Thursday, April 9, 2015

When Mistakes Happen

...because mistakes do happen...and yesterday I make a whopper of one.

So I went to park the van. The parking lot was narrow so I was already nervous but then this car pulled up behind me with a clearly impatient driver and I misjudged the distance and hit the car next to me while pulling into the spot. If I was nervous before, my state at this point was complete panic. It was not my finest moment. There did not appear to be any damage to the other car (the poor van suffered a huge dent...darn plastic cars...). I had no idea how I could locate the owner so I pulled around the building where there were several, wide open spots and parked.

Later I got a call. From the owner. Who turned out to be an acquaintance of my mom's. Apparently the impatient driver had contacted the owner and told her I "repeatedly rammed into her car." What??? Thankfully, because the owner knew my mom, she decided to contact us instead of the police or insurance company.

And that is the story of my first ever motor vehicle accident. It is not an experience I wish to repeat.

Mistakes happen, especially when you get the notion to drive around several tons of cheap metal. And while I would like to go back and rewrite the whole day, it's almost (almost) worth the uncomfortable experience if from this I learn the lessons necessary to do better next time. Lessons like...

Always, always make things right. Although I feel the person who contacted the owner was unfair and malicious in his/her description, I am so glad he or she did contact the owner. It gave me a chance to apologize and makes things right. Because, mistake of not, I did something wrong that hurt this woman's brand-spanking-new car. And, silly as it may seem, it would have nagged at me for a long time if I had not had a chance to make it right.

There are some really great people in this world. The owner was so super kind and forgiving...which really is a good thing because if she has been she had every right to be...I would have crawled into a hole that would have taken more than yoga pants and Emma's ham and bean soup from which to revive me. And then my parents were so helpful and understanding...despite my wrecking their van.

There are some really nasty people in this world. Like the witness. It was one thing to notify the owner. It's another things to tell such an exaggerated falsehood because they had a bee in their bonnet. And that lie really hurt. I know I have hurt people through carelessness or lack of thought but I have never tried intentionally to hurt someone and that someone would think I would really hurts. There are mean people in the world who enjoy stirring up trouble. You can't take is personally. Accept that's who they are and resolve to be different.

Don't allow yourself to be bullied or pressured into a poor decision by other people's impatience. You're the one who is going to have to live with your choice. Take all the time you need to consider. It could save a poor car's bumper.

God gives grace (even when we act stupid). Seriously, what are the chances of me "just so happening" to park next to a car that "just so happened" to belong to an acquaintance out of the probably one hundred cars in the lot? God is good.

And last, but definitely not least, if you drive a fifteen passenger, boat of a van...park far away from other vehicles. Let's face it, we can't all have my mom's talent of, as my aunt so well put it, "being able to parallel park a Mac truck in a motorcycle space."


  1. It's so great to get these moments because it does remind you that you are human, and human makes mistakes. So glad everything turned out well!

    Roxi -

  2. Aww, that's no fun at all! Good lessons to learn, though. The first car I was ever on the road in, once I got my permit, was my parents' 15-passenger diesel van. Yep, a "boat" as you say. Never again. I like small sedans...currently, we don't even own a car and I am very much enjoying the non-driving, riding public transportation lifestyle. Not possible in most places in America, though!

  3. I can't believe the witness told such a dramatic story! I hope everything works out smoothly!