i am a good driver. i swear. i even have good driver status with my insurance company. but this last 4 months or so has really been a doozie for my fender-bender record. i mean they're fender benders, right? mmmmhmmmm... about $2000 worth of fender bender damage, $1600 of it - NOT MY FAULT. did i make that clear? just checking...
the three "not my faults" happened within 10 days of each other, somewhere in mid-june, also mid-grad school finals. those sucked with a capital S. i paid my dues (in graduation money), got over it and moved on with my life. now let's get something straight, i've spent the majority of the summer in other cities either not driving or driving other people's cars, so i'm not new to this whole, "it's not my car" thing. but yesterday, oh yesterday - thank God you're done with.
a little context. i'm staying in bakersfield (better known as "the armit of california") hanging out with my younger cousins while their parents are out of town. i'm also driving my aunt's way-bigger-than-mine car. there. context.
i'm in the pick up line at the kids' school yesterday, get all 3 kids and a 90lb chocolate lab in the car and get ready to go. i put the beast in reverse just in time to "not see" the lady who was behind me. as in the title, i've come to expect it... i realize i've tapped her car and proceed to pull forward and get out to deal with the situation, it's so not the first time this has happened. assuming the christian school mom would be able to handle it was my first mistake. here's a brief synopsis of the dialogue - we'll call her "loca" for now.
me: "ma'am, i'm so sorry i hit your car." (yes, i said ma'am, i was raised properly)
loca: "you did damage to my car. i can't believe this... i just can't believe this. i have so much stress in my life and you just did damage to my car."
me: "like i said, i'm sorry. i promise i'll take care of the damages, whatever they are" (likely a paint scratch, maybe a pinky sized push out of a dent, but you'd think i'd taken the life of her firstborn).
loca: "how did you not see me? i know that car has a camera, my daughter has one."
me: "the camera's broken. can't tell you why. it's not my car. again, i'm sorry."
loca: "how do i know you're going to take care of this? do you even have insurance on this car?"
me: "yes ma'am, we have insurance. like i said, this is not my car, it's my aunt's. i'm watching her kids while she's out of town, but yes we have insurance and trust me when i say i'll take care of it. i'll pay it out of pocket."
loca: "oh great, and you're not even from here? now there's a kid driving and doing damage to my car in the parking lot?!?! where's that paper? i need your aunt's name and phone number, right now. you know what, i need you to call her while i'm standing here and tell her what you did. i need to know this is going to get taken care of."
(at this point, my 14 year old, half boy/half man (ban) cousin sees her psychoticness, gets out of the car and comes to my rescue)
me: "i'm sorry, but i'm not a kid. i'm 28 years old and i promise you i'll take care of this. my aunt will not answer her phone because she's out of town, but if it makes you happy, i'll call her."
(call my aunt, like i said, she doesn't answer the phone. she's in vegas. who answers their phone in vegas?!?!)
me: "she's not answering, but feel free to call her and leave her a message if it makes you feel better. but i'm responsible and i promise i'll take care of it."
loca: "how do i know you're responsible?"
me: (growing more impatient) "i'm pretty sure they wouldn't have trusted me with their 3 kids if i wasn't responsible."
loca: "oh don't get smart with me. do i need to call the police"
(was i getting smart? i think not... and the police have much better things to do with their time)
me: "i don't think that's necessary for a scratch. it will probably take about an hour to file a report and neither of us have that much time to kill."
loca: "whatever. you better take care of this."
me: "don't worry. i promise i will. just call my cell phone when you get a few estimates and i'll write you a check."
loca: "you didn't even ask me my name."
me: "would you like me to put your contact info in my phone?"
loca: "whatever." and gets in her car.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? my cousin looks at me and says, "she was crazy. what the heck was her deal?"
we get in the car and proceed with our not-so-perfect afternoon (more for another blog) and i gladly said goodbye to yesterday. but the story continued this morning. on the way to bring the kids to school - in my car of course - i get a phone call from a number i don't recognize. i don't answer because that's how i roll if i don't know who you are. no message. i decide i should probably call back. so i call. again, here's the interaction -way more brief this time.
me: "hi, this is breanne returning your call."
loca: "oh hey sweetie (um, yes, she inserted sweetie right here) it's already been taken care of."
me: "excuse me? i'm happy to pay for it, it's my fault."
loca: "no, i talked to your aunt already and she and i are going to work it out. i mean, i know how it is driving an unfamiliar car with a bunch of kids and the parking lot at the school can be really confusing and hard to maneuver. i totally understand." (can we say bipolar?!!?)
me: "no honestly, i want to pay for it. it's totally my fault."
loca: "well why don't you work that out with your aunt when she gets home. is that okay honey?" (WHAT?!?! now i'm honey?)
me: "um, sure. i guess."
loca: "okay, have a nice day."
me: "you too, bye"
and that was that. and i still didn't catch her name. so the nameless bipolar loca and i are apparently now b.f.f. and so goes my life. the drama? the fender benders? i've come to expect it.