21: Mom Knows Best

21: Mom Knows Best

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Amazing Mom

Mom Knows Best

Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.

~Carrie Fisher

As a first-time car buyer, I had brought my parents along for moral support. It was a cream-colored AMC Renault Alliance and Motor Trend magazine’s Car of the Year. My mom had been researching how to bargain with a car salesman, and she was determined to help me get the best deal possible.

I was satisfied when Mom convinced the salesman to go inside to see his manager the first time, and he came back to say he could knock a few hundred dollars off the sticker price. But not Mom! She had read that they could always come down from their first offer. I was sweating at this point. But, sure enough, a second trip inside to visit his manager, and the salesman was prepared to offer us an even better deal. Good work, Mom! I thought. Now let’s do this thing!

But my mom was sure she could get the salesman to give us an even better deal. He vowed that he could not. Mom stood there and argued with him. Meanwhile, I was trying to shrink into the pavement. Please, Mom, I thought, you’re starting to embarrass me.

And then she did it; she crossed the line. Mom started to walk away, saying we would take our business elsewhere. And that was when I thought I was going to die of embarrassment. In my view, this person had given us a good-sized chunk of his time, and he had interceded with his manager twice on our behalf.

But my dad was walking away with her, and I wasn’t going to stand there to negotiate the deal all alone. I followed my parents and shrunk into the back seat of their car as we drove off the lot.

“Mom! What on earth are you doing? Now I’ll never get that car! He let us walk away, so that’s it!”

“Trust me.” She said. “He has our contact information. He’ll call us and offer us a better price. Believe me, he wants to sell us that car.”

Yeah, right, I thought. The twenty-minute ride home had me beside myself. Not only had my mother embarrassed me by making a scene and walking off the lot, but she had caused me to lose the car of my dreams. I was fuming.

We walked into the house, and I sat sulkily watching the phone. We weren’t in the door five minutes when the phone rang. It was the car salesman. “Miss Carnright—you’ve got yourself a deal!” I got my dream car at a very good price—and I learned a hard lesson. Even when you’re the ripe old age of twenty-five, sometimes your mom still knows best!

~Laurie Carnright Edwards

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