Well, even more specifically, thank you to Phil Prieur. Phil calls himself “My new family car salesman” and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I haven’t purchased many cars. In my 44 years, or my 27 years of driving, I’ve only called five vehicles mine. Well, until this week. This week, Vehicle #6 found its way into my driveway.
In High School I had a little blue Isuzu for no time at all. Shortly afterwards I drove a brown Peugeot…a diesel at that. After graduating from college I purchased my first “real” car. As in, I actually went to a dealership, picked out, and signed on the dotted line for a Volkswagen Jetta. Several years later I went on safari in Africa and spent a lot of time driving around the African bush in Land Rover Defenders. Upon returning home to the states I put down a deposit on a new Land Rover Freelander that was still under production. I patiently awaited its arrival and then drove it until it literally wouldn’t drive another mile…and then purchased my Jeep Commander.
That Jeep was well-used and well-loved for over 7 1/2 years. There were times that I LOVED that car. Like, for example, the day in June of 2009, when it safely drove Finn home from the hospital for the very first time. Or the times that it drove up and over the sand dunes of Eel Point, Nantucket. The boys loved watching it disappear into the belly of the ferry that would transport us all to our happy place. Last year, in particular, all loaded with bikes and paddle boards….Nantucket beach stickers stuck proudly to the rear and front bumpers…our Jeep felt oddly like a family member. There were also, however, days that I hated it. Like, really hated it. Like the day that the gentleman who was attempting to detail it called to say that he was giving me my money back because it was simply impossible to clean. And then….then…there was the chicken bone incident. I still shudder at the thought. If you’re not privy to the horror….please read HERE.
Love or hate, what I wasn’t expecting, was to return from a 10 day vacation in Florida with the boys…only to find out 48 hours later that our Jeep was gone. Gone. Like, the engine can’t be fixed and, with over 160,000 miles, was beyond repair.
I took a few days to process the fact and then, reluctantly, headed to Sudbay to chat about my options. Finn had already had a good cry upon hearing the news. “But we didn’t even get to say good-bye.” Thatcher was more excited about getting something new(er)…until, that is, he remembered all of the days that our Jeep took us to Cape Hedge Beach. “Us” meaning the boys and the dogs. First Moby and Marlin….and then, sadly, just Marlin….and then, with a new furry addition, Marlin and Minnow. I was sad too. Honestly though, I thought I was just sad because I was really enjoying the lack of monthly car payments.
I was soon to realize, however, that wasn’t completely true. I, and the unsuspecting Phil, were about to realize that I was also having trouble letting go. While driving into Sudbay’s Jeep entrance I caught sight of our Jeep. Big, sad, lonely, white….our Jeep. Call me crazy, but I started to cry. I will never deny being a completely emotional person. I cry. And somewhat easily at that. So, as I recalled the many weekend road trips, journeys to Florida and Virginia’s coast, the two trips to the ER for stitches to both boys’ foreheads, the piles of sand, the hockey rink rounds, the Christmas trees, the fireworks, the tailgates, the laughs, the tears, the singing, the silly moments, the after school chats, the infant seats, the carseats, the booster seats, the spills, the post-sledding chills, the munchkin runs, and the ice cream cones…. I cried.
Flash forward to meeting Phil Prieur. I’m quite certain he wasn’t expecting a defeated mom with tear streaked cheeks to sit down at his desk, but he handled it like it happens every day. In fact, he shared a story about another mom that made me feel just a little less crazy. Within fewer than 40 minutes I had gone from sad and uninterested to hopeful and excited. Phil asked me to tell him what my “needs” in an automobile were and truly with no unnecessary pressure, showed me a few that he felt would fit the bill. He was supportive, helpful, knowledgeable….and, in my opinion much more importantly, patient and kind. While I never thought it would be possible, I actually left there (a bit after scheduled closing time) feeling like there was a new chapter on the horizon.
Two days later, I returned to the dealership to complete the necessary paper work. Phil let the boys park it at his desk and was as kind to them as he had been to me. He answered their questions, engaged them in conversation, and seemed to honestly get a kick out their little souls. The next day, I picked up our new car. Smaller than our Commander. Not brand new, but newer for sure. And clean….so, so very clean. We are looking forward to creating some pretty great new memories.
I am so grateful for having met Phil in my time of need. While I am obviously hoping to not have to purchase another car for quite some time, Phil has made it clear that he is there for us as we get to know this one. But if any of you should happen to be looking to purchase a car….Phil could very likely be your guy.
Check out Sudbay and their inventory HERE