Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ups and Downs

Oof, so many ups and downs this weekend - Mother's Day weekend no less.  I was by turns an impatient mom, a guilty mom, a yelly mom, a stressed-out mom, a spoiled mom, and a mom who needed "mothering" from my partner.

That car that we thought we had bought?  Well, we didn't get it.  Through no fault of our own.  We signed the worksheet the dealership provides you with and paid a $1000 deposit to hold the car.  The next working day, we made arrangements to send it to our mechanic.  Our mechanic thought the car was in dece shape, but was like, "Did you know it came with winter tires?" And I had remembered that this was something that we had discussed with the salesperson, but that had fallen by the wayside through the course of negotiations.   Our mechanic was like, "I don't know what kind of deal you've worked out with them, but you should really make sure the car comes with all seasons."  So I emailed the salesperson and said that our mechanic had "concerns" (without elaborating on what those concerns were) and outlined 3 options:

1) We walk away from the deal and our deposit is returned
2) They sell us the car with a slightly lower price, throw in the all seasons, and we take this $2000 extended warranty (keep in mind: the extended warranty is gravy money for the dealership!)
3) They sell us the car with an even more reduced price, we buy our own all seasons, and we take the extended warranty.

The salesperson called me incensed and said that his manager wanted to see our mechanic's mechanical report.  I said that our mechanic was under no obligation to give it to him.  He then said that we had signed a "contract," the mechanical inspection was NOT grounds to renegotiate the price (which he had said in our face to face), and that our choices were that they either keep the deposit, or we take the car and pay the original negotiated price.  I was all flustered, so I said, "There is no way what we signed was a "contract" - can you send it to my lawyer."  And he got all pissy and told me to "talk to your husband" and then call him back.

So I get all nervous that we're actually ON THE HOOK for this stinking vehicle (which was fine, really, but still, now it was about the principle of the matter) and start Googling and then I find the site for OMVIC - the Ontario Motor Vehicle Industry Council.  Their mandate is: "to maintain a fair, safe and informed marketplace by protecting the rights of consumers, enhancing industry professionalism and ensuring fair, honest, and open competition for registered motor vehicle dealers."  They're kind of like a WSIB for registered dealers and do some buyer-beware stuff for people who choose to do private sales.  So, registered dealers pay OMVIC a fee to be listed as a registered dealer and in return agree to maintain a code of ethics and standards.  You can file complaints with them, etc.  So I call them and explain the situation and the person I spoke to is like, "There's no cooling off period for car sales in Ontario.  But if you didn't sign a bill of sale, then you are entitled to your deposit back."

Now I'm REALLY MAD and I'm getting all Silverman on them. Here's the thing: I did my due diligence - how many poor rubes would be suckered into accepting either a loss of $1000 or a car they weren't completely happy with???  LOTS, I bet.  So I call back the salesperson and tell him that I spoke to OMVIC and that now my real issue is the fact that he wilfully misrepresented what we had signed and said it was a contract when it was in no way legally binding and that according to the LAW they had to return our deposit.  And he gets even MORE RUDE and says, "you want to talk about lawyers, we have lawyers here too, you know!" and also, "I told you that the mechanical inspection is not grounds for renegotiation!"  And I was like, "First of all, that's your PREFERENCE (that the mechanical inspection is not grounds for renegotiation)" and also, "that doesn't change the fact that you are in contravention of the legislation and regulations governing the practice and behavior of registered dealers in Ontario" and tore a strip out of him.  I swear, I nearly went into labour I was so blood-boilingly mad.  Now it's about the principle of the matter!  I told him that our options still stand and to give me a response by end of day.  He opted not to renegotiate, so we didn't have the car.

It was a pisser because we thought we were done, but then I realized I didn't WANT to do business with such a shadesball.  On Saturday we drove to this other Honda dealership in Scarborough - it was HUGE!  The buying experience was much nicer - our salesperson was much more transparent, was very calm, no attempt to upsell us, they have a shuttle service if you drop off your car for servicing, a tuck shop, etc.  Unfortunately, we were too far away from the price. But we did come away learning what a proper worksheet is supposed to look like.  No surprises there.  Then we went to a Toyota dealership but the model of the Sienna we saw is basically a hunk of junk - no features.  Then I sent the Dotytron to check out this one model that had just come into a dealership close to us...we came close to making the deal but then they wanted $600 more and I put my foot down just as the Dotytron was about to sign the papers.  It was stressful and I'm sure pregnancy hormones had a lot to do with me balking.  The Big Yam was frustrated with us being in car mode all day and was whining and crying like a mother effer, the guy we had coming over to quote us on a deck was 2 hours late, I was trying to make a decision about a car over the phone with the Dotytron and trying to get dinner on the table and the dinner wasn't working out - it resulted in a lot of yelling and the Dotytron coming home being super-frustrated and angry at all the wasted time.  It was a bad scene.

