The other day was MLK, Jr. day (duh) and so Nellie’s daycare was closed. No biggie. I had my in-laws lined up to watch her, but not until 8:30. Josh goes to work at 7, so I excitedly took my little one to a local breakfast place for a breakfast date… Just me and her. She enjoyed her crunchy bacon and milk out of her big girl cup (Nellie would ask, “I hod him?” wanting to hold it herself.) and was a perfect little lady the whole time.
I had to park on a hill, with the front of my car facing upward. When we were leaving, there was a car parked both in front of me and behind me. I was nervous; I’m not so good at pulling off of hills so I was anxious about sliding into the car behind me. So I devised a plan in my head. I packed Nellie back into the car, climbed into the driver’s seat and I was ready.
I put the car in reverse and scooted back just a little bit to get some distance between myself and the car in front of me. I turned the wheel all the way over, ready to accelerate and zip out safely from behind the car in front of me, doing it quickly enough to not slide backward. I poised my foot, and pressed it down hard against the gas.
In a fraction of a second – which wasn’t enough time to do anything but think OH SHIT OH SHIT – I realized that my dumb ass hadn’t taken the car out of reverse. I went flying backward and slammed into the car parked behind me – a used Lexus.
Eyes wide, I stared in my rearview mirror. I glanced over at the restaurant, expecting to see a crowd of people pouring out to see what had just happened. I watched the doors for a few minutes.. Nothing. I started to freak out. I came thisclose to driving off. “They’ll never know,” I thought. “No one will EVER know who did this.”
I pulled to the other side of the road and saw the damage I had inflicted on the back of the other car. Trunk was caved in, rear lights smashed. I scrambled out of my car and assessed my bumper. Nothing. Nada. A few cosmetic smudges and scratches. EFF YEAH, FORD ESCAPE.
Still panicking slightly, I called the restaurant and told the woman who answered what had happened. I explained that I didn’t want to get out of the car because I had my daughter. When the woman hung up, I rolled my window down and started sobbing. I felt embarrassed, scared, and I was shaking. Nellie started chirping from the backseat, “Mama? Mama cwyin? Mama cwy? Mamaaaaaa.” I snorted and sobbed, “No honey, Mama’s fine. Mama is ok. Mama is just shaken up.”
“Mama say-ken up.” Nellie confirmed and then went about playing with her laptop.
The owner of the car came out and I burst into tears again. I apologized profusely and told them how dumb I felt. How awful. How embarrassed. The girl looked college-age and was ridiculously nice. She assured me that it was fine, she hit stuff all the time and had been in more wrecks than she could count. There happened to be an off-duty policeman there who patted me on the back and told me that’s what insurance was there for. I felt humiliated; I am twenty-eight years old, not some stupid seventeen year old kid who just got her license.
About a half hour later the police showed up, took his report, and that was it. I apologized again to the girl and she told me again that it was fine. Everyone was okay, it happens all the time, and I drove away sheepishly feeling like the biggest dummy on the planet.
It was a hell of a way to start the day. I am grateful that no one was in the car, and we weren’t going fast enough to really hurt anyone. You can bet your ass that I’ll never buy a Lexus though; that damn trunk crumpled like a paper cup when I backed into it. My hardy Ford Escape barely has a scratch on it.
How was YOUR Monday?