Our normally filth-encrusted SUV happened to have just been cleaned. The shiny black car glistened in the morning spring sun while I spent an hour running some errands in a Chicago neighborhood not far from where I live.
After finishing up my tasks, I returned to find two long white scratches all along the driver’s side of the car. First I assumed it was intentional. My optimistic tendencies took over to consider that maybe someone riding a bike or driving by accidentally scratched the car as they passed. Disappointed, I got in my car and headed home.
Arrival in my garage confirmed this was no accident. I inspected the rest of the car to find that whoever didn’t like my car that day dug a solid scratch around nearly the entire car. All along the driver’s side, across the hood, and back down the passenger side, this person had some serious guts to take the time to damage the car at 9 am in broad daylight near a rather busy intersection in Chicago.
Several people asked if someone was mad at me. Was I teacher? Failing students express anger at teachers this time of year as final grades are issued. Given the location and that I was in a neighborhood I don’t often visit, this incident couldn’t have been more than random or, at the very worst, an attack on the car.
It would be scary to think that it might have been a personal attack, but I just can’t fathom that being realistic given the circumstances of the event. I’d also like to think I don’t have any enemies like that, but I guess I can’t be sure.
I spent the next several hours dealings with the nuisances this stranger created for me. A call with our insurance company to file the claim, a call with the police department to file a police report and then a trip to the auto body shop for an estimate of the damage and time it would take to repair. The repair shop informed me the “heavy” damage would take over two weeks and cost nearly $3,300 to fix! That’s crazy the damage some jerk did in just a few minutes with a key, a little elbow grease to really dig into the paint, and a seriously bad attitude.
While I accomplished these things, I couldn’t help but wonder who did this and why. It’s a rhetorical question obviously, the answer to which only this stranger knows. But still. Was it jealousy of the car? Boredom on a nice spring day? Was I parked in someone’s unofficial street parking spot? Rest assured, I won’t ever park in that same exact spot again.
I could speculate until I’m blue in the face, but that gets me nowhere. I did know, though, that despite the circumstances and the annoyance of dealing with insurance and car repairs, I was likely better off than the vandal. Thankfully, I could afford the deductible on my insurance. If this person was so unhappy that harming another person’s property made them feel better, I know I’m in a better place than them. I’m happier and more fulfilled in life than this person was, presumably, or they wouldn’t have even thought to do this to my car. Can you imagine walking down a street and thinking to key someone’s car even crossing your mind?! I mean, really, who does that?!
I am also grateful that it didn’t happen while I was in the car. I arrived at my destination early and sat in my car for about 20 minutes before heading in to the store. While my presence might have prevented it, I also could have become victim to this criminal’s energies. I’m glad I did not find out which alternative he or she chose.
This incident proved to remind me how lucky I am. I have financial means to fix the problem without undue stress. I have enough love, fulfillment and happiness in my life to leave no space to even contemplate, let alone commit, empty and misguided hateful crimes. Maybe this person had those things, but I’m guessing they are wanting for something. Happy, satisfied people with full hearts don’t do things like this.
All in all, the experience was less than ideal to say the least. However, it’s just a car. It will be fixed, and no one was hurt. It reminds me that for our family, things aren’t so bad at all. In fact, I’d probably argue they’re pretty great. I consider myself lucky!