I was stopped in traffic at the center of town, on my way home from work. Six days from the day I picked Allia up, I was still basking in the euphoria of her newness. It was 4:30 sunny and hot, but her A/C kept me comfortable. Then it happened. BUMP! The car rocked at impact. It took me a moment to realize what had happened. I checked the rearview and saw the car behind me backing up.
No, you did not just hit me! My new car and you hit me?! I was pissed.
I threw her into park and got out. The other driver got out. He was about 4' 10". "Did I give you a lil love tap?" I looked at my bumper. There was a damage. "You dented my bumper!" I couldn't believe it. "I don't see it." He said. Yea, just like you didn't see my car! Right in front of you! "Well, I see a dent, and I want to exchange papers. I haven't even had the fucking thing a week!" The vehemence of my profanity showed in his startled wide eyed look. That's right dumbass, be very afraid. I just might be a psycho chick that will go postal on you. He raised his hands, as if telling me to calm down. "Okay, okay" As he was backing away. "Pull into the parking lot." I ordered.
Emotions and adrenaline were coursing through my veins. I hadn't been in an accident that required the exchanging of papers in 23 years. I finally have a pristine vehicle that I care about and this happens? My mind fumbled for what information I was supposed to give. As my nerves calmed a bit, I realized the man bore a resemblance to two brothers I remembered from my highschool days. We pulled into the parking lot of a limousine service off the main road. I quickly grabbed my registration, pen and paper. He tossed his license on the hood of my car and went to retrieve his registration. I looked at the name and confirmed my suspicions. He was the older of the two brothers I had recalled. His younger brother was in my class, until he dropped out. They were almost like twins. Both very short of stature, with bad attitudes and a penchant for getting into trouble. There was a passenger in his vehicle too. He had an alcohol aged look about him. I could see that not much had changed over the years with this man.
After I had gotten my license and we were documenting the information, I started to calm down. "I went to highschool with your brother". "Yea?" He wasn't impressed. I imagine he was dealing with his own stupidity of the accident and thoughts of increased insurance premiums, not to mention the fact I was making such a big deal out of such minor damage. Too bad, so sad. The righteous bitch in me had taken control.
I asked him what had happened as he was going back to his car. "I fell asleep. " He said matter of factly. "You try working construction 9 hours in this heat and get into an air conditioned car". He was actually trying to justify it! "I worked at UPS for 9 years, loading and unloading 130 degree trailers in the summer, I never fell asleep at the wheel". But then again, I didn't stop for a sixpack on the way home either. I cannot say for certain this was the case. I didn't get close enough to smell any alcohol, but I know the type. I was married to one for 8 years. Perhaps that's part of the reason why he didn't argue the damage. After all, if I had called the cops, things could have been a bit worse for him.
I had to sit and gather my wits for a few minutes. How ironic that this couldn't have happened when I was driving Old Reliable? I'm supposed to have the luck of the Irish, not this Murphy's Law crap! Okay...Relax....You were lucky, the damage was minor, probably just cosmetic. But it's my brand new baby! Chill, it could have been a lot worse. You were very lucky. Now it's out of the way. Done. What you were most afraid of happening has happened, get over it.
I had to share the incredulity I felt, so I called Darlene. "You'll never guess who just ran into me, literally". She didn't get it. I explained what happened and she gave me the sympathy I was seeking. I eventually got a hold of Dad and told him my story. Always the optimist, Dad confirmed that it could have been a lot worse. "The dents & dings are going to happen, you just got it out of the way early."
I went to the insurance appraiser today. No appointment necessary, just show up between 12 & 4 on Mon, Wed or Fri. I entered the back basement door of a fairly new building. The only indication of the appraiser's office was a paper printout taped to the door. I knocked and entered.
The odor of stale cigarettes permeated the air. The detritus ( I finally get to use the word detritus) on the worn gray carpet indicated that the space had not been vacuumed in ages. The office contained a couple file cabinets beneath the open window, a computer sat on a lone desk with two half empty sodas and a Dunkin Donuts bag, a threadbare black cardigan hung sadly on the chair. An oversized and outdated copy machine took up the remainder of space. This was my appraisers office? This looked more like the office of a B movie gumshoe.
I sat in one of the two, stained with God only knows what, chairs that appeared to be a waiting area. The screen of the PC went into standby mode. I noticed a worn leather bag and a cell phone sitting on the desk. Someone had to show up eventually, so I waited.
20 Minutes later, the door opened. It was comical. We both surprised each other. He was dressed in beige dockers and a grey & black print golf shirt that was 2 sizes too big. The baggy pants were held up too high by a pair of black suspenders. The lines on his forehead were accentuated by the coke bottle bottom glasses and butt hanging from his mouth. He was the white, senior version of Steve Erkle, and I imagined I had shown up at the precise time of his afternoon newspaper reading on the thrown.
His appearance contradicted his efficiency. Once I pointed out the damage, he snapped several digital photographs at different angles. At a glance, he took down all the pertinent information to gathering an estimate of damages: 4x4, cruise control, no sunroof, automatic, 6 cylinder, A/C. He informed me that I would receive a letter in a couple days and I was on my way. I left, wondering at the seedy, lonely appearance of his job. A job I would not want in a million years.
Now, I wait for the letter, estimate of damages and hopefully a check. If I do receive anything, I'll put it towards the insurance premium instead of getting it repaired. I pray to the Powers That Be that this is the extent of the dues I will pay for the kindness they have shown in granting me the blessing of owning a new vehicle.