The Scenario

The truth? I feel a little sheepish and petty tonight. It all started when I realized that tomorrow we’ll have our last assembly of the school year. Which means that I had forgotten to print out the certificates for reading goals. I generated the certificates and left them to print while I checked our cupboards for supplies.

Each student that earns a certificate gets invited to our house for a banana split after lunch. And the one black banana I found in the fruit basket wouldn’t serve 20 kids. Which meant I needed to make a quick trip to the grocery store.

I hit the button to open the garage door and noticed that my husband’s truck wasn’t parked next to my car. “Perhaps I should him a text, teasing him about driving his truck somewhere within a week of washing it,” I thought. But I didn’t. I jumped in my car, put it in reverse and lifted my foot off the brake.


I looked in the rearview mirror and couldn’t see anything. When I looked at the backup camera, I couldn’t see anything either, because the sun shone directly into the car, washing out the screen. I rolled gently forward, and noticed that his truck loomed right behind the passenger side of my car.

When I jumped out to assess the damage, angry thoughts stumbled over each other in my head. “Why in the world did he park so close to the garage door?” Quickly followed by, “And why did he park in MY lane?” Somewhere in there I may have questioned my own actions, “Why didn’t I do a visual head check before backing up?”

The DamageSo, I backed the car out of the garage and hit my husband's truck. The truth? I got mad at him.

But, the damage had already been done. My back panel had two nice scrapes from the area around his headlight. I took pictures with my phone of my vehicle, his vehicle, and the position of the two vehicles (which shows his clearly not parked in the right spot for outside parking).

I vaguely wondered how in the world I had not seen his truck as I walked into the house thirty minutes earlier. After all, it’s big and red.

When I sent the texts, I got a ‘not deliverable’ message back. I returned to my car and started for the grocery store. After the fender bender incident, I might not have enough time to eat supper before I needed to meet students at school to help them with their final projects.

Despite repeatedly resending the texts, they didn’t seem to get through—either that or Pedro had his phone off. I stewed as I arrived at the grocery store, where I realized that I’d forgotten my wallet. Fortunately, I had a backup credit card in my purse.

I returned home, and even though my texts had gone through, Pedro hadn’t’ responded. Grrr. I scarfed down supper and rushed off to meet my students with a minute to spare.

By this time, I had calmed down a bit, but I still worried about Pedro’s reaction.

The Truth

When he finally called me, I chided him gently for parking where he did. “I lent the truck to someone,” he told me, “and he didn’t realize that he needed to park in a certain place.”

Now I felt guilty for my unkind thoughts.

“It’s just a series of unfortunately coincidences,” Pedro said. “You know, whenever I back out of the garage, I always look around to check for obstacles.”

“I know. I usually do, too. I just don’t get how I missed seeing the truck parked outside when I walked into the house,” I said.

“The guy probably returned it after you had gone in.”

Whew! At least I wasn’t going blind. Pedro went outside and checked the damage whilst we chatted about our days (we might work at the same school and live on campus, but we don’t always see each other during the course of the day).

The truth? I should have looked more carefully before backing out—I have no excuse. Blaming other people won’t make it their fault.

Blaming other people doesn't make it their fault. #truth #fmfparty Click To Tweet

Q4U: Have you ever fallen into the blame game trap? How did you free yourself?

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  1. Yes, blaming others does not make it their fault. This is a very powerful truth to end your post with. I get all prickly when my children blame each other for their actions, but I need to remember that I need to set a better example and take responsibility for actions on bad days too. More is caught than taught. I am happy to be your FMF neighbor this week.
    Jolene recently posted…Five Minute Friday TruthMy Profile

    1. Love that! ‘More is caught than taught.’ It’s so very true. I think that what I do goes unnoticed, and then one of my students will make a comment like, “I didn’t see you out running today, Mrs. Ojeda. How come?”

  2. Oh, Anita! I’ve done so many similar things.

    Including this, when I was eighteen and had just flown an aeroplane through a set of main transmission lines (250,000 volts will give you a GREAT perm):

    “How DARE they string their stupid wires across this river, when they KNOW pilots will be flying down it at high speed and with little forethought!”

  3. great quote! “blaming other people doesn’t make it their fault!” so, so true! great story with loads of sad coincidences that lead to your crunch:( hope tomorrow is a better day.

  4. Anita, I’ve done things like that too. After I get over my initial frustration, I can usually own my part in the situation. Although sometimes God has to humble me before I can do this! 😉 I try to humble myself, now, before it gets to that point.

  5. This is something I do too…it’s so much easier to blame someone else than to see both sides! (Poor Blue Blob and Beauty [or Beast? I forget…])

  6. Wow Anita!
    Reading your tweet, I had no idea what a tale you’d be telling. Thank you for sharing your story with us! And, I’m so glad to hear that the truck was returned after you arrived and they simply didn’t know.
    I suppose for me, when I can’t immediately deal with my frustration, I want to turn it somewhere. That is where the blame game can slip in.
    And sometimes? Sometimes it’s nobody’s fault. That’s the hardest one. There is no right to the wrong.
    Thankfully, God is good and is bigger than all of it!
    Love this post!
    (#5 this week)

  7. What a frustrating day! I have a tendency the same way, to blame others, especially when I am frustrated in the first place. There have been times I’ve worked myself into a fury over something that was simply a misunderstanding and not a blatant wrong. And even if it was a blatant wrong, fury was not the right way for me to respond. I have to remind myself to ask rather than assume and wait to react until I know the facts and have a clearer head.
    Barbara H. recently posted…The Bible and SlaveryMy Profile

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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