Monday, September 21, 2015

Trying to Lose Weight (At All, Or, In My Case, After Having A Baby Live Inside Of You)

Let’s all share a good virtual laugh after reading that title.

If you are the kind of person who says “I forgot to eat today” or “I was hungry, but too tired, so I just went to bed without eating” then this blog post is not for you. I have never, and will never, ever, forget to eat. And the idea of being too tired to eat is an unfamiliar concept to me. This blog post is also not for people like my mom who say things like “I can’t find belts small enough for my waist!” and have somehow never been beat up. My mom, who as you know if you have seen her, was part of a rare, top-secret government program where babies were partially implanted with hummingbird genes, thus resulting in full-grown adults who are somehow able to sustain for 12 hour stretches on half a piece of toast, flitting from task to task, and saying things that don’t make any sense like, “Isn’t that too much Nutella?” Recently my mom got poison ivy so bad it covered up half her face and swelled one of her eyes shut. She looked insane, like a farmer/boxer hybrid, and we gently coaxed her to see another doctor since the poison ivy was clearly spreading. When she pulled up her shirt to show me the rash, I gasped. Not at the red blisters, but at how thin she was. In a pinch, you could probably use her protruding hip bones as bottle openers.

If you are the kind of person who scoffs when people say “Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry” because A.) that is obviously the best time to shop since it is the only time you let yourself buy so many Pop Tarts, and B.) you are never not hungry, then this blog post is for you. If you’ve ever exercised in preparation for date night, not so you look good but because you want to be ready for that meal you are going to eat, this blog post is for you. When you do work out and find yourself thinking, “why am I spending time doing this? I might only live for 50 more years,” this blog post is for you. If you only enter 5Ks that end at breweries, this blog post is for you.

When I exercise, I try not to think about all the other things I could be doing/eating. Over the years I have tried to talk myself into thinking that I like exercising, but I don’t. I just like being done exercising. It’s a great feeling, and I’m not talking about that supposed “high” one feels from super-excited muscles, blood flow, etc. I don’t know what that is, probably because I don’t actually work out hard enough. I just like the feeling that I don’t have to exercise for another 24 hours, that it is finally over with, and I can go do something else. 

The reality I have forced myself to accept is that I have to exercise. It is good for me. The only way I have come to feel better about it is to not spend a lot of money on it. No cool shoes, machines, memberships, or pants inspired by Kate Hudson. I only buy things that can’t break, like a few dumb bells, toning balls, wrist weights. You know, equipment that can be easily stored so I can’t see the dust collect on it. I put in my earbuds and listen to memoirs by stand up comediennes to try and make me forget how many reverse crunches I’m doing. I avoid programs that have the word “dance” in them. I have found that any program that promises to “dance away the inches” also promises to make you look ridiculous while you do so. And it doesn’t matter how backwards my hat is, I am never going to be able to move like the instructor.

I have had moderate success using weights, heavier weights than I thought I could ever lift. If you’re a woman, don’t listen when someone tells you weights will make you bulky and masculine. Listen to me, a faceless woman on the Internet, writing quickly before her baby wakes up. I can promise you, though, that weights are good for you, they work, and you can work your way up to heavier and heavier amounts. Lifting weights is one of the few things in my exercise regime that actually make me feel accomplished. I like how…numerical they are. They are also inexpensive, travel easily, don’t require maintenance, and allow for a multitude of uses. This is good because I get bored with exercise programs almost instantaneously. My attention span is essentially that of a toddler’s when it comes to working out. 

What goes against all of this is my goddamn Fitbit that I bought 14 months ago. I know what day I got it in the mail, precisely, because it is the day I went into labor. Back then I had idiotic dreams of running up and down flights of stairs. I do this now, but I’m usually wearing Todd’s sweatpants from his high school basketball days, carrying laundry, screaming for Mae to stop chewing on the vaccuum hose. Probably won’t be filming this scene for a Nike commercial anytime soon, but you get the idea. I mainly continue to wear my Fitbit because A.) it was expensive, and B.) so many people have told me about the “high failure rate”.

