Admit It, Central Jersey Chrysler-Plymouth-Kia, It’s Over

By: Curtis Edmonds

If we’re being honest with each other, we’ve both known it for a long time. The unanswered phone calls. The missed service appointments. The growing distance between us. We might as well just say we’ve broken up and move on with our lives.

Really, it’s best for both of us.

I am not saying we didn’t have some good times. I remember the first time we met, on the used car lot, when I was in grad school and needed a used Spectra for basic transportation. I thought it was just a one-time fling, but then I got a job and moved to Bridgewater and passed you every day going to work there on Route 22. I thought we could make things work if we kept at it, and if you kept offering free tire rotation every ten thousand miles.

Then I got that bonus, and it was like destiny. You had a like-new Sebring with wire wheels. I had the money for the down payment. That night we spent going over the finances –- you poring over my credit report, me trying to lower your interest rate –- well, I don’t mind saying that I think about it from time to time. I drove off the lot that night, but I kept coming back for oil changes and tune-ups and that thing with the spare-tire sensor that never did get fixed.

Those were happier times.

It’s easy to blame the accident for what happened. I know you wanted to give me that Pacifica as a loaner car. And I shouldn’t have been so upset that you got me the Sedona instead. But when you couldn’t find the replacement bumper, I saw it as a betrayal of trust. It hurt me, deep down, and I don’t think our relationship ever recovered from that.

I said then that I’d never go back, and I meant it, but when you offered me full trade-in value to get that new Charger, I couldn’t resist. I couldn’t stay mad at you, not then.

I thought we were going to be able to patch things up when the recall notice came. That was just the start of it. Then there was the check-engine light, and the passenger seat that came off the rails and made my cousin spill that milkshake everywhere, and it never smelled right after that. I know you did what you could, but it just didn’t feel like enough. You let me down, and I just can’t be with a car dealership that keeps letting me down.

I have a new life now. I moved to Princeton. I bought a new Audi. I’m happy with my choices in life for once. But you keep calling, telling me about your service department specials. About how Kia is offering cash-back on select Optima models. I got three e-mails from you yesterday telling me that I was overdue for a radiator flush.

I know that maintaining our relationship is important to you. And I know you will be there if I ever need a Town and Country, or even if I just want to hang out for a while over a cup of cold waiting-room coffee. But it’s time to admit it. It’s over.

I am not talking to your supervisor. That’s why we had so many problems in the first place. I would come to you with my concerns, and you would have me talk to your supervisor, and he wouldn’t resolve them, either. Do you know how that made me feel? Do you?

A big full-service dealership like you should have no problems finding another customer.

No, I don’t care what kind of satellite navigation package you have in the 300. And I’m not taking a test drive.

Let’s be mature about this. It’s over. Goodbye.


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