I’ve had my new-to-me car for less than a month and it’s already been been violated in a most horrific way.
The other morning, after a stress-filled drive to school, whereby I agonized over where best to park, I sat trying to calm my nerves. Actually every morning that I get to school, I just sit for awhile, pondering life (ie: checking all of my social media, promising myself I’ll get out after just one more song, and savoring my coffee-my life blood).
I feel, before I go on, I should explain why I spent my entire drive agonizing over where to park. Simply put, I work in da hood. It’s not all bad. Just like nice neighborhoods aren’t all good. However, I’ve heard one too many stories about teacher’s cars being keyed, shootings, and our school has already been vandalized and broken into-numerous times.
I love my school, my students, and our community, but it’s not exactly Mayberry. Not even close.
Well, there I sat, watching a video on how to make hash brown egg cups on Facebook, and my car starts shaking. Like serious, “don’t come a’knocking shaking”. It’s not every day that you get your own personal earthquake or theme park ride, so it took a minute to get my bearings. When I realize my new car, with me in it, isn’t about to be swallowed by a sink hole, I look into my rearview mirror to see a head-barely visible over my back end.
I get out and see some kid shaking my car. He’s literally bumping up against it like a remote control car stuck in a corner. I’m so pissed, all I say is, “GET OUTTA HERE” *insert Brooklyn accent*. This hoodlum didn’t realize the car was inhabited, so I’m sure he was shitting his pants as he ran out of sight.
After telling this story to numerous people-fellow colleagues, my boyfriend, my family-they all had the same questions for me, “Why didn’t you question him, demand his name, drag him to the office?”
Let me just list the reasons why:
- It was 7:00 AM-our office was empty
- He was a middle school kid-not under my/our particular authority
- I am scared of retaliation
This misguided young man was likely trying to make my car alarm go off, to what end-it could be various reasons. Maybe he just thought it would be fun. Maybe he looks for cars that aren’t alarmed for someone who steals them. Maybe he simply has no regard or respect for others and their belongings. Actually, that last hypothesis would apply to all possible reasons he felt the need to molest my car.
I would be laughing about this (the look on his face was pretty awesome), but I’m actually fearful that my new car will be damaged while parked at my place of employment. That’s a pretty shitty feeling.
In fact, everyday I notice possible new scratches and dings. I can’t blame them all on immoral creeps, as its definitely possible they were there before I bought the car. I didn’t inspect every inch of it with a magnifying glass, but I did look for noticeable imperfections. I’m 99% sure this was not present upon buying my car
Kids can be shits, I get it. I once stuck a thumbtack in my preschool teacher’s bum, simply because it was right in my face as she bent over, I was rolling a tack between my thumb and pointer finger, and I was a scientist-I wanted to know what would happen (BIG trouble, is what happened).
While I’ve been guilty of my fair share of wrong-doing, I can confidently say I’ve never had the urge to damage someone else’s property. Never. Not once.
Instead of be pissed/upset/stressed about this disgusting lack of regard for MY property, I am going to simply regard my car as a useful mode of transportation that gets me from point A to point B. Instead of daydreaming about how pretty she is, I’ll instead remember what is really important in life: my family, my friends, my health, and my strong morals and values. Also, a car is simply a material object that I am lucky to have. Some people don’t even own shoes. First world problems, and all that.
While I suffer the results of lack of guidance and respect, I will continue to guide and teach respect to my students, because what else can I do? I am honored to be in the position where I have the possibility to change someone’s life for the better, every single day. Key my car, go for it. I’ll just be over here continuing to teach your children to do better, be better. Win.