When Meryl Streep was on Fresh Air with Terry Gross a few years ago, she said that when she was younger, she was obsessed with how fat she was. Obviously, she knows now, that was foolish. I have written very few blog posts in total, and this is the second one to talk about weight. How can I not think about it? After you have a baby, the desire to fit into your old clothes is a powerful one. But then I think about Meryl Streep, and all the things we have in common, and it’s not so bad.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Cult of Breastfeeding

Perhaps the most debilitating, non-purposeful, passive-argument argument when it comes to babies revolves around breastfeeding. If you aren’t familiar, meaning you don’t have breasts or kids, or you do but you are a better person than me and able to rise above petty arguments, let me break it down for you. If you don’t breastfeed your children, they will grow up to attend, at best, an absestos-riddled community college built on a faultline and a Native American burial ground. If you breastfeed, you will also be faced with many problems, like which Ivy League school your 14-year-old should choose to pursue a degree in nuclear physics.
I breastfed Mae for the arbitrary amount of 7 months. I chose this date because at 7 months I couldn’t take it anymore. Had a breastfeeding advocate shown up at my door at this point, I would have calmly listened to the sage advice about continuing to breastfeed but in my head I would be beating this person with my breast pump.
Back in my younger days, 11 months ago, before I had a baby, I told myself I understood the pros of breastfeeding, but none of it really made sense until I had a hungry baby shrieking in my arms. Then it all became very clear. I will now explain what I believe to be the top three pros.

Pro No. 1: Miraculous Health Benefits

If you breastfeed, you can leave your baby outside in the dead of winter and she will never get sick, ever, because the breast milk will form an electromagnetic forcefield around her, protecting her from disease, White Walkers, and public scrutiny. Meaning, if the public accuses you of neglect, you just have to tell them your baby is breastfed. They will then understand, apologize, thank you for your contribution to the greater good, offer you money, and leave.

Pro No 2: It’s Free

Yes. That’s true. It’s completely free, but only if you don’t count the cost of your own sanity.

Pro No. 3: The Bond you Forge making Eye Contact As You Breastfeed

There is no way this is true. How come no one ever talks about the bond you forge staring into your baby’s eyes changing her diaper?

If you are thinking about breastfeeding, that’s great. My advice to you is not to trust anyone who tells you how “it’s actually not that difficult.” This person is lying to you, but, as we discussed earlier, all parents are liars so this is fine. Breastfeeding would be way easier if I didn’t have to take care of a baby and work fulltime, I’ll tell you that much. If I just had to freeze bags of breastmilk for a year, I could do that no problem. In terms of frustration, on a scale of one to ten, one being trying to dust a touch lamp and 10 being the self check-out lane at  Walmart, I’d say breastfeeding is a safe 5.
        This overall argument is similar to the cloth vs. disposable diaper argument. Both parties act as though their chosen avenue is so much better than the alternative that it practically turns childrearing into a picnic. No matter what you choose, you still have a baby. It doesn’t matter what type of diaper you use, there is still a lot you have to do that is super gross. Especially during those first few months, having a baby is like carrying around a Fabrege egg with arms and legs that screams and requires vaccinations.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

An Honest Baby Registry

In honor of Mother's Day, I made this honest baby registry. No need to go to Target or Babies R Us, I have everything you need right here. Don't waste your money on adorable clothing or Einsteinien toys. I don't think Einstein played with Baby Einstein, and look at him. He turned out great. A baby will play with anything. Do you have a small collection of tightly sealed packages of hot dogs? Perfect. That will entertain a baby for literally minutes.

Disposable Hazmat suit*



Cleaning and Sanitation:
Stain removing carpet cleaner***

Map of restaurants and department store bathrooms that have diaper changing stations****

Vomit-colored shirts

Noise-canceling headphones

An old shoe
Box of tissues
Your smartphone
Whatever lines your bottom two bookshelves

Rubber Apron

*About $30 on Amazon

**I don’t remember what this means…

***Don’t worry. You won’t actually have time to clean your carpet. Just put it in a safe place and clean your carpets 18 years from now.

****Get it together, Target Men's Bathroom in Norman, Oklahoma.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Why Don't They Sell Beer at the Zoo and Other Questions I Have as a Parent

If there is any place that needs to sell beer, it is a zoo on Saturday morning in Oklahoma. StrollerFest 2015 was in full effect by the time me and my crew got there at a paultry 11:00. If anything, though, I felt like I was finally fitting in. Normally me and Todd are the only people at the zoo without a stroller full of babies. Now, at long last, I had an excuse to bulldoze the other kids out of the way with my own stroller as I wore yoga pants my mom got me for Christmas from Target.

