Two weekends ago, I went out for lunch with my good friend Grace. Though I have now been driving regularly for a little over a year, this was the first time I had driven a car while she was a passenger. On the drive between her house and the restaurant, she congratulated me on my completely normal and not terror-inducing driving.
So after lunch, as I pulled out of my parking space, I hit someone else’s car.
I knew I was cutting it close due to my desire to not be hit by someone coming around the corner of the L-shaped parking lot. But when the crunch happened, Grace said “I thought you had clearance!” and she swore later that she wasn’t just saying that to be nice, so I don’t think it was some crazed parking lot rampage on my part.
Obviously given the low speed circumstances, I did not do much damage. The cover on the turn signal light on my car shattered and made some jaggedy bits that scraped up the other car’s bumper. The other car being a nice looking late model SUV.
I did what any reasonable person would do. I left a note and went shopping with Grace at Goodwill a couple of blocks away.
After a little while, the owner of said vehicle called me and politely offered to drive over and meet me at Goodwill. He seemed quite stunned that I had bothered to leave a note, so much so that he offered to do some comparison shopping for the part I scraped and call me in a couple of days. He even offered to meet me in the middle on the cost since it was an accident. I walked away feeling like if I was going to hit anyone’s car, this was the guy to pick, since he was being about 1000 times nicer about it than I had any right to expect given that I’d just added an item to his to-do list.
He called me the next day to give me the dealership price, and I was elated to hear $75 and not $300 plus. (Methinks I am lucky that the bumper on that car is in three separate parts, and I damaged a little one.) But this guy still wanted to look online and see if he could find a better price! So he told me he would call me back soon with an update.
He called at some point during my lovely Chicago ER visit with No Appropriate Behavior, so I didn’t get a chance to call him back until tonight. He told me that he hadn’t found more than a $5 price difference in the part online, and with shipping it seemed to make more sense to just meet at the dealership and I could buy him the part. Turns out he works on cars, so he’s just going to replace it himself. Hurray for that.
Until we start talking about where the dealership is.
“That will be convenient for you too, since you live up here,” he says.
“Actually I don’t,” I say, “We live in South Austin, but my grandparents live up there so we’ll just go by and see them while we’re out.”
“I thought you lived off of [insert name of old street here.]”
Um, excuse me? How does this guy know my old street?
“Maybe I didn’t update my driver’s license?” I say, “That’s where I used to live…”
(Please notice how I am attempting to salvage a socially awkward situation by TOTALLY LYING, since I know damn well I updated the driver’s license a week after we moved into this house two and a half years ago.)
“Yeah,” he says, “I thought that’s what I read off your driver’s license.”
This is not the first time that a person with no sense has tipped his hand to me, revealing that he is a SNOOPY McSNOOPERSON. My neighbor across the street, whom I despise for his passive aggressive yard maintenance issues, called me by my first name one day. Do I go by my first name? No. Would I have ever introduced myself to him by my first name? No. So we know that he has been in the tax records to see who bought the house, and then couldn’t keep straight where he had heard what. Oops!
Given that I had been answering the guy’s calls and warned him I was going to Chicago, why did he start digging around for my address? More disturbingly, where did he get my 2+ year old address? I just Googled myself, it does not come up.
When C-Man was informed, he was all “So I’m obviously going with you.” I don’t know what the guy is going to do to me at an open car dealership on a bright Austin morning, but yes, thanks, I would now prefer a group outing.