The alarm rang at 5:15 and I tumbled wearily out of bed, swapping my sleep shirt for a sweatshirt and throwing on a pair of jeans. Energized by the first gulp or two of Tab, I was ready to take Rick to the airport for a six-day trip to a small town outside of Vancouver where he was meeting with a client for a week.
He picked me up -- we'd take his car to the airport, partly because I was woefully low on gas. I dropped him off at he door, we kissed goodbye and as he walked into the terminal, I took off for home. It still wasn't really light out. And it was raining.
There was plenty of time to return the car to his house. Instead, I parked it in my driveway and settled into a day of doing all the things on my list: checking blogs, paying bills, scheduling appointments with the eye doc, the foot goddess and the colonoscopy people. I gave the kitchen a good going over and got the house decorated for fall. I was rolling!
It was one of the last opportunities to see the film "Life Itself," a documentary about film critic Roger Ebert (I gave it two thumbs up, by the way). And I had time to make it. I grabbed my purse, illegal water and a banana, hit the garage door opener and backed out of the garage with abandon.
I think you know where I'm going with this.
It could have been worse. But the damage was there in plain view. A super scrape. Or two. (I really don't know HOW the black one at the top happened).
My heart was in my throat. But there was nothing I could do so I went to the movie.
Let's just say I would have enjoyed this fabulous movie much more if my heart hadn't been pounding for the first two thirds. I was beginning to wonder if I should take myself to the ER after it was over. But, in the time from my house until the film started (and well into it, I might add), I figured out what to do.
First thing the next morning I would hit the body shop with his car. Leave it. Beg them to get it done by Monday (possibly with great futility) and mea culpa when he returned.
I just knew I couldn't tell him on the phone. In the first place, the car was recently bumped out and repaired from an incident that took place a long time ago but that was my fault. (Let's just say that if you're on a highway and you have to pee and you even think the ramp might have black ice on it, move very slowly on the exit.)
He hasn't been sleeping well, he's working in a different time zone and in a new environment with a client and possibly meeting potential new customers for his software system that he designed. I know Rick well enough to know that first, he would freak big time. And second, he wouldn't sleep, he'd be so worried. And there was nothing he could do about it.
Fortunately at the movie I ran into a good friend and her husband who said he'd had great experiences at one particular body shop, especially in the paint-matching department. So, it was off to them the first thing in the morning.
Well, as you might expect, they couldn't turn around a repair before Rick got home, but they can do it. It's not cheap. In fact, it was more than three mortgage payments. But my bad, my redemption.
(I discovered that the only thing free was the estimates!)
I made an appointment to return with the car, unfortunately after he was home, and when I picked him up I came clean. (That sounds filled with integrity but basically I had no choice.) And while it was a little bumpy initially, when I talked to him the next day from Canada where I had fled (not really! Long planned!), he was just amazingly wonderful.
I didn't tell him the full estimate but when I did say it was in four figures (after he said, "It should only be about five hundred, right?), he said don't do that. So I didn't. Yet.
When he's ready for it to be fixed, I'm good for it. But we'll look for a better deal or do a little less or whatever it takes. But right now I feel like the luckiest person in the world that he was so forgiving. (Because you see, to me, it looked or at least felt like it was totaled.
Besides, you should have seen the other guy! I'll add my scratches to my collection of dents and pings and soldier on!
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