I like to think of myself as an optimist. Generally speaking, I hope for the best, believe people can change, assume that the next day will be better than the one before. I have trouble admitting to myself or anyone else that I’ve actually had anything along the lines of a “bad day”.
Wednesday was a bad day.
There are a lot of elements to it, most of which I probably shouldn’t put out on the Internet for public consumption. Before the day was done I think I cried approximately 9 times, which even for me is a record. Granted, I tend to be weepier these days than usual, but even so…
Let me tell you the thing that sent it over the edge. The part that sends my day into the status of urban legends. The event that finally caused me to give and admit that indeed, my day was going rather poorly.
I needed to run a few work-related errands, so I drove my car – Lauren, a 2002 silver Mercury Mountaineer – to the student union building. I went upstairs to check my mail, of course got distracted, and ended up going over to the theater with fellow RLC Scott so we could check out a space we wanted to use for PA training. As we were wrapping up, I got a call from the Res Life office, which I ignored, thinking I’d be back over there in a minute or so. Then Scott got a call, which he ignored. Then the theater director got a call, which was unrelated. Then new RLC Jenn came running up the stairs, a little out of breath, and said:
“Paula, I’m so sorry, but someone just hit your car.”
My cry count was already at 8; an unpleasant conversation with my boss, less than stellar news about my best friend’s new baby girl, and now someone had taken it upon themselves to run into my parked car. Awesome.
I jogged over to where I’d left my car parallel parked on the side of the road. I immediately saw that the bumper on the back left side was not where it needed to be. Ok, breath deep, not that big a deal. Whoops, it’s shoved up into the tailgate. Fine, fine, it can be fixed. Oh, what’s this? The back left tire, one of four tires that I had purchased not even two weeks ago, had come apart from the wheel, which may have also been scratched when it had been shoved on top of the curb. And…yup, that’s definitely a broken axel.
So a guy had been pulling out of the bookstore parking lot, had looked both ways, and had pulled out, hitting another car, which in turn hit me. Luckily both of the guys had stopped, and one of my coworkers in the row of office windows overlooking the parking lot had recognized my car as the victim and had come to find me. And the guy pulling out of the parking lot kept claiming responsibility, which made me feel bad for him. He’s newly married, from Texas, his wife just starting grad school, very polite.
But at the same time, I spent the better part of 4 hours trying to get the whole thing sorted out. Called my insurance company, talked to our security officer, waited about an hour on SPD to show up and take a report, and managed to secure a rental car before they closed at 7pm. In case you were wondering, I’m not driving a lovely Kia Sorento (read: not a PT Cruiser, like every other rental I’ve ever driven).
So Wednesday was rotten.
But as is my tradition, I found myself looking for the bright spots:
- Those guys could both have easily driven off and left my car for dead…but they didn’t.
- Turns out my insurance company is uber-helpful in the event of an accident, although I’m not sure how they would react if the accident was my fault.
- In the midst of all this chaos, I was able to call my fiance, who was here as soon as he could be, and who generally made me feel a whole lot better about everything.
- I’m not driving a PT Cruiser.
So I decided that I get to claim Wednesday as a bad day, but at the same time, it could have been a whole lot worse. I could have been in my car when it was hit. I could have been driving and been found at fault. I could have still had Arkansas insurance, which would have made the whole thing a lot more complicated. I could have gone through all of that and had no one to call and cry to. I could have ended up with a PT Cruiser.