It was the day before Thanksgiving and I was stuck at the office.
Hours after everyone else had gone home, I braved the cold towards the parking garage, hopped in my new Honda Civic and threw it into drive. As I made my way to the grocery store, I gave thanks for great friends willing to open their home to us the following day.
I was stopping quick for booze. Since Kristin and Mark were providing the food the least I could do was bring the spirits. And after the week I’d had, only the hard stuff would do.
I grabbed my phone to call Dave. The night before we’d had the same, tired argument. The one about me not knowing the difference between five minutes and three hours and him not being my father.
“If I’m not here when you get home it’s safe to assume I’m working late” I chastised him. “You don’t need to worry and you don’t need to check up on me. I’m fine.”
I changed my mind and disconnected the call heading into the store. On the way out I nearly busted my backside on a fresh patch of snow. Surprised by how much had fallen in so little time, I started for home. I didn’t get far before realizing my headlights were covered and I couldn’t see the road. I pulled over and hopped out to brush them off.
Now, I don’t know much about cars but I know they don’t drive themselves so I was more than a little surprised when the Honda lurched forward. Standing in front of the driver’s side I instinctively put my arms out in a vain attempt to stop the car from careening back onto the road.
Just then, a nice woman drove by slowing for the red light. My car was inching forward and soon I was pinned between the two. As I stood pressed against my driver’s side door looking into this woman’s windshield I tried frantically to get her attention. But she was oblivious to my precarious situation.
The light changed. Her car jerked forward and I rolled down the entire side of my car. Just before my face hit cold, wet pavement I crawled around the back end, up the passenger side and grabbed the door handle. The car coasted towards the light as I maneuvered the gear shift from neutral into park.
Standing there in holiday traffic, on the wrong side of my car I suppose I deserved the honks and obscene gestures being served up. I walked around and got back into the car.
Soaked and sore I drove home.
In the garage, a loud *pop* interrupted my thoughts. Apparently, the ass-shaped dent in the driver’s door had worked itself out. The rest of the quarter panel wasn’t so lucky.
I climbed the stairs, passed the living room and set the paper bag on the kitchen counter. Dave was on the couch watching TV. I was over two hours late and he didn’t even bother to ask me why. Men.
We made it to dinner the following day; enjoyed good food and great company. The car got fixed and my bruises healed. My ego, however, is still on the mend.
This happened 10 years ago today. I’m lucky my stupidity didn’t get me killed. I still work later than I plan and Dave still worries about me.
And for that I’m thankful.