“Lessons that come easy are not lessons at all. They are gracious acts of luck. Yet lessons learned the hard way are lessons never forgotten.” Don Williams Jr

Some days I think it takes special skills to be me… and I don’t mean that to be a compliment.

Sunny and 75 (or somewhere around there) — perfect day in San Antonio.  Blue skies. Bright sun. And getting out of work at 11:00am!!!!  What better way to spend the afternoon than being productive and enjoying the weather.  Item 1:  wash car.  I was thoroughly prepared…quarters, shammy, and special glass cleaning cloth.  I pull into the stall, music blasting, windows down, sunglasses on.  There are several ways this story could go … if you’re thinking I left my windows down…sorry, but you’re wrong — thankfully.  As I stepped out of my car, I asked myself 2 questions:  “Do I bring my phone, and do I grab my keys?  — eh, no need — plus, it’d be my luck to make a fatal turn with the wand and soak my phone.”  Bopping along to the coin collector, I decided to toss my sunglasses back in the car — reaching for the passenger door…locked.  “Womp — shoulda known that side would be locked…” so slightly irritated, I walked ALL THE WAY to the other side of my 2 door car (yes quite the trek) — and yes.  that door too… was locked.  In disbelief, I tried again.  And then tried the trunk.  And then the passenger door again.  Nope.  Everything locked.  And my keys and phone just chilling on my seat.  Now what….

Call a friend to take me to my apartment to get a spare?  Wellllllllllllll that would have worked 10 years ago before cell phones when people actually bothered to memorize phone numbers.  And then I remembered…I have a service with my new car that covers free car unlocks…perfect… so I jogged over to the gas station across the street, called up the dealership and explained my situation… now correct me if I’m wrong, but their response seemed incredibly irrational.  They told me that in order to unlock my car, I had to drive to the dealership and present my license and registration first…. “Riiiiiiiiiiiight.   Wellllllll that’s kinda impossible since I locked my keys in my car…with my phone…and wallet (aside from maybe $10 in quarters).”  But apparently that was all they could do for me.  I considered jogging home (in my sandals) and getting my spare key from my apartment…but then I remembered that my apartment key was also in my car.  After deciding I had exhausted all other options, I broke down and called the locksmith the gas station owner suggested.  15-20 minute wait, they said — luckily the fee was only $30…I’ve heard it’s typically much more expensive.

Now, this could have been a really *insert choice word* day — however, I was fortunate to be in an area of town with incredibly kind people.  Not only was the gas station owner incredibly nice, but when I asked the car wash owner if he had any tools to unlock cars (which he didn’t), he gave me a free $20 car wash — and then checked up on me to make sure my car was clean — and again to ensure it got unlocked.

After having my car unlocked, I was still slightly (no, very) irked by Honda’s response, I immediately found the information for the care service in my glove box.  I flipped through the pamphlet for the services to find I was correct and there was NOTHING that said I needed to go into the dealership….but I also found the document with the “put this on your window” and “keep this in your car” stickers…

The window sticker was not on the sheet and as I turned to my left to look out the corner of my window… what did I see…the number for the emergency assistance…

Will I have a fun phone call to Honda?… it’s likely.  But I’ll also admit….this was not my brightest day.

Lessons learned:  1.  don’t leave your keys in your car….ever.  not even for just a minute.  2.  breathe and don’t ignore the obvious.  3.  when 1 and 2 fail, appreciate that it’s 70-some degrees and gorgeous in December, smile, and get to know the people around you — they might make your day!

“Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.”

Al Franken


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