Gene points out, I have the significant tax benefits this year from the refinance, so why not move this one to next year, even if it’s a little less than it would have been (and it’s not like a $500 change in deductibles means more than a few dollars in actual tax savings, after all). Second, it also means that I’ll have to rent a car at Thanksgiving and Christmas and for any other trips out of town, and that I’ll probably need to garage the Saab again–I had begun using it for short in-town hops and to and from work again, since I thought I’d be trading it in very soon–and go back to walking and using public transportation over the winter.

So I guess I’ll call the dealer today and tell them that I’ve decided to wait; I’d rather get just what I want, and wait for it, then to settle for less–and what’s more, I’d still have no real guarantee, only vague assurances, that the other trim level would be here any sooner.

So maybe there’s even some kind of lesson in here for me. Or maybe I should stop looking for meaning in this completely random series of events we call life. Shit happens.

3 thoughts on “my karma’s still in the shop

  1. Good deal. Get what you want on the car. You are gonna have to drive the thing for a few years, and no sense having regrets later that you did not get something on it ya wanted.

  2. That *is* disappointing, but I think you are wise to wait for what you really want. My friend who ordered a Mini Cooper months ago was notified last week that her car is now in the States, so she will probably be getting it this week or next. (I’d rather have your Prius, though!)

  3. And as a co-worker pointed out today, this could actually work to my financial advantage. The energy bill currently before the Senate (though threatened by filibuster) provides for tax credits for purchasing hybrid vehicles, as opposed to the tax deductions currently in effect.
    Of course, this makes me feel like a hypocrite, because overall I consider the energy bill to be wasteful, expensive and full of pork and provisions that are environmentally disastrous.

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