On Friday night I parked the 2014 Dodge Durango we're evaluating legally on a well-lit Brooklyn street. On Saturday I came back to two ravaged starboard doors and a scratch running the length of the side. No note, no way to ID the perpetrator. Nothing to say but "Well, S###."
Initially I was pretty upset. In spite of the fact that I don't own this SUV, nor am I on the hook for damage I didn't cause... it still felt like an injustice. With barely 4,000 miles on the odometer, the Durango's far too young to be marred by the harsh realities of this world.
Then I noticed the other cars it was parked with... similarly marked up, missing mirrors, and scarred. Some irresponsible asshat had pulled a Troy McClure and slammed their way down the street, leaving all their fucks wherever their havoc-wreaking hellride began.
After opening a dialogue with the vehicle fleet manager I called NYPD to get an official police report on the books. They showed up three hours after the call in an Altima Hybrid, took my statement thrice and basically told me what I already knew— "nothin' to do now but see what the insurance company says."
Accepting that is tough, because having someone to blame would make everything a lot easier at this point. But throwing a temper tantrum isn't going to get your doors resprayed. Once you stop worrying about the incident and start focusing on the solution, I promise you'll start to feel better.
I find it helps to look for perspective. Thousands of dollars in car damage suck harder than an elephant in a peanut factory, but I thought about what would have happened if my girlfriend had been exiting the passenger seat while this douchenozzle dragged his bumper down the parking lane and was able to tell myself we got off pretty easy.
Now that you're ready to deal with what's been dealt to you... you're probably going to get mad again. "It's going to cost how much?"
If you have to talk yourself down again, just go through the same steps. At least you're not paying for a hospital visit.
The only thing left to do is figure out how the repair fits into your budget. If you're going to be saving up before making it happen, seeing that ugly reminder of some idiot's irresponsibility stamped into your door every day is going to break your heart. But it does get easier to look at; time heals all wounds.
I mean, in your mind. The dents are only going to get rustier... so unless the damage real minor, I'd recommend getting it painted as soon as you can afford it.
Image: Andrew Collins