“I feel so stupid!” How often have we said these words after we have done something on impulse or carelessly? I couldn’t count the times. But most of these moments end up being funny stories after we have time to think them over.
Several years ago, I was enjoying a warm, spring day and decided to go through my favorite car wash. I pulled in and a smile appeared on my face as I anticipated the rainbow of colors that would appear in the wash cycle. It was my favorite part and I often opened the screen on the sunroof so I could see it land on the sunroof window. As I reached up to open the screen, I realized that my coat tail was stuck in the door of the van. Not wanting my dress coat to get wet or dirty, I glanced to the right to see where the sprayer arm was and waited for it to move past the back door. Then I opened the door with my left hand and grabbed my coat with my right hand just as the door was yanked open and pulled from my hand. I hadn’t realized that there were two spray arms, and yes, the water was still running.
I pulled and tugged and screamed as water sprayed over me, but couldn’t get the door to close. I looked frantically for a kill switch and wondered how I would get past the sprayers to reach it. The struggle and water seemed to go on forever, but then I heard an alarm and the doors of the car wash opened and the water slowed down. I didn’t wait. As soon as the door was open enough, I put the van in drive and booked it out of the car wash, not stopping until I was around the corner. I tried to shut my door several times, but it wouldn’t close completely. The car wash arm had bent the door.
Now I have a delima. Not only is the inside of the car wet (not to mention that I look like a wet dog), but the door won’t close and it is 35 degrees outside. There is no way I can fake this or act like it didn’t happen. Time for the walk of shame. I pick up my cell phone and call Gene. This is going to be humiliating. When he picks up, I say, “Um, I have a problem.” To his credit, he didn’t laugh out loud, he simply said he would call the dealer and get back to me. The dealer said to come right over and they would take a look.
Gene met me at the dealership and my walk of shame continued. The service manager is trying not to laugh as a young mechanic comes over, looks at the door, looks at me, looks inside the van and says, “What happened???” I explained that I had opened the door in the car wash and it had grabbed the door and snatched it out of my hand. Everyone is staring at the van door and trying not to look at me or ask why. Fortunately, car doors are more pliable than you would imagine and they were able to straighten it by hand enough for me to schedule an appointment for a more permanent repair and leave.
I told my kids about my adventure at dinner and we all laughed about it. I always felt it was important to let my kids know that even adults make mistakes (not that that took much effort at my house!). It took about a week for me to tell my parents about what happened and from that time on, they called me from inside the car wash whenever they were there. I always laughed. So now, whenever one of my kids calls and says, “I feel so stupid,” I reply, “But have you ever opened your door in a car wash? I win!”
We’re all feeling the effects of Covid 19 in some way, and one of the ways I deal with stress is to find humor where I can. So I will be posting some stories about some of my antics (and there have been many, so I doubt I will run out of material!). Feel free to share your “I feel so stupid” moment. We all need some laughs.