So my car was declared totaled by State Farm insurance, which left me with 5 days to find a new car before my rental ran out. Therefore, car shopping happened yesterday and car research intensified (having already started several days before in case of just such this eventuality).
My parents' first suggestion was to have me buy my mother's used Toyota Camry with the money from the total and money from my college fund (which is rather sizeable since I have always had scholarships and fellowships to pay my way through school). However, I wasn't in love with the Camry and it would require shipping it up from FL very quickly and getting it registered in MD, which is something of a pain in the ass. So, I fielded the idea of a new car. After some grumbling, my parents said, "Okay - here, we'll help you look for cars. And because we'll be using money from your college fund to help you out, get a new car so that it's something safe and dependable that you'll have for a long time."
Okay, I think - fabulous. So I go a-hunting, and they, of course, recommend the 2005 Camry. I also did some research on the Honda Accord, the equivalent car from Honda, and wanted to check it out since I had heard and read good things about it.
Insert marvelous experience with Honda and Honda salesman here.
Cue conversation with parents while at Honda dealer:
Me: "This looks really good. It felt great, they're willing to drop the price $5K to match the equivalent Camry deals, and they have the car I want here with the options I want."
Parents: "Well, it sounds like you've found a great deal. But you should test drive the Camry and see what deals you could get, just so you have a comparison. But just try to get the best deal you can."
Me, thinking: "Wow. How reasonable of them."
Insert abysmal experience with Toyota dealers here, including 3-hour waits, not-so-great test drive, and not having the car I want with the options I want.
Cue conversation with parents after this:
Me: "So after having checked out the Camry and gotten prices, I think I'm kind of thinking Honda."
Parents: "That's the wrong decision."
Me: "Murr? Er, could you tell me why?"
Parents: "Because it's the wrong decision."
Me: "Er, okay...but why, specifically?"
Parents: "Because it is."
Cue extremely nasty comments from my parents, complete with condescension, recrimination, heavy doses of guilt, and gobs of superiority.
Cue me saying I couldn't talk any more to them right then and I'd have to call them back.
Insert much angst here.
Cue email from parents saying...
Parents: "It's our money. We should have just told you to find what you could if you were going to behave like this."
Me, reply: "Here are the details. You see that the Honda is exactly equivalent in all the areas you mentioned and superior in ones which are important to me. But we'll discuss this tomorrow."
Me, thinking: "If it's their money, why do I pay the taxes on it?"
And so we stand. Gaaaah.
I repeat, gaaaaaaaaaaah. I'm not looking forward to the conversation I'll have with them this morning. However, if worse comes to worse, I'll finance the car and still have the one I want. But I admit the shock of my parents' response is still with me - "We trust you to make a good decision as long as it's the one we make. Otherwise, go fend for yourself, ingrate." I mean, ouch. It's not like I haven't made good decisions of some magnitude before, even without their help. (Witness current living space - apartment stuff decided upon completely independently of them, moving done without their help, etc.)
I can only think that they're just not ready to think of me as an adult capable of doing my own research and making a good choice. That, and they voted Republican (in my mom's case because "Kerry is flip-flopper"). So there could be some competing "set in mah ways and don't want to lissen to no facts" aspect at work here.