Friday night, I sent my knight to the store on his way home from work. We had a family game night planned, and and I wanted carrots, apples, cheese, cottage cheese and extra eggs so the kids could grab their own "snacky dinner" and nobody had to cook. I split the weekday cooking with the the kids, and knight cooks all meals on Saturday and Sunday. Anyway.. I was standing at the counter making tea when my knight came home. I heard our 9 yr old say "those are pretty," as she ran outside to help her brothers bring in groceries.
When I turned around with my tea, I ran into my knight holding a basket containing two mini-rose bushes.
Once again, Perfect.
Most years we don't "do Valentine's Day" because our wedding anniversary is on Feb 11, and my oldest daughter's birthday is less than 2 weeks later. Squishing Valentine's Day in there is just too much. Some years, he will buy me flowers or seeds for the Spring garden I'm already planning, but usually we skip the whole thing, and do something special with the kids instead.
I bought my knight a stupidly expensive camera for Christmas. Long story short, he broke his old one years ago, and I told him he had to earn the money to replace it with his writing and photography. It took him several years, but he did finally accomplish that goal around November of last year. So, I surprised him with the camera for Christmas. It used his entire gift giving budget for this year, and he knows it. That being the case, my knight knew he would not be getting anything. (he still does not know about the chastity device I bought him--which still is not here yet.)
We had a great evening with the kids Friday. We stayed up until 1 am teaching them to play D&D.
Saturday, actual Valentine's Day, was dedicated to car shopping. I hate car shopping. I hate dealing with pushy sales people who usually think they know more about what I want than I do; or they totally ignore me and talk only to my knight. But, as much as I hate it, it's time to trade in our mini van. There is a design flaw in the brake system that the company says they can't/won't fix. We have replaced brakes 3 times in the past 12 months, and the back need done again. The problem has been completely documented on the lemon law website, the discussion boards for this company and a whole lot of other places.There is also a design flaw in the headlights which requires us to replace the entire headlight assembly, bulbs and ballasts every year or two. Our mechanic can offer us band-aids, but the problems can't be fixed. So, I went on a mission to replace the van.
Last week, I had my knight call several different dealerships to explain the problem, tell them how much we still owe on the van, and find out if we could even trade the darned thing in. I thought we might owe to much on it for anyone to work with us. The people knight talked to told him to bring it in, they thought they could work the deal. So, I spent the week looking at those dealership's websites and researching car brands to see what I wanted.
Dealership number 1. I let my knight talk to the sales guy while I looked around. My knight had talked to the guy on the phone the week before and he INSISTED he could work up a manageable deal with payments were I wanted them. Since my knight had already spoken to the guy I figured it was best to let him handle the sales guy. Besides, like I mentioned, I hate dealing with car sales people.
I was looking at a van and I didn't think there was enough room in the 3rd row seat for our kids. We had the 9 yr old and the 14 yr old with us, and while the 9 yr old was comfortable, she will not be 9 for long. The van was to small. When I rejected that one, and then two more, we were ready to leave the sales guy looked at my husband, "hold on, let me see how you like this." Then he turns to me, "Can you give me 10 more minutes?"
Yes, this car might have worked, although, it would not have pulled our pop-up camper. Yes, I liked the car and the back seat was plenty big for all three kids. Yes, we could have managed the ridiculously high payment. But in order to pay that much for ONE car, I would have to be absolutely and completely in love with it. I wasn't. Knight really liked the car. It was a biggish sports car with a back seat big enough for the kids, 2 sun roofs (one for the front seats, and one for the back) and loaded with everything you could possibly imagine. It even beeps when you drift out of your land.
Knight really wanted to sign this deal. I did not. It was to much money up front, and too much per month. I told the sales guy that we'd think about it, and I'd have knight call him by Wednesday. The sales guy looked at my husband with a look that said, "really, you're gonna let her do that?" Then, he said to my knight, "you're going to have this problem anywhere you go. If you're going to spend this much, it might as well be a car you love, right? And you do love this car, don't you?"
I answered the sales guy with "It's not up to him. I manage our money. I want some time to think about it. If we're interested, I'll have him call you next week." We left.
Dealership number 2. I talked to the guy before we looked at anything. He was upfront and honest with me, and told me he thought we owed to much on the van for payments to be what I wanted them to be. So, I asked him to give me a minute and I talked to knight about plan B-- buy a 2nd car to reduce the number of miles we put on the defective van, thereby reducing the repair frequency and cost. Knight had no major objections, so I sent him to go fetch the sales guy.
I told the sales guy what we had to put down, and what kind of payments I was looking for and he said he had a few things in that range. Then I told him it had to seat 4 comfortably and pull a pop-up camper. Sales guy stopped, and looked around, then went to check the computer. First we looked at a truck that my knight liked. It was nice, but there was something about it that I didn't like. Then I asked the sales guy if he had any Jeep Cherokees or Wranglers in that price range. At first he said no, then he remembered there was a Wrangler in the detail shop. We went back to the computer to verify. It was across town being detailed. He offered to take use to see it. I had my knight check the engine and under the Jeep while I examined the inside. After that, I wanted to drive it. The poor sales guy had no idea what to do. He'd never shown a car at the detail shop before. Finally, he let us test drive it.
Two hours later, we left with my "new" Jeep. It's not loaded, it doesn't ride smooth, (it's a JEEP- it rides like a truck). But, I can get all 3 kids in it if I have to, it will pull the pop-up camper, and it's a soft top, so I can easily remove the top without my knight's help. Oh, and I can take it off road. Yeah. I'm happy.