Saturday, November 12, 2011
The Stop Sign Incident: Body Shop Version
The stop sign incident is now fully in my rear view mirror (love that car humor), but some of the life lessons I've learned are still fresh.
Thankfully, after a trip to the body shop, my "new" van looks as good as before and the physical evidence is no longer. I'll admit I'm so happy to have it perfect again. For a few weeks, it was almost like my hood was laughing at me. I might have even closed my eyes each time I walked in front of the car. Call it avoidance, but I think of it more as protecting my damaged heart.
The office staff at the Jr. High says that while the "incident" will always be a part of school lore, they hope it doesn't stop me from bringing my famous chocolate chip cookies to spoil them. I think I might have told the secretary that calling me the 'stop sign lady' might take her off my Christmas Camels list. Not that I'm petty.
I will say that the grace and kindness I've received from my husband has been a real blessing. Not once did my insurance agent husband raise his voice or call me on the carpet for such a "dumb act" of driving. Even when I told him the final estimate price, his response was "it's just an accident, no harm" and he was willing to give me his car for the three days I was "carless.' Of course, he did get to drive around in a Honda Accord Coupe in pristine condition thanks to a kind coworker. I think he only put about 15 miles on it, but he loved every minute of his return to youth. He used to drive a Acura Integra before kids and I think there are days he really misses the sport car life.
I was also humbled by how kind and honest the Body Shop workers were, Not once did they laugh at "how" I ended up in their shop. They not only gave me assurance that my car would look good again, they said I was fine to drive it for a few weeks until I could fit the repair into my schedule. Their price was nearly 100 dollars less than the competition and that was before I told them they had come highly recommended from our old body shop friend who had retired.
Driving away with my van last week, I was shocked that the car smelled like a new car again; the seats and floor had been vacuumed and they had left me with a box of Russell Stovers Chocolates as a thank you. While I hope I won't be needing their services anytime in the future (please God), it's nice to see such honest hard workers who go above and beyond.
I'm chalking this whole experience up as a learning lesson in grace, patience, kindness of strangers, and the need for stop signs to be permanently placed in curbs and sidewalks. They just don't belong in the middle of the road.
I'm just saying.