"OMG we got a van!!!"


"What do you mean, there's no warranty? On your ad it clearly says 'comes with factory warranty'!" 

I stared at the dealer lounging in his office chair, trying to read his eyes. Nick had just called a Mercedes dealer to confirm that the eBay ad checked out--that the van came with warranty--which we had our hopes on.

Nope. Nada. Zilch.

"You read that on the ad though, eBay automatically generates that for us. It wasn't me typing that in," the dealer raised his voice, as if trying to use volume to distract from the absurdness of it all. "You can't believe everything you read online!"

Even though it's in your ad!?

"Besides," he added, "it's 40k miles. You're not going to get any trouble with 40k miles."

I was ready to blow. "Why," I thought, "Why does everything have to be so hard?"


Two days earlier, we arrived in Philadelphia around midnight, tired and ready for bed. As it turns out, the hotel was overbooked and we had no room. After a restless night in a last-minute hotel tucked away in the alleys, we spent the next day touring Philly, with the van constantly on our minds.

Flash forward and we were sitting in a heavily air-conditioned office right next to a gentleman's club. The lot, though small, was packed with European luxury vehicles and Sprinter vans. 

I bit my lips, trying to control my anger. Can we take a look at the inspection report that you had done before listing the van? I pushed harder, trying to get a modicum of reassurance.

Complete stand-still. The dealer wasn't going to give anything, and we all sat in silence, clearly frustrated.

Let's give it a test drive first, Nick whispered to me as the dealer got up to order lunch. I nodded, we've come too far not to.


All things considered, the drive went smooth as butter. (And yes, it did go above 65mph!)

"So what do you think?" I asked Nick as we stood outside the office under a sliver of shade to protect us against the beating sun. 

Nick had worn a neutral expression during the entire negotiation. Damn that's a good poker face, I thought.

"I think we should get it, and ding him on eBay for the inaccuracy," he answered. 

"Yeah", I nodded, "I'm leaning towards buying it too. The dealer's right - 40k miles! It's a baby!"

"Besides," he added, suddenly breaking out in a wide grin, "I love the color! It looks so much darker and better in real life!


A quick trip to the bank and DMV, I watched--holding my breath--as Nick signed the papers. If hearts could sing, mine was going full-on, glass-shattering opera.

Wow. This is really happening.

As we pulled out the lot, Nick suddenly bellowed: "We got a van!!!!"

I joined in: "OMG we got a van!!!", half expecting my brain to explode in fireworks any second.

We stared at each other, grinning so hard that my cheeks hurt.