A girl tries to go to the gym, because she figures it's probably the right thing to do to cap off a hell of a week following a catastrophic hard drive crash and the subsequent clamor toward recovery. The girl is so stressed about her job when she's leaving the parking lot after her workout, she's telling fer friend all about it on the phone, while backing up through the maze of Land Rovers and H3s and Lexuses (Lexi?) in the fancy gym parking lot. You know what happens next.
But it's the part after I hit the parked Mercedes E320 that was surprising. After I called mom ("You're alive, you're ok, these things happen..." Thank god for moms, I swear), I pulled out my reporter's notebook and scribbled, "Sorry. Call to discuss," on a leaf and tucked it under the Mercedes' windshield wiper. So happens, just then the other driver came back, so I got back out of my car to meet him and explain. Of course, I was instantly in tears, mascara streaming. That's not the surprising part yet (duh).
Here's the part. It was when he started in: "Are you ok? What's upsetting you so much? Work? Listen, I'm a litigator, and I know maybe better than anyone that all you have at the end of the day is your peace of mind. You can't stress out about work that much; it will bury you. This is nothing...it's a piece of metal..." (And he threw in, "You're a beautiful girl," for good measure, which was nice—or more to the point, it might have been why he was so forgiving.) (But really? All schmutzy and sweaty? Dang, thanks!)
So here was a guy, whose immaculate white Mercedes I just hit, counseling me and consoling me for 10 minutes. Being more gracious and generous with me than I could have ever predicted. Far more gracious, in fact, than I typically am with people who haven't just absentmindedly collided with my car. There is a lesson there, truly.
...Unless he calls me tomorrow and says, "Remember me? The litigator? You owe me a million dollars, you freakish stress case."
Friday, October 26, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Let me tell you what happens when you ask someone who is not pregnant if she is pregnant. Told of your error, you want to run screaming from the room, although it is a very attractive room at a stylish desert hotel, where you are attending a wedding of a dear old college friend. You wonder if you could somehow exchange all the money you've amassed in your Citibank savings account just to take it back, because surely you would do that gladly. You back peddle to a degree that becomes more humiliating (if that were possible), explaining that you're a reporter, and you just noticed that her dress was a little different from those of the other bridesmaids', and you thought you might be getting a scoop, based on the subtle nuance of the ribbon used to fasten the back of the dress, not based at all on her body type, because of course she looks lovely—and trim!—tonight. You think about how the mistake you just made sounds like some kind of sanitized Glamour my-most-embarrassing-moment story, which shouldn't be embarrassing enough to keep you up at night for the next two days in real life, but it does (and you are grateful for your new Ambien prescription). You wonder what the hell got into you, and woman, were you raised in a barn? You vow that as long as you live you will never, never, never, confront anyone with that question again, even if her belly is as big as a house or even two houses, and instead you will just ask, "So, nu, how have you been?" and if she is really pregnant, then for god's sake she will volunteer that information.