When you first realize your car isn’t where you left it, several thoughts run through your head. You stare at the space where your car was, as if willing it to reappear. You look up and down the street, just looking for it. Maybe the thief changed their mind and left your car? You think to yourself, “Am I sure I parked here?” You’re generally sure. You’ll think, “Why my car? Why me? Just why?”
And then this is usually where panic sets in. You’ll pace, you’ll scream and cry, you’ll hit something. You may call someone. It may be the cops. It may be your mother. You’ll angrily post a Facebook status. You’ll tweet about how heartbroken you are without your beloved.
Panic never set in for me yesterday morning. I never thought, “why me?” I stood out on the sidewalk, called the police, then went back inside and sat in my window, waiting for them to show up. In the meantime, I called M2. She advised me to go ahead and call the insurance company. Maybe, just maybe, I have full coverage. So I called, and they said an adjuster would call me in 1-2 business days. The cop showed up, I explained what happened, and he said he’d drive by the impound lot. I asked why, and he said it was just standard procedure.
Where did this calm come from? This was my car! This was the car I had just renewed the registration for, the car I had bought a new battery for, the car I keep pouring money into year after year to keep alive. In the trunk was a baseball bat I loved that I’ve had since I was 9. I also had games I was selling, and had finally found a buyer for some of them. I had a brand new cd in the player. All of that was simply gone, and I just sat there, waiting.
It was never an issue of whether or not my car would be found. I knew that it would. When I thought, “why my car?”, it was more because of what my car looks like. My car is the very definition of descriptive. A 1997 Honda Accord, it could easily be lost in the sea of Honda Accords if it weren’t for the very large dents in both rear doors, the stickers that frame the rearview window, and the license plate cover that says, “A Leaf In The Wind”. It was also very much on an empty tank. This thief had to be an idiot. That was the only explanation for why my car was chosen.
The cop came back from the impound lot. “I tried to call you. Didn’t you get the message?” I shook my head no, and he proceeded. “It’s at the impound on Falls Road.” I thanked the officer, then called. They told me it would be $272 to get my car out. I had been parked in a “No Parking from 4pm-6pm” area at 5pm. There was no thief, just me and my skim reading that has gotten me in trouble time and again. This time though, it had gone too far.
Now I had to let everyone know what had happened, that my car was okay. This was my fault. Shouldn’t I at least be angry at myself? In the weird calm that occurred when I first discovered my car was missing, it followed me for the rest of the day, and even over to when I picked my car up the next morning. I was a little perturbed that the towing company hadn’t informed me of the impounding. I had wasted both my insurance company and the police’s time. If I had gotten upset, I would’ve wasted all that emotion and energy into a situation that was perfectly fine.
Maybe that was why I had waited. Maybe that was why I had stayed calm. Out there somewhere had been the belief that everything would turn out fine. As a coworker of mine had said about a completely different situation, “You’ll be fine. You always seem to find a way.” She is right. Somehow, I do always seem to be fine. I would do well to remember that the next time I feel my anger levels begin to rise.
Everything is going to be okay.