I misjudged the turn into my parking space at the physical therapist's this morning, and nudged the pickup truck in the adjacent space. I was only going about 2 mph, so I hoped there wouldn't be any damage. I backed up and turned into the space and hopped out just as the truck's owner was climbing out of the cab.
I am so sorry! were the first words out of my mouth. He was around my age (in that indeterminate age range between 30 and 50) and very pleasant, actually. He could see I was distressed that I had nicked his truck. He said, I barely felt anything, I'm sure it's OK as he went to look at the damage. There were some small scrapes under the bumper.
Let's look at your car,, he said, and then we both saw that there was a quantity of red paint on my front bumper.
I must've said every variation of "I'm so sorry" in existance, and offered to pay for the repairs, but I did ask if we could just keep the insurance companies out of it.
He wouldn't have any of it: Go on in to your appointment, he said. I offered to give him my name and number so he could call me in case he changed his mind. No, no, don't worry about it! Just go, it's fine, he insisted.
Then he got a twinkle in his eye, Although I might take it out on you if I ever meet you in a bar...
I laughed: I never go to bars! He laughed, too. I don't, either. So that's OK, then.
With a bit of elbow grease I'll be able to buff that paint off the front of the van. His truck has a few minor scrapes that in Arizona will never amount to anything. Back in Massachusetts, scratches and whatnot like that would rust out in a few years, so you'd have to be more careful, but out here in the dry, the possibility of rust just doesn't even occur to anyone. All in all, both vehicles are a little big dinged, but it was nothing to get worked up about and it's such a relief that he didn't! My cars have had worse damage inflicted on them in parking lots, with nary a note or apology.
I'll probably never see that man again, but he deserves many blessings for his kindness to me today.