Then that night I felt so guilty about being so short with the Big Yam that I spent a good hour sobbing in a giant t-shirt on the couch about how "he's gonna hate me!" and what a bad mum I was.  It was rough.  Everyone has those days.  Everyone.  But when you're having one of "those days" as a parent, it's doubly bad because you feel guilty for messing up one of your only free days (a weekend!) with someone who doesn't get why you're stressed out and tense and is feeding off your energy and reacting and wanting attention that you can't give them.  It was bad and I felt like a terrible parent.  I just felt so guilty for wasting a day.

There's nothing you can do though.  You can't quit this job, so you have your fat, pregnant, hormonal, guilt-ridden cry, eat a billion slices of the cheesecake tart pictured above, fall asleep in a weepy mess watching Veronica Mars on DVD, and then dust yourself off and try again the next day.

The next day was much better.

We had eggs benedict for breakfast and then the Dotytron "treated" me with a morning doing what I like best: checking stuff off the to-do list and doing chores - in this case, it was all about satisfying my nesting impulses and getting the Big Yam's big boy room in order (putting up shelves, putting my FLOR carpet tile design together, tidying, etc.)  It's looking pretty hyphy in there!  I kind of want to swap rooms with him.  Our room is pretty nice too, but his room is amazing right now.  We're missing a light fixture, some accessories, and a print or two, but other than that, it's pretty much done.  I'm in love with it.  The color palette and everything is very Scandinavian modern.  It gets beautiful light and is airy and cozy at the same time.  Also,  I just want to take a minute and big up the $20 roller shades I got from Sears (custom cut to order, yo!)  They're slick!  AND ONLY TWENTY DOLLARS.  I can taste the savings!!!

Then we went to T & T and spent way too much on random stuff.  T&T is like our Shopper's Drug Mart or Costco - no matter what, there's no way we get out of there without spending at least $60, when all we went in for was like, some shrimp.  It's impossible.  For the record: Shopper's Drug Mart and Costco are also our Shopper's Drug Mart and Costco.

Then we came home and the Big Yam napped and I napped a bit and we had some down time watching TV and then the Dotytron made me my big Mother's Day dinner.  Basically, for the entire pregnancy, I've been craving fettucine alfredo.  Like mad.  Years ago, the Dotytron bought me one of those hand-crank pasta making machines that I was an ingrate and never used.  So he vowed to make me fettucine alfredo with HOMEMADE pasta for Mother's Day.  It was a running joke all week.  We even have high-end Italian imported tagliatelle that I was trying to push him on but he was insistent.

He and the Big Yam made the pasta dough and kneaded it.  There was an unfortunate incident where a breach in the well of flour resulted in egg on the floor and the Dotytron was a total neurotic stressball the whole time making dinner and was super into setting the timer to make sure the dough was kneaded for exactly 3 minutes, but this was the end result:


It was basically the cutest thing ever.  Most importantly, it tasted delicious, and I believe this will herald a whole new chapter in homemade raviolis and pastas at Casa Dotytron-Lagerfeld.  It was the best Mother's Day, ever.  The Dotytron done mothered me good.

He has requested for Father's Day that he be left alone.  LOL!  I can do that.  His Father's Day is basically going to consist of eating Asian food (dim sum, Congee Queen) and us staying out of his hair for a good chunk of the day.  

I can't believe I forgot to post a photo of this meal above.  I made us braised shortribs in an Asian influenced sauce of beer, garlic, ginger, and rice vinegar.  It was finished with some hoisin and we had it with soft polenta and it was sooooo freakin' good.

I've posted that cheesecake tart recipe below because it is so delicious.  I've been craving something akin to that Jell-O cheesecake mix thing - like what you used to be able to get at old style cafeteria-type restaurants, usually covered in a goopy blueberry sauce.  This was PERFECT.  So tasty.  We've basically eaten a whole tart in 2-slice-each increments in 3 days.


Cheesecake Tart
makes one 9" tart, courtesy of Martha Stewart

3 1/2 oz. graham crackers (about 6 - 2.5" x 5" each)
1/3 c. whole blanched almonds
1/4 c. sugar (I might reduce this next time to 2 T)
4 T. unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt

2 8ounce packages of cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream
1 large egg
pinch of salt

- preheat oven to 350F
- in a food processor, process almonds, sugar, and graham crackers until finely ground.  Add melted butter and process until moist clumps form.
- press the crust on the bottom and up the sides of a 9" tart pan with a removable bottom.  Set aside to chill in the refrigerator.
- rinse out the food processor bowl and process the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and egg until smooth. Pour into crust.
- bake for about 25-35 minutes or until the filling is just set.  Transfer to a rack and cool completely before storing in the fridge.  Unmold from pan before serving.

I served this with a mixed berry compote that I threw together - some berries, a bit of sugar, some lemon juice, cooked together until bubbling and then some raw berries folded in off the heat.

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