Monday, November 26, 2007


Disclaimer to this post: Please do not mistake this as being ungrateful or unappreciative. Please do not mistake my words for something more than they are. I am wholly appreciative of everything that has been offered but I need to get my feelings about this off my chest and out of my head. I am beyond grateful that we have been offered this and I could not be more thankful because it is taking a HUGE load off of us.

Ok, my van is totaled, that we know. I have been driving my mom's car for a few weeks now and I'm pretty sure she'd like it back at some point. The husband went to his dad, my father in law, and asked to borrow his pick up truck because we were driving around my mom's car and my FIL never really uses the truck. Plus, the truck can fit car seats- it's got an extended cab- and we need two cars that fit car seats. My FIL was perfectly fine with us using the truck but did warn that it drank gas like an athlete drinks gatorade. We'd deal with big thing. The next day the husband goes into the family business as normal and his father sits him down and has a chat with him. My FIL offered my husband and I a car. He could not afford a new Toyota like we had or a Honda- completely understandable. But he could do something like a Saturn Vue or Hyudai. Ok. The husband and I discussed. We really need a third row. We need something large enough so that when we want to have more kids we aren't car shopping while I'm 8 months pregnant. We don't want to buy anymore cars anytime soon. We need the room. We discussed some more and decided to see if my FIL would be willing to do a used van or something with a third row- like a Pacifica. We figured if it was around the same price or cheaper than what he was thinking it might not be an issue. The husband explained to his dad that we needed the third row and we'd think about cars, etc.

I test drove the Pacifica and it was nice. Smaller than my van and I think it just made me miss it more and also made me realize that maybe I needed to look at little bit harder for a used van. But still, I wanted the husband and my FIL to see the Pacifica and see if they liked it, etc. So, the husband went into the family business last night for work and told his dad that on Tuesday he'd like to go out and look at cars and would his dad be available to come with him. His dad was/is. He then handed the husband a business card for a local Saturn dealership. Said he had found this used Vue with less than 30,000 miles on it and it was relatively inexpensive. The husband told him that we need a third row and the Vue doesn't have that. My FIL wanted to know why we needed the third row with only 2 kids and the husband explained that at some point we want to have another and we like having the room. My FIL did not seem to totally understand this, which in a way I kind of get. Different generation, etc. Don't know why exactly it makes sense to me that he doesn't get it but it does. Anyway, the conversation gets left that they'll look at Saturn and also at the Pacifica tomorrow.

This is all relayed to me last night when the husband came home from work. I could feel things starting to bubble. I said to the husband, "I am so grateful that your dad is willing to do this for us but we really need the third row." The husband agreed. I sat for a moment- I stewed for a moment. "Wait, your dad already went and looked at this car and talked to salesperson?"
"Yeah, I guess. Why?"
"I don't know...just seems weird. We never really talked about what car we were thinking about or anything, just seems odd to me, that's all." I stewed some more. "Husband, I understand that your dad is paying for this and I don't mean to sound like a total bitch but I don't want an SUV without a third row. It won't work for us."
The husband is exasperated at this point. It's how he gets with his family. I tend to butt heads with his family- never really in a mean way just we tend to disagree a lot and rather than starting arguments with them, I start them with the husband hoping he'll deal with the issue. I immediately get the, "Yes, dear, I know." And he does know. He knows we need that room. He knows that a van really is the only way to go. I know he knows this. But I also know that he has issues with his dad and saying something to him. It's a weird relationship between father and son and it has gotten better over the years but still weird. I'm not helping by adding to it with this third row business but it's important to me and really to our family.

Again, I am so grateful that my FIL has made this offer and is so willing to help us. Really, I cannot express how thankful I am about this. I am not looking a gift horse in the mouth but I feel like we've been given a gift and someone said now here's a mop, enjoy it, but only use it to wash the floor in your downstairs bathroom- no where else. Make sense? Not really...
I guess what is upsetting to me is that we've been given this very generous gift and really it is out of his concern for us and the kids and our financial stability but I feel like we're given conditions along with it. I feel like I am having all of my choices taken away from me again. I'm being rendered powerless and I hate that feeling. I don't want to be a bitch and say "No, we don't want the SUV you're offering because it won't work." I feel horrible even thinking that. But I also feel like the horse with the carrot in front of its face and I can't get to is unless I do what the person controlling me wants me to do. I don't know whether to scream or cry.

Everyone has just been so helpful during this time. My parents, especially have helped us out with whatever we needed- moral support, financial, emotional, whatever- and we are so grateful. Our friends have been wonderful, too. And I really hate to feel this way because it makes me feel like I am so not thankful for any of it and it's not the case at all. I don't want to cause problems and make a stink but I also don't want to drive an SUV that won't fit my family. I understand the monetary constraints and have NO PROBLEM with them AT ALL! I did a little research and found a few places with used vans in around the area of the Saturn dealership...I hope that doesn't make me seem too bitchy or ungrateful. I really am grateful but I hate feeling powerless and cramped.


OHmommy said...

Ahhhh, what a tricky place to be in. I have been there before - not with a car, but other big purchases. Like our fridge (I wanted one with an ice maker) broke and my In Laws purchased one without. I accepted it but still am bitter.

I would speak up. Right? Good luck.

lattemommy said...

I can totally understand where you're coming from. Maybe if you took the following approach with the FIL: "Although we are extremely grateful for anything you want to do for us, we don't want to waste your money by getting something that won't suit us in the longer term. If we turn out to have need for an extra child seat in another year or so, we'll likely end up losing money when we try to trade in that vehicle for a larger one. We wouldn't want to incur any kind of loss in the future, because then you might think that we were squandering your money."

(That made some sense in my head - hope it makes sense to you too!) I figure that if you appeal to his pocketbook, he might see your point of view.

Hope that helps some. Good luck.

Huckdoll said...

Awe, I'm sorry there is underlying tension with your husband and FIL. There's nothing worse. Your husband is probably feeling pretty crappy, too, what with trying to keep both his father and his wife happy.

I completely understand the 3rd row concept though. I'm not planning on having further children, but with 2 car seats for my twins, a 3rd row has always appealed to me and we'll be seeking that out next year when we go car shopping. I'm thinking the Mazda 5 with the smaller 3rd row.

Anyway, I think if you stick to your guns, you will get the Pacifica. I mean, it makes perfect sense. Just don't become a shrinking violet to eventually be talked down. Stand your ground and you'll get it.

Stella said...

You ladies are so helpful! Thanks! Today is D day and I'm curious to see how it goes. I had wanted to have a nice calm discussion with the husband last night but the girlie was sick and it just didn't happen. I did leave him the printouts of vans I found so hopefully something good will come of it!

Huckdoll, you're totally right about how he feels. I'm sure that it's really hard for him trying to keep the balance and peace, that's why I generally won't confront my FIL about stuff or my SIL. I won't back down on this one!

Thanks ladies and I'll let you know how it goes...

LunaNik said...

I had to laugh as I read this post. Not at you and your situation...I totally understand. Actually, I understand REALLY well because I went thru the SAME THING recently with my FIL. Only he wanted to buy us a minivan and we wanted something without a third row. Seriously, same situation, reverse problem. How funny is that?! Maybe we should just switch FIL's?? hehehe

Anonymous said...

DUDE! Are you serious! I"m jealous! I'm pregnant with my first child and my husband and i wish we could afford any car. I wish my FIL would offer to buy us anything! We are so broke, I would take a hotwheels!

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