After drenching Mae in sunscreen, outfitting the stroller, spraying ourselves in the face with water, eating a Clif Bar, mentally scheming what to do just in case the apocaplyse begins, putting Mae in the stroller, macing each other in the face with sunscreen, taking Mae out of the stroller to change her, briefly debating the merits of googling the nearest ATM but foregoing it because the local zoo beer garden probably took credit, we merged with the stroller traffic and began what Todd referred to as The Long Road to the Middle.

In the tepid online search I later did to find out why they don’t sell zoo beers, one such Internet commenter noted, “Of course they don’t sell beer at the zoo. It’s A ZOO. There’s kids around!”

This person has obviously never been out of the country. Or maybe to another person’s house. Or an Applebee’s. Or Texas*.

Someone else who I would also never go to a zoo with wrote, “Why would you need beer at a zoo?”

Good question. I imagine this person must be an Oklahoman, because Oklahomans possess what I can only describe as a meth-like addiction to sweet tea and therefore desire little else when they are standing in line to look at a bear.

Question No. 2: Why are diaper wipes the size of a cocktail napkin?

In the beginning, I tried to do cloth wipes (hahaha!) but that eco-dream died alongside several others, like the one where I strap Mae to my chest while she peacefully sleeps and I puree a round of wheatgrass. I was still able to stick to cloth diapers (during the day, not while traveling, etc. PM me if you want my byzantine code of ethics for what level of socio-economic diaper I use and when.) but I gave up on cloth wipes almost instantly. There is so much no one ever talks about when you have a baby, and that’s probably because 90 percent of it is disgusting. In order for the human race to continue, we must never tell our offspring what it is truly like to raise a child in our modern age. If we did, everyone would have a garden hose with an attachment sprayer on their baby registry, as that has been the most useful item to us thus far.

Question No. 3: How am I supposed to read to a baby that can crawl?

I read a lot of studies that told me that if I didn’t read to my baby, she would grow up to be an emotionally-stunted vagabond unable to develop fulfilling relationships or properly use a semi-colon. I didn’t need a study to tell me how valuable reading is, but I did need someone to tell me how you are physically supposed to go about reading to a kid when she is way more interested in licking my dishwasher, crawling under the futon, pulling over the television stand, etc. So I asked my mom.

“How do you do it?” I asked. “I just end up chasing her around, yelling the words to Brown Bear, Brown Bear.”

“You don’t,” she said. “Just talk to her when you’re putting her clothes on. Like, now we are putting our blue sock on the left foot!”

Fair enough.

Question No. 4: Why are all parents liars?

The fear I see in the eyes of another parent when I ask about their baby. I don’t care, I want to say. I’m not going to report you. I’m not going to judge or taunt or respond with how much better Mae is at holding her bottle. By the way, Mae sucks at that. She sucks at a lot of things, primarily cuddling. The few pictures I have of me holding Mae last for about as long as it takes to take a picture. Usually when I hold her, she is pushing me away, looking around frantically for something else to do, bite, or scream at. She also doesn’t talk, unless you count the way she indeterminately squawks “muh MUH!” like an old Italian woman in a spaghetti sauce commercial. 

Question No. 5: Is baby-proofing a sick joke?

Yesterday we bought foam corner bumpers for our TV stand. This morning Mae noticed them and instantly tried to yank them off. Todd and I watched, casually drinking our coffee. Surely our 9-month-old wouldn’t be able to rip them off. She did, and with so much force she fell backward, banged her head on the floor, and started screaming. If that is not the definition of irony, I don’t know what is.

“Eight dollars well spent,” Todd said.

We gave them to Mae to chew on, which the package explicitly said not to do. This is my way of getting back.

When it comes to child rearing it increasingly seems to me like no one knows what is going on. Todd and I are thwarted time and time again whether we try too hard or don’t try enough. Overprotective parents are mocked and told their protective measures will only serve to harm their child indirectly in the future. Carefree parents are told they are playing with fire and risk getting in trouble with authorities.

Question No. 6: Do they make baby pants out of microfiber dusting cloths or should I add this to my list of Shark Tank ideas?

I have so many ideas for Shark Tank (I can’t tell you any of my ideas, unless you want to partner with me. In that case, you should know I’m pre-revenue.) but this winner came to me after the thousandth time I picked up Mae and found her awash in cat hair. The only other option is to build a baby walker on top of a Roomba.

Question No. 6: So, when is a good time to stop screaming profanity-laced tirades, you know like when my cat jumps up on a footstool so she can throw up from multiple vantage points? Or when my cat jumps in the shower with me? Or when my cat sleeps on the dress I set down on the bed that I needed to wear but now have to feverishly lint roll thus making me late? Like, when do babies start picking up on that kind of thing? 

No reason. Todd and I don’t do that. Asking for a friend.

* See blog post from a long time ago about Todd drinking museum beers in San Antonio on our babymoon.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Movie St. Vincent: Hated It

I like Bill Murray. I love Melissa McCarthy. So naturally I rented the movie St. Vincent from Redbox the day it came out.
Now I am not known for my critical taste in theater. I have fallen asleep in movies I claim to be my favorites. Actually, like my dad, I fall asleep during most movies, whether I like them or not. But there was something about St. Vincent that particularly set me off and actually made me pay attention. The next morning, I wandered out to the kitchen and said to Todd, “Hey guess what I didn’t like about St. Vin-“
“Another male-centric movie that glorifies assholes?”
Todd’s the best. He didn’t even look up when he answered. He probably knew I would wake up and pose that question.
In case you aren’t familiar, this is a summary of the movie. Bill Murray plays a curmudgeonly, drunken, lying, gambling neighbor, Vincent, who babysits Melissa McCarthy’s kid while she’s at work. When Vincent is not banging a Russian stripper, he is lovingly visiting his wife in a nursing home who no longer remembers who he is. At the end of the movie, Vincent is elevated to metaphorical sainthood, hence the title of the movie, because he is an incredible person. In conclusion, Melissa McCarthy, who has been working ceaselessly the entire movie to provide for her son, on her own, because her husband was cheating on her, is fat.
In case you haven’t guessed, televised or any form of scripted entertainment is difficult for me. Shows such as The Bachelor and Survivor are great examples. I can hardly even sit down when I’m watching because I’m usually standing up, yelling at the television. “Dammit Cierra! Don’t let him talk to you like that! Stand up for yourself, stop crying!” Before I go further, yes, I understand the way reality television is meant to exploit certain situations, of course. 
I love shows such as Survivor not for the storyline but for the ways in which gender is so explicitly on display. When one of the teams became mostly female, it was assumed they would lose the challenges without the “physicality” of men to help them. Survivor is also endlessly fascinating to me because I cannot understand why anyone would ever sign up to be on the show. Participants are naked, sometimes literally and always metaphorically, in a way that I find horrifying. If, in the freakest of accidents, I ended up on the show, I would trip over a snake and die within hours. If I somehow survived, the only shot the camera would catch of me would be of me weeping alone on the rocky shore. I would inevitably be voted off immediately because unless the challenge is grading a stack of freshman comp papers, knowing all the words to We Didn’t Start the Fire, or figuring out how to sleep on a queen bed with one other human, way too many pillows, and a couple of obese cats, I am worthless. What I’m trying to say is I understand why Cierra, a tall, graceful, barrel racer, cried when one of the older, rather unathletic men tried to point out her weaknesses in their tribe. It was a classic move. In order to avoid focusing on his own flaws, he assumed an authoritative role and, in front of the group, targeted Cierra as a weakness, thus taking away her agency.
A few months ago I asked Todd to read my cover letter. “Tell me if you think it’s too showboaty,” I said.
“A man would never say that,” said Todd.
“So, do you think I should put that sentence back in about how high my evaluations are?” I asked.
So many things are wrong with this situation. First, why is it even happening? Why am I asking Todd what I should put in my cover letter? Why am I trying to not sound overconfident? 
The glorious Chelsea Peretti has a joke where she speculates what it must be like to be a man. “My fantasy of what it’s like to be a guy is you just wake up in the morning and your eyes open and you’re like, ‘I’m awesome!’” Watch her special on Netflix. It’s debilitatingly funny.
On the rare occassion I attend a social gathering, I’m that person loudly insisting that Breaking Bad, Mad Men, House of Cards, etc. would all be more interesting if there was a female protagonist. To be fair, I love Breaking Bad, Mad Men, House of Cards, etc. Of course I do. I’m not insane. I have unreasonably high hopes for Clair Underwoood. I don’t want to be excessive, but all of my hopes for the feminist movement rest on her shoulders.
Me watching The Bachelor is like trying to see how long it will take me to throw a chair at the wall. If I’m not out of my chair and yelling, I’m perched at the edge of my futon, eyes widened, both hands covering my mouth. This is a common position for me watching anything even vaguely mainstream. It is worse now that I have a daughter. The positive side of me, which does exist, albeit sometimes fleetingly, looks at my daughter and sees her years down the road, doing something powerful and good, like being the first female host of The Daily Show.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bob Harper and Me

