Angela Lam Turpin's Blog - Posts Tagged "conflicts"

I’ve been looking for a new car. It will be the first car I’ve bought in over 13 years. Whenever I walk onto a car lot, however, I get treated like I’m a housewife and a soccer mom, not the business professional and the breadwinner I am.

My husband hates going with me. He hates toting the kids behind while I go ahead with the salesman and browse the used vehicles on the lot. He hates that I don’t tell the salesmen to stop and wait for him and the kids. I just go ahead and keep looking.

I hate being treated like a housewife by the salesmen. He hates being treated like hired help by me.

When the Chevy Malibu we test drove ran out of gas right off the freeway, my husband pushed it to safety on the side of the road. I thanked him. He looked up the phone number for the dealership and I dialed the salesman who apologized and said he would be with us shortly. While we waited for the salesman to arrive, my husband and I got into a fight.

I told my husband I hated how the salesman treated me. My husband told me he hated the way I treated him.

I wanted respect. My husband wanted courtesy. Since I could not get respect from the salesman, I wanted a husband to take the lead for me. My husband wanted a wife who would say, “Hey, wait up for the hubby and the kids,” instead of barreling ahead and expecting the rest of the family to keep up.

My husband said I’ve always treated him with disrespect and he doesn’t want to deal with my attitude anymore. He’s used to it, but he’s finally speaking up about how he feels.

I started crying. I couldn’t help it.

This isn’t the life I wanted for either of us.

By the time the salesman arrived, we were so upset my husband just wanted to be taken home. I, however, wanted to test drive a Chevy Camaro.

At the dealership, the sales manager tried to get me to test drive the Chrysler 300. When I asked if I could test drive the Camaro, the sales manager said, “It only has two doors.”

I walked out without buying anything.

I wanted to keep looking at the other dealerships along Auto Row, but my husband wanted to go home. He said I could go test drive cars by myself. That way, without a family, I would be treated better by the salesmen. If I dressed up with a pushup bra, mini-skirt, and stilettos and said, “The sky’s the limit,” when asked how much I wanted to spend, I might be offered the opportunity to test drive a sports car.

But if I went around shopping with a husband and two kids, the story would be the same. I would continue to be treated like a housewife and soccer mom. If that’s not what I wanted, my husband suggested I buy a car online. No discrimination. Just the facts.

But I didn’t know what type of vehicle I wanted. I wanted someone to help me figure it out, someone who could show me how to operate the vehicle I would be driving for the next 15 years. I didn’t want to just pick a car online and place it in the Google checkout and wait for it to arrive. I wanted to sit behind the wheel, drive the car around the block and onto the freeway. I wanted to know how the kids felt riding in the backseat. I wanted to know how my husband felt about the car, if he approved.

But I listened to my husband. I respected his wishes. I drove him home.

And now I’m shopping online for a vehicle. I hope I like whatever it is that arrives.
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Published on October 01, 2011 17:03 • 116 views • Tags: breadwinner, cars, chevy-camaro, chevy-malibu, conflicts, housewife, marital-relationships, professional, sales, stereotypes, vehicles