My tale of woe.
Here is the tale of my first day at college or maybe I should call it “The day I destroyed my dad’s brand new Pontiac LeMans.” First, let me assure you that no one was hurt during this event (even after my Dad received the news). However, for a few years that did not diminish my dismay at what had occurred until one day I just started laughing because it was too hard to not laugh when thinking back on it.
And so begins the adventure.
It was a gloomy, dismal, rainy day for my first day of college. The only class I had that day was an 8:00 AM Spanish class. So high was my level of excitement that I was loathe to drive my very own 1966 convertible Ford falcon that my parents had given me for graduation. No, I had to drive my Dad’s brand spanking new 1969 Pontiac LeMans. Those were the days when fifty cents could buy you a gallon or so of gas – enough to drive to school and back. Proudly I started the car and began my journey.
Now, I always blamed the events I am about to describe to you on the fact that it was raining, my Falcon was a stick shift, and the LeMans was not only an automatic but had (ta da!) power steering. To me it was like going from a horse and buggy to a Ferrari! As I approached my exit on the beltway the problems began. You know the reflectors that used to be mounted on the curb to help you avoid running off the road? Well, I took out all of them as the car ran up on the curb before I could maneuver it back on to the road. Still, not to be deterred from my first class, I continued on to the campus. The only parking space I could find was between a pickup truck and an old station wagon with the big fins – something like this.
Just when I thought it could not get any worse – it did!
When I tried to pull into a parking space very slowly, I could not believe my eyes or my ears when the front left fender of the LeMans started going into the passenger door of the station wagon. Help me! My lightening reflexes told me to quick, back out the same way I came in but no – it seemed I was somehow wedged into the precarious position. Backing out only made matters worse and the damage to my Dad’s car was compounded. Mind you, the station wagon was build like a tank and would not budge (except for the crumbled door). The LeMans was scraped up on one side from the reflectors and now badly dented on the other side because of the angle I had it.
The rain came down harder and just when I thought it could not get any worse, the tires on my side of the car were going flat. I figured that I had hit the metal reflector poles so hard they damaged the tires. At that point I did what anybody would do in that position – I sat there and cried! I had destroyed my Dad’s new car. I had missed my first college Spanish class, and now – I had to call my Dad and tell him! Trust me for a few minutes, it felt better to just sit there in the rain and cry. But then I heard the little voice in my head repeating my mantra that I always use when faced with seemingly impossible or difficult situations whether personal or professional “no fear!” And you know what, the only thing my Dad said was “Are you ok?” Then all was right with my world!