Last month, I was a bit frenzied as I prepared for an upcoming trip out of state during which I would be chaperoning 8 teenage girls. A couple of days before the trip, I ran an errand to Michaels, the craft store. I honestly can’t remember why I went there because, what, did I need a ream of scrapbook paper to add to my already over-stuffed luggage? Anyway, I did whatever I meant to do, and left the store. It was probably the 3rd place on a list of 10 that I needed to visit before picking up my daughter from swim practice in 20 minutes, so to say that I was in a hurry would be understating things.
I hit the button on my key fob and got in my car. I was about to stick the key in the ignition when I stopped.
I looked around suspiciously.
Why wasn’t there bulldog hair generously decorating my dashboard?
I looked at the doors.
What idiot stuck a bunch of bills in my driver door? (After having my car broken into twice, I never keep anything that identifies me in the car.)
Oh. My. God.
I was in someone else’s car.
I looked out the window. Directly across from me, a woman was sitting inside a truck, watching me curiously from her passenger seat.
Oh. My. God.
That woman was going to see me get out of this car, and report me to the real owner of the car.
But if I stayed in the car, the owner of the car was going to find me in the car. I was pretty sure that would be worse.
Oh. Crap. I needed to get out of that car.
I got out as calmly as possible, turned to the row behind me, and saw my car. I made a beeline for it.
I got in my real car with the bulldog hair on the dashboard and snotty tissues in the door pocket and left that parking lot as fast as I could.
I silently prayed that the woman in the truck would not see anything 911 worthy about someone getting into a car, looking wildly around, then hopping out of the car and running to a different car precisely 1 row away in the exact same spot.
So, that’s the story.
I recently told that story at a party, thinking that others would commiserate with me and share their own stories of mis-identified cars.
That didn’t happen.
“Wait, you got into someone else’s car?!!!” Yes.
“Was it the same kind of car as yours?!!!!” No. But it was the same color.
“Was it even an SUV?!!!!” You mean like my Rav4? No. I’m not even sure it had 4 doors. Or 4 tires.
But it was The. Same. Color. And, it was open. And I was worried about keeping 8 girls alive and out of the hospital for 5 days during a trip that promised to put my sanity to the test. Don’t those factors mean that I’m less stupid?