To the person who hit my wife’s car:
I must admit that we almost missed the damage. Oh, you stinker! Yup, you got us, you surprised us. It took a day or two for us to see where you sideswiped the rear passenger side of our car and drove away without exchanging insurance information, without a note, without a wave. Yes, most importantly, without taking responsibility.
We were enjoying a quiet Saturday morning when we noticed an 18-inch long, black stripe on our car. From a distance, I thought it was just a smudge, but oh no, it’s significant paint and scraping damage. First, let me just say, I’m glad we weren’t in the car and no one was hurt.
If you don’t mind, I have a few simple questions: When did it happen? Thanks to the narrow streets and numbers of people, we hear this happens more often in the Big City than the suburbs. Our car though was parked in our driveway. We think it happened when my wife went to the grocery store, but the joke is on us, we really don’t know the actual date or time.
We have other questions too:
- Did you not see the car?
- Were you distracted?
- Were you on your phone, texting?
- Did you pull out too quickly?
Inquiring minds want to know
You can tell us the truth. My wife thinks I’m silly for even asking, but I’m most interested in knowing what you’re thinking now. Do you feel remorse? Do you think about us when you pass another car that’s got a dent in the rear? Do you regret running away?
Yea, I know I’m full of questions. I’m a quizzical sort. I like to get to the bottom of things, like the who, what, when, where, how, and why of a problem.
When mistakes happen
You must not feel anything? If you did care about someone other than yourself, I got to think you would have stopped. You would have taken responsibility. You would have written down your insurance information and left it for us, possibly under our windshield wiper. It’s one of the first rules of driving: if you cause any damage to someone’s vehicle or property, no matter how minor, you should stop. I know that admitting your mistakes can be hard. I’ve made my share, but you don’t turn your back. You don’t run away, you don’t hit & run. You admit when you’ve wronged someone. You say you’re sorry and you try to fix it.
Time to pay the bill
We have to talk with the repair shop, but it’s a safe guess that the repair costs will run from $500 to $1,200. It’s not the nicest car, it’s not the worst, but my wife loves it. I suspect it will not make a lot of financial sense to file an insurance claim, so the expense will come out of our pocket. We’ve saved for emergencies like this, but it’s still annoying.
I’m most frustrated by the sour taste in my mouth. I don’t like that the cynical part of my soul keeps asking questions, such as:
- “The guy in the parking lot, in the black SUV, keeps looking this way — do you think he could be the one who hit the car?”
- “I don’t have a good feeling about the way that car is parked, let’s keep driving until we find another parking spot.”
- “Do you think we could ask the grocery store for their recording of the parking lot?”
Mirror, mirror on the wall
Oh, I’m bummed, but I know that in time I’ll move-on and even forgive. I’ll forget that the damage happened and I’ll eventually forget about you. There’s a big difference though that separates the two of us: I can look in the mirror and feel good about myself. Can you do the same?
Thanks for your time. It’s been nice, but let’s not do this again! So long!