Boy, did I fuck up this morning. I'm so, so embarrassed and annoyed right now, but am comforting myself with the fact that today's "oops" will only cost me money, time, and inconvenience and nothing more important.
I'm an idiot, that's what happened.
This morning I was running a few minutes behind schedule to catch D's bus. He ran down the road to wait at the bus stop, and as is my habit, I loaded M into the car and started to drive the 1/10th of a mile down the street to wait with D until the bus picked him up before continuing on to daycare/work. Except today it was cold out for the first time this Fall and my window was frosted. Instead of waiting for the defroster to do its job or rummaging around in the car for my ice scraper, I decided to drive down the driveway with only a little patch of cleared windshield to see out of.
Bad fucking idea. BAD IDEA. Fuck ME.
My left front tire hooked over the edge of our steep drive way and I slid sideways down towards the lawn until I was stopped by a small, half-dead birch tree, which wedged itself between the front corner panel and my side view mirror. For a minute, I thought I could just put it in reverse and back up, but after a quick assessment I became fearful that it was too steep to back up and doing so might A. cause further damage or B. make the car roll over.
So I got out and took out my little son from his car seat in the back (on the other side of the car, thank goodness), then I went down and saw D onto the bus and came back to check it out further. It was clear I needed help getting it out, so I did something that to the Vermonter in me was second-nature - I walked to my neighbor's house and rang the bell. Bear in mind that our neighborhood is not a close one; we are all nice to each other but don't talk a lot, and the neighbor I chose is the newest to the block and our least favorite. However, the husband is a tow truck driver, so I thought if anyone could help, it'd be him.
After several rings of the bell I was about to give up and call AAA when a man emerged and said he'd help. He wasn't the guy I expected, but said he was a roommate (didn't even know they had one, but whatev). The good news is he was extremely nice and helpful, and he got out their big truck and chain and, after several huge pulls which I thought might just pull off my front tire, he got the damn thing unstuck and even drove it up onto the road for me. Meanwhile I'm standing well clear of it, holding my son while he says repeatedly, "Mommy not careful." Ha... yes, well-observed. True 'dat, kiddo.
Then the neighbor crawled underneath the car and assessed the damage, reattached my dangling front headlight, and told me it was safe to drive. He refused payment of any kind and I felt very much like Blanche DuBois all of a sudden. Like her, I've always relied upon the kindness of strangers.
I stopped at an autobody shop in town and they looked it over and said I should go through insurance. It's gonna be pricey, even though it's driveable and doesn't look THAT bad. But, my A/C compressor is punctured ($300+), the side quarter panel needs replacing ($300-400), and my headlight is busted ($300-400). There are a few other minor repairs to make as well, plus labor... plus a rental car because the work might take a week....
Yeah. F.M.L. x 1000.
I'm an idiot. It's a damn good thing I don't care about cars or money, because I'm going to be without both for a while!
EDITED TO ADD:
Ok, now that I've talked to the insurance company and found out that most of the collision repairs will be covered I'm feeling a little bit better. I'm still a moron, but at least I can laugh about myself again. I suppose it could be worse: