Friday, November 10, 2023

Eclipsed: Use Your Words


Cheesy Spinach Pinwheels | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #bread

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: my friend Diane and I picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases to submit to each other to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. Both posts will be unique as we each have our own set of words we're working with.

At the end of this post, you'll find the link to Diane's post, be sure to check it out, see what words I sent her and how she used them.

I'm using:  natural ~ nice ~ nothing ~ noodle ~ neoprene


I have absolutely no idea how this group of words made me think of the first time I bought myself a new car, but that's what popped into my head, so I'm going with it.

Before this time, from literally the day I got my license, my dad had always bought my cars, ones he picked out (and I loved, btw). But now I was out of school, working, and looking to buy a brand new car, chosen (yay) and funded (boo) by me.

I had my handy dandy little notebook of facts, whatever facts you could get in what was just before a time when Google was at everyone's fingertips. But before I ventured out to the car lots, I wanted more, a little insight into the process. I mean, we've all heard the stories about car salesmen being sharks, as we, the consumers, wade into their territorial waters.

I'm not saying their reputation is fact, definitely not. Truth is, one of my closest friends, Mark, bought, worked on, and sold used cars. And I had all the trust and respect in him that I did any other friend. He was genuinely a really nice guy.

Eclipsed | graphic designed by, featured on, and property of Karen of | #MyGraphics #blogging

At the time, Mark had many cars, but mostly drove a Javelin, a car he loved. It had a standard transmission, something I didn't know how to drive. Mark decided that he'd not only teach me, but on the Javelin.

I did fine until he had me stop going up a steep hill. When he told me to start again, I couldn't get the clutch/gas ratio right and the car kept rolling back while I both gave it too much gas and dragged the clutch. Deciding that nothing said I needed to know how to drive a standard anyway, I, without a word put the emergency brake on, got out of the car and walked up the hill.

Stunned, Mark drove up the hill and picked me up. We laughed all the way home (but were done with lessons, for now).

So, before I went to check out the two cars I had pared my list down to, I had Mark over to dinner. We talked about what I needed to know, what I wanted to look for, and what I should consider. And then he offered to go with me. 

Cheesy Spinach Pinwheels | recipe developed by Karen of | #recipe #bread

Cheesy Spinach Pinwheels

We walked onto the first car lot the following Saturday, me doing exactly what I'd been told, act natural (meaning try to look less like a target and more like I'd done this before).

As the salesman walked towards us, Mark whispered in my ear. He knew who this guy was, he could sell a neoprene suit to a jailed politician. OK, that's not how Mark put it, but you get the idea. I needed to not get carried away by a smooth talker.

He needn't worry.

First, Gary did not even acknowledge me, he addressed Mark. Even when told why we were there, he continued to talk to Mark, asking what car he was interested in, if he'd like to take a test drive. 

Backbone now firmly in place, infuriated by the misogyny, I piped up and said that I was choosing between two cars, one at that dealership and the second we would be looking at elsewhere. Gary let me know that I could not compare those two cars, they were completely different, then proceeded to tell me what other makes were comparable to the one I was interested in on his lot.

I think Mark smirked when I told Gary that I could choose between any two cars I wanted.

In the end, Gary was actually helpful in making my decision, I wasn't buying anything from him. 

And hopefully, when I left, Gary's reputation for being able to sell a neoprene suit to a jailed politician went to that of a guy who couldn't sell a pool noodle, to a woman who spends the weekend at her family's pool.

PS: loved my new red Mitsubishi Eclipse. Thanks, Gary.


Use Your Words, a monthly group writing challenge | developed by and graphic property of | #bloggingchallenge #MyGraphics
Here's the link to Diane's Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Cheesy Spinach Pinwheels

1 tube (8 oz) refrigerated crescent sheet
3 TBSP butter
2 tsp grated parmesan
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup fresh, cleaned spinach
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 baking sheet.
*Unroll the crescent sheet onto a piece of parchment paper. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and roll out to a 9 inch X 15 inch rectangle. Remove plastic wrap.
*Melt the butter and mix with the parmesan and garlic powder. With a pastry brush, brush most of the butter (leave a little for the top) onto the crescent sheet, leaving about a half inch border at the two long sides.
*Chop the spinach and sprinkle onto the crescent sheet, last add the mozzarella.
*Starting with one long side, roll the dough up to create a tube shape. Brush the top with the remaining butter, and cut into about 3/4 inch slices. Place on the baking sheet, open side down. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the dough starts to brown.  


  1. The old "ignore the woman and talk to the man" - anger rising. I'm glad Gary contributed to your decision; just not the way he intended to.

  2. I can't stand those who think they must talk to the male as if a female couldn't know anything and have walked away from such men without a word, Tim also cannot stand such people but he wasn't always like that as a young man he could act like I was some kind of fool who knows bugger all.

    1. I'm glad Tim got it figures out, I wonder if that salesman ever did.

  3. I'm very glad you went elsewhere. Gary needed lessons in manners, among other things.

    1. Yes he did, although I doubt he had any idea why he'd lost that possible sale.

  4. I was 17 and still in high school when I bought my first car. A 1956 rusted out Chevy that my Dad helped me pick out. It was what I could afford. It did very well until I ran over the railroad tracks and the head lights fell out. It was 1972 before I could afford to buy a car on my own in my name. I was 26, divorced with a child. I had built a relationship with the local bank, that trusted me to make my payments. Donna

    1. Back in a time when relationships mattered and people who showed their character earned trust.

  5. I hate going to car lots looking for a car because of the salesman. Me and my late husband went to one many years ago. We were looking at two cars and the salesman got in the first one and tried to start it, it wouldn't start. There was no gas in the car. He got in the second car that we were looking at the no gas in that car so it wouldn't start. I said nothing and started walking across the street to another car lot. The guy we had been talking to started yelling at me to wait that he would get some gas. I walked back told him to stop that we wouldn't be buying a car from a place that wasn't smart enough to keep gas in the cars that people were coming to look at. He yelled at me as I walked across the street. Husband just laughed at how mad this guy got.

    1. Good for you, pay attention to those red flags when you see them.

  6. Oh, I'm impressed you used 'neoprene' in a sentence. LOL

  7. Gahhhh! I HATE being ignored! I agree. Gary was a good salesman. Good for sending people elsewhere!
    Great work with the words, BTW! :)


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