When I first started teaching full time, one of my students asked me how old I was. Everyone in the class, wide-eyed, stared at him like he was insane. Someone whispered, “Dude, you don’t ask ladies that question.” I didn’t want to answer him, not because I was afraid of sounding old, but because I knew that some of my students were older than me, so I did something I don’t recommend doing if you are sensitive about your age. I told them to guess.
“45?” one of the young women ventured.
“You’re a little off,” I said. I was 26.
“Well, that’s mainly based on how you dress.”
“Let’s move on,” I said, making a mental note to never again let college freshmen guess my age.
How, I wonder, did we become this way. Why are we so weird about our age, amongst other things? Why do we act as though some of us are immune to the passing of time? At 33, I have many students who hover around my age. They bemoan their age, as do, I’ve noticed, students in their mid- to late-twenties, as if there exists some phenomenal difference. Not surprisingly this is mostly from my female students. “I’m so old,” they’ll whimper to me, head in their hands.
“We’re the same age,” I’ll say.
I know what they mean, though: they are “old” for college. This is becoming increasingly less true, but that statistic is not of much interest to them, and I don’t blame them.
We put women in a weird place with age. Duh. Taught to hide our age to remain desirable, yet we ceaselessly mock women who are very clearly trying to mask their age with make-up and surgery. See just about every famous woman ever as an example.
It’s not just age, either, for which we are supposed to feel shame. We aren’t supposed to share our weight, and certainly not our BMI. I had a baby 7 months ago, and let me tell you, my hips do not lie about that. 
Enter Bob Harper.
Bob Harper is my new favorite celebrity trainer. You may have seen him and his sleeve tattoos on The Biggest Loser, a show that borders on voyeuristic. His workouts are the only ones I’ve ever done that, as I described to my sister Rachel, make it look like my whole body is crying because I am sweating so much. It is awful, but it is exactly what I needed, because I saw myself becoming a certain type of person: the person that slowly puts on weight, year after year, convincing herself it’s not that bad, even though she keeps having to buy bigger pants sizes, but she says stuff like, “well, I work out, so I’m probably just putting on muscle…”
I had faithfully been going to the gym 5 days a week for 35 minute workouts, but I wasn’t really working out. I was leisurely riding the stationary bike, listening to poetry podcasts, scrolling through Instagram. I didn’t even get a towel from the front desk to wipe off my sweat, but that’s because I was barely sweating. 
Now I hang out with Bob Harper five days a week from the comfort of my living room doing his ridiculously named workout, Blackfire, while Mae laughs hysterically at me. Watching me do burpees is, I have no doubt, hilarious. This workout is great for me for many reasons. 1.) Little to no equipment required. 2.) $12 a month. 3.) Lots of variation. 4.) Indescribably difficult. 5.) All online so no DVD. 
I’ve been doing it for barely a month and I feel like a triathlete. Like, I want to start an Instragram account for my shoulders. After each workout, I feel unstoppable. 
I weigh 155 pounds. If I knew my BMI, I would tell you that as well. Why does this feel ballsy for me to say? Why do I feel like I could end up on Good Morning America for saying that? “Oklahoma Mom Reveals Weight on Blog, Not Sure About BMI.” 
       Starting a workout is terrible. Especially if you are a woman, it takes awhile to see results, but just hold on, it will happen. I also don’t recommend weighing yourself. (I actually asked Todd to hide our scale from me so I can’t weigh myself. If you saw how small our apartment is, you would realize how amusing this is.) If you’re like me, you need someone to get in your face, which is why I like Bob Harper. No, I love Bob Harper. I like to tell my students I’m the Bob Harper of Freshman Composition. Then they stare at me silently. Reminding me of my favorite student evaluation comment ever: Her jokes aren’t that funny. And, yes, the word “that” was underlined.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Worrying About Money: I'm Over It

I hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day. To celebrate, Mae and I went to Target. (In Oklahoma, with a baby, this is a big deal. I prepped for this 2-hour roundtrip the way others might get ready for an international trip.) Plans to visit The Botanical Gardens were thwarted because one of us is teething and got a little screamy. Todd was sick so he stayed in. Later, he ordered a pair of headphones off Amazon and I ordered this mug for myself. 

