Saturday, July 9, 2011

I'll take Awkward Moments for $500, Alex

One beautiful summer day I decided to leave the office for an hour to run some errands, drive with the windows down, and grab an iced caramel macchiato from Starbucks.  I walked briskly to my car, anticipating the hour of freedom. A much needed break on a perfect day. As I approached my car I noticed this:

What you can't see in this picture is how deep each of these marks are.  The closer I got, the more my blood boiled.  I knelt down and traced the gashes with my finger, speculating how this might have happened and trying to give the guilty party the benefit of the doubt.  Before completely freaking out I checked the windshield for a note.  If someone did this by accident, but left a note, I will not much, I thought.  Alas, no note on the windshield.  I paced around the car, thinking how incredibly RUDE it was that someone did this to my car and didn't even leave a note. How could someone NOT know that they did this to my car?  I checked the front and back bumpers of all the cars surrounding mine to see if they had matching gashes.  I sprinted to and from each vehicle like a crack addicted squirrel, thinking all the while, I will punch someone in. the. FACE!

I noticed a woman walking toward me, in a hurry.  I figured she saw me checking out the surrounding cars and one of them was hers.  I tried to calm myself before she reached me but also braced myself in case she admitted to being the bumper bandit so that I wouldn't actually punch her in the face.  As she got closer, she looked apprehensive; I probably looked murderous and she was smart to keep her distance.

"Ma'am? Is everything okay?"

"Well,"  I said trying to sound calm and collected, but really sounding crazed and mean, "Someone obviously damaged my car and didn't even have the decency to leave a note!"

I did  the thing that you see women do in movies where they run their hand back through their perfectly arranged and backcombed, side-swooped bangs, resulting in a floppy mess, because they are stressed and the only other option is to yank their own hair out.  You've seen that in movies, right?  It's usually an uptight business woman (aka....ME).   In the audience you (I) think, "What are you doing?  Your bangs looked fantastic!  Wring your hands or something instead!"  And the actress, if she could talk back, is like, "Look, I'm just an actress but for real, this is how people react....just wait until someone scratches your car."   So in addition to ruining my hair, I nervously  rubbed the side of my neck and stepped forward a little and then back, repeatedly, with one hand on my hip.  Let me tell you how attractive that is.  It's not! 

The lady let me pace a bit more, watched me kneel on the ground and  inspect the car  again (in a skirt and heels) before carefully saying, "Sweeetie....that's   myyyyy   car."  I know she was thinking, "Psycho, that's my car.  Step back!"


It's awkward to go from furious and kneeling, in professional attire, to confused and stupid and kneeling, in professional attire. 

"I saw you from my office window and wondered what was going on and realized you must be the owner of the other Saturn that parks car has had this damage for a while."

It was like a film was lifted from my eyeballs.  I looked back at the car and realized even though it was the same make and model, it definitely wasn't my car.  Ohhhh....hmmmm That's definitely not my car.  Idiot!  I had spent a good 10 minutes furiously fuming about someone else's car....and thinking about punching randmom people in the face.  Gah!

We had a weird, embarrassing, and relief filled laugh about the whole thing and I scampered away to my actual car.   I love you, car.  I may or may not have lovingly pet the steering wheel.  Judge me if you must. My car has a perfect back bumper. It also has extremely identifiable traits that I should have noticed, immediately, were missing from the other know like the Razorback license plate and the disco ball hanging from my rear-view mirror.  How did I miss that?  Anyway, I went about my hour break, now cut down to 45 minutes, and decided to skip the errands and just drive with the windows down, radio loud, drinking Starbucks!

"I learned that there's a certain character that can be built from embarrassing yourself endlessly. If you can sit happy with embarrassment, there's not much else that can really get to ya." Christian Bale


  1. Comments from Facebook:
    Lana Evans Hill:

    OMG, that was so funny. I am impressed that you wrote about it. But glad it was not your car.

    Mark E. Hill:

    Who of us hasn't had a moment like that? I thought my old truck had been stolen once just to remember that I had moved it.

  2. Yes! Thank God there are more people like me who would do something just like this :)