Monday, September 10, 2007

Christians, Start Your Engines

It's a good thing that we've been feeling the love around here this weekend, because we had a little incident at church yesterday. More like a little accident. In the parking lot.

Everyone is fine -- we weren't even at the car when it happened -- and I know the whole episode is destined to become a vague memory of aggravation, but that doesn't help the poor crumpled hood of our van today.

After Mass, I went down to the church hall to sign The Boy up for "church school" (sort of like a Sunday school kind of thing), and when I came out, I saw Rob talking to a woman, gesturing at the front of the van, and writing in our little insurance portfolio. Now that's an ill wind that blows no good, my friends.

Here's the rundown (ha!): The woman parked in front of us had done a "pull-through" to the next space when she parked. We pulled in behind her and, in a funny turn of events, were sitting directly behind her at Mass. Since we are encumbered by three dawdling children, a pregnant woman, and seventeen-odd bags when we go to church, we are usually the stragglers out to the parking lot. We have been known to serve as impromptu greeters to the attendees at the next Mass, that's how slowly we move. One the flip side, we usually miss the Grand Prix race that is the church parking lot after Mass. We don't have to jockey for position or make an illegal turn out of the entrance. It's much more calm by the time we arrive on the scene.

Except for yesterday morning. Apparently, the woman threw her Jeep Liberty into Reverse instead of Drive, and the rest was history. And as is usually the case, her car shows little to no damage, but ours looks pretty sorry for ever having parked there. I can understand the mistake at the gearshift, honestly; we've all made bonehead mistakes in the car (admit it!). The thing that gets me is that it seems like she was trying to get out of there like a bat out of Gehenna, because she didn't just roll backward and bump our car. She stepped on it. Plus, she didn't want her husband to find out because she had just run into their garage. Well, let's just say that horse has left the barn, my friends, since we told her we would be going through the insurance companies for this.

The silver lining in all of this is that, having just come from Mass, Rob and I were more inclined toward a calm and forgiving attitude than maybe we would have been at another time. The information exchange seemed to be fairly amicable, at least from what I could see. Besides, I'm pretty sure it's considered poor form to be irate at a fellow parishioner in the parking lot right after you've just received the Body of Christ. There was a lot of deep breathing, but not as much stewing. At least not on my part, which is how I know that grace of God is working in me. I'm a natural born stewer. Rob, however, averts his eyes whenever he goes out to the garage because he says that looking at the van bums him out.

Let's look on the bright side: maybe we'll get a hot little sporty rental car when the van is away getting a face lift. Think of how much hotter it will look with two booster seats, a car seat, and a pregnant woman with inch-long gray roots driving it. Yowsa!


  1. Sorry for your accident - but, good story!

  2. glad that no one was hurt, but sorry bout the van. i've been there, myself.

  3. Anonymous12:33 PM

    you are like the fifth person i know who has been recently involved in an accident of some sort...very scary...glad to hear no one was hurt, but the aggravation is definitely an addition to your already stressed life...i hope repairs/insurance part goes quickly, smoothly so it will indeed be a vague memory sooner rather than later. love, diana l.

  4. I'm glad no one was hurt!
    Was it a Catholic church? I really think it's us Catholics. They get us on Sunday at church and now they get me dropping off the Older Boy at school. I'm scared to pick him up today. Someone cut me off this morning in the drop off lane, almost hit Older Boy, then pealed out going the wrong way. Maybe we're bad drivers because we're in a hurry to get to heaven.
    Hope you get a cool rental!

  5. So sad... an Odyssey should never have ugly crumples like that.

    I too find it completely amazing to watch people that just received Jesus into their bodies act like complete loonies trying to get out of the parking lot as fast as possible. The worst though was the escape from the parking lot at the old ICBVM during its final years. That is, if you were lucky enough to find a space to park in that lot in the first place!

  6. Anonymous2:06 PM

    Oh noooo! The Hodyssey! My poor Hodyssey is crumpled! Yeah, that part bums me out too, Rob. But again and of course, glad it was a fender bender at church and not something much more worrisome, like you know, if you've ever driven on Rts. 78 or 22....or 100, for that matter. Keep safe, and T's right, don't you remember trying to get out of old ICBVM? Craziness!

  7. Geez, just the two words "Route 22" is enough of a reminder to make everyone want to be sure they're "right with the Lord" before they get on that thing. It's been almost 40 years since I lived in the Lehigh Valley and it still gives me the shivers every time I visit. They're STILL "working" on the **** thing. [though personally, I think they just move the orange cones around.]

    Perhaps some "enterprising?" Catholic priest could set up a confessional near one of the entrance ramps in winter - he'd clean up.


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