Before I tell you about the show, I have to first tell you what it was like attending the show solo. I experienced some things that never in a million years would I have dreamed of.
Before that even, I must provide a disclaimer that there will be no pictures in this post. They will follow in the next immediate post. Hence the title, 1 of 2.
Back to being at the show single and solo....
Throughout the week prior to the show, I got a lot of remarks from friends and family. The resounding theme was that they could not believe I was going to go alone. I relished going alone! Could not wait! I got to drive to the show whenever it suited me, parked in the boonies so I didn't have to fight traffic, looked at whatever I wanted to once I got there, for as long as I wanted to-or not, interacted when I wanted to, and set my pace to mosey or dash as it suited me. In short, I was in heaven.
I covered the whole show, every row - in 3.5 hours. And was perfectly sated. There were many dealers and manufacturers represented but only 2 that had display boards of "experienced" RVs available. Isn't that cute, "experienced" RVs? Very clever marketing.
I waited for the sea of people to part so I could look at the 1st board. While standing there, I noticed that the sales people and reps were talking to all of the couples and families surrounding the area, but not one ever even acknowledged me. Fine with me! I didn't want the hassle anyway, but I did find it to be an interesting paradox.
Then I looked at the board. There were actually 3, count 'em, 3! RVs on there that I would have been interested in. I wrote them down in my trusty spiral I had taken with me (yes, I know there are iPads, etc., that would have been a lot cooler to carry around but I'm saving up for an RV, remember?), and took a step back to wait and talk to a salesperson. Pen in hand, waiting, and they still did not acknowledge me.
Then it became an experiment. I waited a few more minutes then slowly started trying to engage them. I would wait until one looked at me and I would purposefully say hello. They completely ignored me. So then I got a little more assertive.
I would wait until they looked at me and I tried to engage them. You know, I'd hold up my finger (as if calling a waiter), or I'd raise my eyebrows and acknowledge them, just short of shouting, "Excuse me." Still nothing.
Finally, I waited until one was free and I belted out a good, "Hey!" He turned and looked at me as if I had magically appeared from nowhere. "Do you have a moment to answer some questions?" I asked.
He sheepishly looked around and said, "Sure." So I proceeded to tell him about the 3 RVs I was interested in. He listened, looked at my spiral, looked back up at me, and I kid you not, this is what he said.
"You're kidding, right? You said it was just you, but are you really interested in an RV?"Since the show predominantly featured trailers, I thought he was referencing a self-contained RV vs. a trailer. So I explained my reasons for wanting a motorhome. He blinked. Then gave me a nudge with his elbow.
Wait for it.....
"Ahhhh, come on. You're really just here to find a husband, right? You can tell me."I squinted and rolled my tongue around my teeth thinking how lucky he was that I didn't have a vice-grip in my hand. My return stare went flat and I waited for the message to get through. When he went a little ashen in color and quit smiling, I turned around and walked off. I'm ashamed to admit that it took me 2 or 3 aisles of walking before I actually cooled off. Then, when I realized the absurdity of the situation, I actually and quite literally laughed out loud.
From there I began to pay attention, to try to find another solo female at the show. Row by row, RV after RV, there were none. I even went to the food court to take a gander. None. Strange.
So then I began to see if there were any solo men (and no, still was not looking for a husband, LOL). None. There were men sans women but they were usually with buddies. And if I had to guess, the women were probably nearby. I was there almost 4 hours and never saw another person solo. Interesting phenomenon.
I found the 2nd dealer that had a display of used RVs. Again I waited my turn to look at the board. They had several I wanted to know more about and they indicated that they offered financing. Again the salespeople walked off and this time it was only to chat with each other. They weren't even busy! And one of them was a woman! I waited exactly 5 minutes as an experiment. They were on one side of the table and I was standing by the board. Nothing.
So this time, I walked up to them and said, "Excuse me. I'm just curious. Why did you wait on those families and not even say hello to me?"
All 3 of them immediately looked like guppies out of water, mouths opening and closing, gasping for air. The lady scurried off to get me a bottle of water, one man took off behind a nearby curtain and the other one apologized and asked how he could help.
The water was good and they ended up providing a lot of useful information (to be shared later). I actually wouldn't mind doing business with them if it comes to that (financing that is), but seriously? Come on RV world, you need to catch up with the 21st century.