This article, entitled "The Misplaced Car," comes from Kathy Bedford, MomsEveryday blogger from Northwest Florida.
“My car got towed, Mom.”
Kids know how to make your day, don’t they?
A smile of relief filled my face on the other end of the telephone. Now before you write me off as a horrible, uncaring mother, let me tell you why I was relieved my son’s car got towed. Moments earlier the caller ID on my cell phone indicated my son was calling me.
How nice, I thought! He’s calling to say hello. I knew he was traveling out of town with his friend. They’d driven to Atlanta to see the Braves in the playoffs and were planning on heading back to Florida the following day.
The minute I picked up the phone I knew something was wrong. I could hear it in his voice; he was visibly upset on the other end of the receiver. My heart began racing.
“How are you,” I asked.
“Not good,” he began. I braced myself for what would follow, imagining the worst as only a mother’s mind can do: He’s been arrested. He’s in the hospital. He’s gotten mugged.
So when he told me that his car had been towed I was ecstatic!! Given the scale of “what if’s” that had just flown through my head, this was nothing! I mean, having his car towed wasn’t something that would go onto his permanent record. Remember the old “permanent record” threat? Isn’t it funny how childhood threats of “this is going to go on your permanent record” held so much sway over you?
To me, having one’s car towed is simply a life lesson you hope isn’t repeated more than once. The memory sticks with you doesn’t it! It’s such a weird feeling when you leave a place and walk to your car only to find there’s an empty space where your car is supposed to be. You stop, look around, wonder for a moment if you are in the right place, or if perhaps you parked your car in another spot, etc. All sorts of things rush through your mind, but the thought that your car got towed isn’t one of them!
I’ll never forget the day I walked out of Target with a shopping cart full of items and couldn’t find my car. I didn’t think it had been towed, I thought it had been stolen!! Still, the same checklist went through my head before I came to that conclusion: maybe I parked it somewhere else. Maybe I walked out a different door in the store and was confused. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
I went so far as to call the police and report my car stolen. How ironic is it that in the moment of panic and stress you can hardly remember if your car is a 2-door or a 4-door much less what the license plate number is so the police can be on the lookout?
In my case, panic and stress turned quickly into humiliation! No sooner did I hang up with the police, that I looked 2 rows over and there sat my car staring back at me, taunting me. Suddenly it all came flooding back. I had purposefully parked my car a few rows down the way because I had to pick up batteries at another store.
Why couldn’t I have remembered that BEFORE I called 911?
It made me feel better when years later my husband called at 9 o’clock at night, telling me his car had been stolen. He and our son were Christmas shopping at the mall while I was at home entertaining 23 ladies in our living room. We were deep into celebrating the holidays and playing a very fun gift exchange game when the phone rang.
That night lives in infamy in our household. I had to explain to the room filled with ladies that Tim and Austin were at the mall (in 30 degree weather by the way) with arms full of packages and unable to find the car. They had parked outside of Macy’s at the mall and knew for SURE that their car wasn’t in the space where they’d left it. Just as I was getting my coat on to go get them the phone rang again. They had found the car! The story goes that after they had hung up with me, a mall security officer drove up in a golf cart. They explained their dilemma to the officer.
“Are you sure you parked at the right Macy’s?” the officer asked. Tim refrained from rolling his eyes. Of COURSE he was at the right Macy’s store. There’s only 1 in the mall!
Turns out that wasn’t the case. There was a Men’s Macy’s store and a Women’s Macy’s store. Tim had parked at the Women’s Macys, but had shopped at the Men’s Macy’s. For some odd reason the Home section of Macy’s was in the Men’s Store. For years after, every time Tim saw one of my friends they couldn’t resist asking, “Do you know where your car is?”
Now that I think about it, I’m seeing a pattern here. The Bedford family seems to have issues with misplacing their cars!!
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In our case, it appears our cars don’t either.