I got what I deserved

Mirror… Signal… Manoeuvre…  BANG! ….. Shit!

That was last Wednesday night as I was pulling out of a parking space in a supermarket.

I didn’t check my blind spot and I reversed into a parked car behind me.

What do I do? The owner of the car wasn’t there? What would you do?

This is the first time I’ve ever had an incident in the car. In a corner of my brain a little figure who has been sitting in the shadows for the 14 years I’ve been driving, suddenly cleared her throat, stepped out into the spotlight and said loudly “I’ll take control of this – you have two choices”

Ladies & gentleman, here for one night only (hopefully!) my driving conscience…

“Choice A, you can drive away. Say nothing, do nothing. Drive away and go home. Eyes forward, slam it into first and drive off. Don’t look back

“Choice B, you can park up, wait for the owner, apologise, swap details and do the whole Insurance thing”

My driving conscience is very efficient. It processed all this information for me in the blink of an eye, the beat of a heart, the click of a finger…. then said

“Well?, make a decision please. NOW!”

I put my car into first gear and drove…..

THIS IS THE PART WHERE I GET WHAT I DESERVE


I drove around to the space next to the car I’d just hit, parked and got out.

The lady who owned the car was now casually walking back from putting her trolley away. When she saw me standing by her car, her casual walk quickened to a purposeful one. As she approached I said

“I’m so sorry I’ve just reversed into your car”

“Pardon” she said

“I’m so sorry, I’ve just reversed into your car

She looked at me, looked at her broken bumper, looked at me

“Never mind” She said “Don’t worry, nobody is hurt, and these things happen”

It was at this point, I realised that this lady’s behaviour was mirroring my own. I’d got exactly what I deserved. I’d got a pleasant and very understanding individual.

I was calm, and accepting of the fact that I couldn’t change what had just happened. I could however choose how I dealt with it. I wasn’t angry at myself, I wasn’t upset, I wasn’t frustrated. I was calm and rational, and so was the lady I was talking to. The situation had been mollified by both our reactions. Of all the cars in all the car park, I’d reversed into the right one!

Despite feeling a little bit foolish, my pride was still intact, because I’d done the right thing. And because I’d done the right thing, most importantly, my integrity was still intact. Still whole, untarnished and unblemished.

The lady was actually thanking me for not driving away. Although my driving conscience had presented me with that choice, I’d dismissed it instantly. I did the right thing, and I’m proud of myself that I did.

Despite having my first claim, having to get the damage to my car repaired too, and having to pay a hefty excess in the process, I’m happy it happened. It taught me that like attracts like. It reminded me that there are consequences to choices we make, it reassured me that my instinctive reaction and behaviour is well-balanced and most importantly… it taught me to always check my blind spot!

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. aquatom1968
    Jan 29, 2011 @ 08:36:33

    Oh no! At least everything worked out fine!
    Great post!

    Reply

  2. Michael
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 01:07:46

    Doing the right thing can be easy or hard. I am also glad that everything worked out. Even on my bad days, I know that God takes care of me. And that makes all the difference…

    Reply

  3. Steve Walters
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 01:53:12

    Well done to the Bethan’age!!

    Actually, whilst driving Joseph to nursery, he said today (as he often does)… ‘Look Daddy it’s Bethan’s car.’

    Aughhh, little does he know Bethan’s car’s had a bang. I must tell him, he’ll be very concerned.

    Reply

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