That’s how we do Valentine’s Day. See previous blog for information regarding how romantic I am. 

We decided on a $25 limit for ordering our own gifts for ourselves, but, really, who cares. Now that we have a baby, there are so many things I don’t think about anymore, and one of them, strangely, is money.

To be clear, we are not drenched in wealth. We are living off one salary and while I love my job, composition instructors are not known for their paychecks. Ever since I had what me and Todd refer to as Ginger Cancer (because it’s way more fun to say that instead of melanoma) money issues appear refreshingly mundane. My motto became, “If no one is dying, it doesn’t matter.” 

Yes, I know. Not a unique story. Redhead Has Cancerous Mole Removed, Develops New Outlook on Life. But I don’t care. Hopefully you never get told, or never have been told, that you have A Scary Disease. Here are my other tips on how to not worry about money.

1.) Remind Yourself Money is Radically Uninteresting

Seemingly everyone, understandably, frets about money, even those who “appear” to be doing just fine, which is another reason I told myself I didn’t want to think about it anymore. Have you ever had an interesting conversation about your finances? If you have, you and I will just agree we have different definitions of “interesting.” This is probably already true because my interests are rather David Sedaris-y, you know, like collecting coffee mugs that say “motherfucker” and flipping through vintage animal encyclopedias. The only time these conversations have been even slightly interesting are when I have a gift card somewhere and I’m talking out how I want to spend it. Like if I’m at Home Depot, for example, do I want to buy all Venus flytraps or just get one fog machine?

2.) No one ever says “I have the perfect amount of money and I will now be totally cool with that.”

Right? No one says that. Everyone is worried about paying their rent. Everyone is convinced their _______ bill is way too high and they are probably getting ripped off. Therefore, since we all think this way, who cares. As a side note, I am routinely perplexed by individuals bent on sharing their stories of Sticking It To The Man In The Form Of An Obscure Financial Loophole They and Only They Are Aware Of. You know this person. This person is in your life. They probably have one of those three-ring binders for their extreme couponing habit.

3.) You made it this far. You’ll probably be fine.

One day Todd sent me a text with a quote from one of his favorite philosophers, Hoda Kotb. It was, “Someone is happier with less than you have.” 

4.) Make a budget

Haha! Just kidding. Who has time to do that? I tried to once about eight years because I read about it in a magazine. I made it four minutes before I got bored and went back to watering my plants. One way I practice fiscal responsibility is shirking a large portion of what ladies are supposed to do. Being a lady is expensive, and I’m not okay with that. Do you know how much you can use baking soda for? Face wash, teeth whitener, homemade deodorant ingrediant, cleaning product, etc. The list is extensive, and a large box of baking soda costs three dollars. And while I actually think make-up is really beautiful and I enjoy perusing make-up aisles like I’m at a special exhibit in a museum, I don’t wear it because it pisses me off and I fundamentally disagree with the cruel circle it puts you in, forcing you to buy make-up removing towelettes, blah, blah, blah. I may not like talking about finances, but I love talking about baking soda. Don’t even get me started on DIY laundry detergent. 

5.) Prioritize

You know what, if money makes you happy, that’s great. It doesn’t make me happy. It actually makes me nervous. I value my time over money, and that’s why we have an extensive array of Ramen in our kitchen. Even when it comes to making grand purchases, like cars, I do not believe in research. I do not believe in Consumer Reports. I’ll take my chances with that vaccuum cleaner. I lack the patience. I don’t see the point. I’d rather do something else with my time. I’ve bought three cars in my life, and each time I went to one dealership, test drove one car, and then bought it. I’m either really lucky or the world’s most uninvolved motorist. Probably a mixture of both. I practiced the same tactic when I applied to college, named my child, and chose all of my doctors. So far it has worked great. If it ever has backfired, I don’t remember, probably because I don’t care and I’m glad I didn’t waste a lot of time thinking about it.