Car shopping is a funny thing. You start off with a very strict guideline for features, style, performance, and pricing — all aspects with ZERO room for compromise! Then you learn that life and car lots are filled with the exact same things, promises and disappointment. Here is a quick breakdown of how I went from looking at a brand new 2013 981 Cayman to a 2006 Kia Amanti. Also known as, “Life in Your Twenties: Vol 24.

Back in March of 2012 I was in NO WAY a car enthusiast. I wasn’t sure why the Optima was sold by Kia when the Altima and Maxima are both Nissans, and thought the “Porsh nine-one-one” probably should have avoided being named after the September...you get the picture. So when I got my current job as a Sales Merchandiser I did what 97% of all Americans do when they have a dramatic change in income, I started looking for a new car!

I got about an hour into car shopping when I realized I should probably move out of my mom’s house first.

Whelp, it’s now March of 2013! I’m good living on my own and partying the way I couldn’t back in college because I’m responsible like that. Time to look at a car! I’m driving my second car ever, a 2006 Kia Rio with the only options being the auto and A/C. Had that little warrior since 2007 with 17,000 miles on the clock. My new job requires me to drive about 45,000 miles a year so I decide to continue beating the Rio for work and look into something fun. I wanted something that would make me stick out without “sticking out.” I hopped on YouTube and it happened to be the same day Sutcliffe reviewed the 2013 Cayman S on EVO and/or Auto Express. I’m already sold but I click over one more recommended video and get my first ever experience with Chris Harris...

Well I immediately head straight over to the only Porsche dealer in the state to go buy this so called Porsche Cayman!

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I walk into the dealership, it’s completely dead and the Sales Representative actually talks to my dumb ass. I felt leather car seats for the first time that day as well as that would be my first time ever inside a car dealership. Needless to say my level of whelming had surpassed over. I began to realize I may have been too spontaneous when I noticed the salesman kept prefacing all his statements with, “As you know....” and, “As I’m SURE you ALREADY know.” I just figured filling your fluids from the trunk of a car was normal when you had leather seats! I just smiled and nodded.

Now, it was at this next moment that the reality of adulthood Mustanged me and I realized I was in over my head. I kid you not Oppo, he opened the hood of the car and I exclaimed, “JEEESUS!” That’s right, I found Christ in the frunk of a Cayman that day. And bless this salesmen’s heart, he responded with a sincere smile, “Yeah, no one can ever believe how generous this front storage compartment is!” He started going into an empassioned oration on the relentless practicality of the Cayman, but I wasn’t listening. You see Oppo, my world had just been shattered! On that day, looking into the void that is the frunk of a Cayman, I found out that mid-engined wasn’t European slang like boot or bonnet.

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Pulling out of the Porsche dealership in my 170,000 mile 2006 Kia Rio, heavier now with the weight of reality which was my only purchase that day, I made a promise that all my decisions would be informed decisions from then on. I dove into the automotive industry and finances for at least four hours a day. Found Jalopnik, later on Oppo, car channels and finance content including Dave Ramsey and so forth.

But you all, Jalops and Oppos, were the most influencial. But the funniest thing is that you all unintentionally created a situation in which the Amanti was the answer. How? When you introduced me to, “simplify and add lightness.”

To be continued...or not, it’s whatever.