It’s a week before Christmas, we have no snow and the temps are mild. A good number of us are trying to do it all; run groups, cookie exchanges, office parties, gift swaps, Christmas shopping, trying to get to bed early, not eat too much junk, the list is endless.
We are all one small thing away from a total meltdown.
I melted yesterday like a snowman in the desert. To say that my stress levels have been high is an understatement, but I’m trying to roll with it knowing it won’t last forever. After waking up at 5a.m. to make gingerbread cookies for a run and a cookie exchange, then paired with figuring out how to get to work with said cookies and no vehicle as my daughter was planning to take it to school.
Long story short, when she went to leave for school the car was gone from our designated underground parking spot that I pay for. I had a loaner car because my car still needed some cosmetic work from my accident in August. I had emailed the apartment complex manager stating I had a loaner for a few days and it would be in my spot, I joked with the maintenance man about how long this process has been.
The car had been towed….at 1 a.m. And will cost $300 to get it back.
It was now in Sun Prairie, my daughter needed to get to school, I needed to get to work. I was a mess. I hate being late and letting people down. The combination of the circumstances with the building stress from work, life, parenting became too much. Thankfully I am no stranger to being in difficult situations and doing what it takes to get out on the right side. This time however I couldn’t just bring my daughter where I needed to, she was aware and involved, and not a young child.
So, we ubered to Sun Prairie while I sat silently crying and discussing how we would maneuver the next few steps. As we pull up our uber driver who I hadn’t spoken to the whole ride, hands us $20 saying how sorry he was that this happened and how wrong it was and wanted to help. I can tell you that I couldn’t even say thank you through my tears, Amelia did it for me.
Amelia drove me home to take car of the dog before I ubered to work and she went to school.
The day went on and I was aware of the amount of people who care.
The most upsetting thing about this situation. The majority of my apartment building is zoned for section 42, which is low income housing. Most people would not have been able to afford to get their vehicle back, much less a week away from Christmas. I have been in that spot before, panicking, knowing I wouldn’t be able to finish Christmas shopping or pay the heat bill.
There was no complaint, no one “reported” the car in my spot. They came on purpose. It feels predatory.
Amelia asked where all that money went, why it cost so much: Into their pockets, it went in their pockets.
Maybe my reaction wouldn’t have been so heartfelt if I wasn’t so stressed, maybe I would have been able to roll with it easier, but the fact remains that this felt targeted, not necessarily at me exactly but to the less fortunate in a time where kindness should be key.
To that Uber driver who out of the kindness of his heart truly understood that something small can truly make a difference.
EDIT: I am aware that I have many privileges. I live in one of the market rate apartments in my building. That doesn’t mean this situation wasn’t hard. It hurt so much because I’ve been on the other side. I’ve been near homelessness with a baby at 19, I’ve had my car towed before, not once. Three times. I know I’ve come a long way, but I’m terrified it’s short lived and my upbringing is my destiny.