Thursday, July 03, 2008

should have stayed in bed

Took my kids on a mini-shopping trip to a local thrift store. In search of 4th of July goodies to decorate their bikes. Our 'hood has an annual kids-on-bikes parade. Way more fun than sitting curbside watching high school marching bands.

A little background. Yesterday my daughters and friends had a lemonade stand. Correction: a gatorade stand. They earned $49 thanks to a good marketing scheme (scrolls left on door knobs) and overly generous neighbors. So my daughter KAY stuffed her share into her new wallet. $13 worth of mostly quarters, dimes and nickels.

We entered the store, grabbed a cart, and away we browsed. Only we lost track of the cart. And the wallet went for a walk. We checked with the store manager. Nope. Noone had turned in a wallet. KAY was speechless for the second time in her life (the first time was when she nearly bit the end of her tongue off in a teeter-totter-gone-wild mishap).
She looked so hurt and deflated. I told her to think of it this way: The person who took what was obviously a child's wallet may have been poor and desperate. She may have been at her wit's end, unable to afford (her next crack fix) flip flops or a summer bathing suit for her daughter. So think of that $13 as a gift to some unknowing child.
To her credit and my relief, KAY brightened just a bit.
Then completely forgot about it by the time she filled up her Slurpee cup 15 minutes later.

En route to said Slurpee machine, more excitement. I see a handwritten note has been stuck under my windshield wiper. It's written on a piece of paper torn out from a check writing register and says:

To Whom May Concern:

I bumped into your car.
My name is D---- N-----.
Phone ---- -----
Geico Insurance Policy # ---------

Please call me so we can work this out.

So sorry.

We rush all around the car. We see a big scraping gash and dent along the back bumper and above the rear wheel well. Nothing major. But its not pretty either. Formerly dent free, it now looks like it has a sordid past.

But that note written by D---- ? It restored my faith. I will definately call her with a big thanks for her honesty. I want to reward her with a free pass. But SAM thinks otherwise. He's a man afterall. So annoyingly not prone to magnanimous gestures of gratitude.

Oh, so one more thing. Moments before I started typing this, I heard a loud CRASH. My son was working on a t-shirt sewing project. That crash was the sound of the sewing machine coming loose from its carrying case, arcing into space and flying onto the concrete floors. He SAYS "its just fine." In fact, I now hear him sewing. Ahh. Jangled nerves but false alarm.

But I think I'll go crawl under the covers anyway, just for added measure.
Update: SAM called the honest note writer five days later. She said, "Oh I didn't hear from you so I kind of hoped the wind blew the note away." Yup. Honest.


bluemountainsmary said...

Yes - I would not be buying a lottery ticket right now.

Love the honest dent maker.

Love that your son is on the sewing machine.

Wishing you a very happy Fourth of July.

therapydoc said...

It's like the story about the rabbi and the thief. The thief grabs the rabbi's wallet and runs away. The rabbi shouts, I forgive you, I forgive you! And he means it.

phd in yogurtry said...

mary - haha, yah. nix the lottery tickets! my son likes to look up threadbanger videos on youtube. lots of nifty ideas.

therapydoc - thanks, and yes, I meant it too. you just have to imagine the joy/relief of "finding" $13 plus a shiny new wallet to boot.

Mrs. G. said...

Happy 4th!

Health Psych said...

Nice honesty from the lady who bumped your car. Some people would have just driven off.

Sounds like the type of day you just need to stay under the covers!

Queers United said...

that sure is a lot of money for a gatorade stand

JCK said...

I also love that your son is sewing. And that story you told your daughter...lovely. I can imagine the shock and surprise on her face.

Hope you came out from under the covers later today!

stephanie (bad mom) said...

Wow. I hope maybe you're still in bed...!

But great job you keeping cool with your daughter & the car & your son.

Anonymous said...

These things always happen in threes - so you you should be safe now.

Re the wallet - my son had something very similar happen at the races. He had bet on a horse and won quite a lot of money and then lost/dropped his wallet. I have to say that I was less generous than you and just said that winning money was easy, looking after it was much harder. It was a good lesson for him on being careful with things as he was very seriously disappointed but then he had just won it rather than earnt it so I think the loss was less stressful really.

It was good of the woman to be honest about the car - I read in a paper once recently that 80% of people would jsut drive away if they thought they had not been seen.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I remember the absolute shock in the voice of the man calling me (I'd left the note on his car after I gashed the hell out of the side pulling out of a parking spot. I have no idea how I did it). He truly thought it would be a fake number.

Definitely have her insurance company fix the damage--I didn't even have to pay my deductiblen when they fixed his car--something about it not being a collision.

Sorry about the wallet.

AnnD said...

Awww, I like the personal stories about your kiddos! I can learn how you handle various parenting issues so when I get to them, I am not flying blind.

phd in yogurtry said...

mrs g - thanks and I definately did!

hp - you're right, most people do just drive away, i'm afraid.

queers - way WAY too much. one neighbor gave $5 because "she didn't have change" and then her husb, who came later, gave $10 in order to top his wife. I'd rather my kids didn't think it was so easy to earn a "small fortune"

jck - thanks. my son sewed the tshirt he wore in the 4th July n'hood parade. i'm fixing to load up pics, maybe you'll get a glimpse

stephanie - I was annoyed with myself, too, re: the wallet. It was in MY cart. we both checked out, unfortunately.

jenn - thanks for the advice. Part of my reluctance to call her back is assuming she'll have a minimum of $500 dedt. so I'm hoping you're right. and now also am wondering what my coverage is like in this instance (thankfully haven't had to find out yet)

ann - I hope it comes in handy for ya. But believe me when I say, we're ALL flying blind. Every last one of us!

Your Pal Pinki said...

I left a similar note at the movie theatre 2 Christmases ago when I bumped the bumper on a car. I got a phone call saying thank you for my honesty and they didn't think it was something that needed to be fixed. And Merry Christmas to me!!! I was thrilled!
Have a better weekend!

Alison said...

Sheesh, next time I drive into someones car I'm gonna leave 'em a note.

Definitely the point of this day you want to focus on eh?

Anonymous said...

HEY - when your kid is in that high school band you will like watching them -- or at least have to watch them! ;)