As many of you know, I am a very loyal Saturn owner. Sure, I cheated that ONE time on the new Volkswagen Beetle, but Saturn took me back. We’ve been together for over 15 years. We’ve celebrated our purchases with balloons, cheers, gift baskets, umbrellas, car washes and barbecues.

I tried to capture our love in my book, Tattoos: The Ultimate Proof of a Successful Brand.

Last month, we took our relationship to the next level. We traded in my ION to get the new VUE. I could tell something was wrong the way we were hurried through the transaction. It felt mechanical. There was nothing knew. It was getting stale. I felt like he was going through the motions.

Sure, I got the cheer at the end, but as I drove away, it felt icky. Then we had a problem with our VUE. I brought it up, and was told to come back later – he didn’t have time. I made an appointment with him- now he didn’t have the right part. The third time I went to get it fixed, he asked me to fill out his survey. How was he doing?

I gave them the lowest rating. But the funny thing was, when I handed it back to him, he just took it, didn’t look up from his work and thanked me.

A few days ago I got a call from “the boss” wanting to know why I gave such a low rating – I shared my frustration. How when we were first together they were so attentive, and loving and caring and how now it’s just another car purchase experience. The magic is gone. The relationship is on thin ice. He, like so many men, was uncomfortable talking about feelings, and kind of hemmed and hawed….and said, “I’ll send you something in the mail.” Now I’m hopeful. A nice card? Flowers? Something sparkly?

Nope. I got a Dear John letter. A form letter basically apologizing from “corporate” for not meeting my expectations.

So, it’s over. I don’t know if I can ever trust them again – after all we’ve been through together. I’ll keep this Saturn for a couple of years, but then I’ll be “back in the market” for another new car.

It’s been such a long time since I’ve been “out there”….I’m scared.

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