I crushed into my husband’s car. Not intentionally, you’ll be relieved to hear. His car happened to be in my blind spot, a rather large spot, which covered both the driver and passenger’s doors.
What does your conscience and insurance policy tell you to do when you smash somebody’s car? Tell them. I did so, overcoming the temptation to ignore both the law and the good voices in my head. But why was it so hard to come clean? The husband in question was at the time of the big crush nicely tucked into bed for a week-end afternoon nap. And yet this is not the main reason for avoiding to do what’s right. Let’s face it, I didn’t want to tell him because I was furious! Yet again he had parked at a ridiculous angle in the blindest of spots. Me reversing at quite some speed into his car was clearly his fault. This was, as the saying goes, an accident waiting to happen. What about my lovely red little car? Barely two years old and now scratched in the back!
But reason prevailed and I – the perp – kept cool as I delivered the news from the bottom of the stairs to a silent and dark bedroom. Well, maybe not completely cool, although I can justify the raised tone of my voice by the need to reach somebody who was at the time asleep under a few warm covers. How could he have heard me otherwise?
It was only later in the afternoon, when both myself and my husband were out and about dealing with the many activities of modern time middle class children, that I got a call from my husband.
‘Hi,’ he says.
‘Hi,’ I say.
‘You gave me a kissy,’ he says.
‘You gave me a red kissy on one side of my car!’ His tone is gentle and flirty. ‘You’ve got to do it on the other side too,’ he continues. He doesn’t have to fight for floor space because it’s all his. For once I’m speechless.
‘Sorry,’ I manage to say, and although the blind spot argument is slowly surfacing out of my mouth, I manage to send it back to where it belongs: the darkest tunnels of my guilty guts. ‘No, really, I’m so, so sorry.’ I’m grovelling.
‘Come on, it’s just a car. At least you didn’t run over the little one, or the cat.’ He’s got a point. But still.
And then it hit me. This is why some people are better than others: they don’t rip you to pieces for waking them up in the afternoon accusing them of parking recklessly and being responsible for having their car smashed….
I can’t think of a good book that celebrates innate niceness, but I’m sure there are a few wonderfully written ones. If you can think of any, I’d love to hear from you. I really should buy a couple for Christmas as an apology to somebody…
A humbled car smashing ofglassandbooks