The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Sunday, January 08, 2006

The one I cannot argue with

Toward the end of last semester, I may or may not have scratched a woman's car in a parking lot in Alexandria. Being the honest soul that I am, I left a note. (HA! Lesson learned and duly noted.) So, Mary in Alexandria, has been calling about the two-inch scratch on her bumper. My first thought was "why don't you just give me the make and model of your car and I will go buy you some touch up paint at Target." Well, Mary had different thoughts. For whatever reason, she decided that it is of the utmost importance that the little white scratch on her bumper be handled in the most difficult possible way so she took it to some price-gouging car shop and got an estimate. They are going to need to take the whole bumper off, sandblast, buff, paint, blah, blah, blah $350. WHAT? Mind you, in an effort to ensure that Mary is not trying to pocket $350, I told her that I would be putting this on my credit card which meant I would be going to get it fixed with her.

Mary and I had a few very polite conversations disagreeing on how this should be handled. I sought outside advice (as I am sure she did as well.) I have gotten an array of advice from friends: "tell her to f-off"; "block her phone number"; "change your phone number"; "tell her you don't know what she is talking about"; "tell her you will fix it for her yourself"; "tell her to take you to court. It's not like she will actually do it for a mere $350." All good pieces of advice. Then, I called home. (Once again, lesson learned and duly noted.) You see, although I am an "adult" and have my own money and pay my own bills and do other grown up things, I am still a child when it comes to advice from my father. What daddy says goes.

"Pay the $350 and walk away." But, Dad, I think she is being unreasonable. I think she really doesn't even need to get it fixed. She's being dumb. "Law-Rah, you hit her car. She is in a position to be unreasonable if she wants. Pay the $350 and walk away." But, but, I don't have an extra $350 right now. Besides, I just sunk all my money into a charity, that should count for something! "Pay the $350 and walk away." Damnit! I sure hope Mary enjoys her new bumper that my student loans will be paying for.