Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Those" People

You know those people who get freaked out by the slightest mark on their shiny, well-kept, expensive cars?
Well, I’m not one of those. My car has a small dent and a few scratches from the massive hailstorm of 2010 (it was parked under a tree, and the branches protected it from the worst of the onslaught), which don’t really bother me, and didn’t at the time.
But I almost became one of those people at the end of 2009. I had decided, after nearly a year of constant saving and scringing, to buy a new car. Well, new-ish. I’d had my 1992-model for close to 2 years and, despite a few “minor” hiccoughs, she’d served me well; getting me places and stuff. 
Sadly though, this car had no air conditioning. While this isn’t too big a deal for most of the Australian year, it is a massive problem when the temperature starts climbing past around 30℃.
My desire for a new car was increased by an order of magnitude when I had good ol’ Beryl checked for roadworthiness and was told that the mechanism holding the front seat in place was very rusted and could slam me into the dash if I were ever involved in a collision. I’ve always known that Inertia hates me (since the first time I fell over on public transport due to unexpected acceleration), and my car had gone psychotic; it was just waiting for the moment when she would snap and kill me in a fit of fury over the fact that I wasn’t checking her water and oil on a regular basis, like I was supposed to.
So I went hunting. I found a car I liked, bought it, and drove it around proudly. It was less than a year old, and I got it for around 3/4 of the price a new one would go for. I was chuffed.
Then. Oh, then. The Office Christmas Party. I rocked up, all dolled up, in my shiny new car. I’d had it a few weeks. I parked. I went inside. I had a nice time. I went home.

The next day, there were scratches and yellow paint on the passenger-side door. You could even see that whoever had been parked next to me had scraped along, realised they were scraping along, and then doubled back. I was kinda livid. This was my new car, that I’d spent nearly a year saving for, and used up all my savings for, and SOME BASTARD HAD SCRATCHED IT and didn’t even leave a note to apologise, let alone take responsibility and offer to pay for the damage. And this was someone I worked with.
As I wasn’t staying on at this workplace, I didn’t bother looking for the culprit. Instead, I kicked into action. I got a buffer. I got cloth. I buffed the absolute crap out of those scratches until I got them looking a bit more reasonable. I got touch-up paint, and I attempted to touch it up with as much delicacy and care as my unco-ordinated fingers are capable. Fortunately, I stopped trying to just before I completely ruined the whole thing, like I usually would (the paint didn’t seep into the cracks and flatten on the surface of the car to make the kind of nice  fix-up job I was dreaming of).
I also stomped my feet a bit, just because it’s what you do when you’re childish and petulant and someone’s scratched your shiny, new car.
And then I gave up and congratulated myself on choosing the silver model, because the scratches aren’t as visible as they would be on any other colour the car came in, and also reminded myself that he hadn’t dented the door or gone all the way through the paint, so there was little chance of any rusting ever happening.
I let it go, because I don’t want to be one of Those People. In fact, I'm so zen about it, that I lost the detail of the guy who rear-ended me a few weeks ago. Not zen enough to not be searching for them though!

1 comment:

  1. I'm pretty much the same about my car. It's got a few nicks and bumps, a few little scrapes in the paintwork, but it's a lovely, loyal car that has never ever failed me. (This one time it died on Monash Freeway, but that was my own fault for forgetting to refuel like a big dummy.) I don't need to wax it every week. My brother - my 19-year-old brother - has a black BMW that he cleans and polishes practically every weekend. I don't get it. It's all about the prestige... but it costs him a fortune to run, and it cost him an even bigger fortune (think multiple thousands) last time he had it serviced. Idiot.