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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