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National Write Down Your Story Day: 6 of My First-Car Fiascos

In honor of National Write Down Your Story Day this March 14, which encourages people to take time and write about a personal memory that has some significance in their lives, I have decided to recall some memories of my late first car. 


Everyone usually remembers their first car being a hand-me-down, maybe a piece-of-junk, and probably not their first choice. Although my first car was a hand-me-down from my parents, it was not any of these other things. It was only a few years old when I got my driver’s license, as we bought it new when I was a freshman in high school. It was a silver 2013 Honda CRV, and I personally would not have wanted any other car. The gas mileage was great, and it had some of the latest technology at the time. 


Although the car was a dream, I would say that it was riddled with some bad luck, and it all started before it was even mine. 


1. The First Crash 

A few months after my parents bought the car, my mom and I were driving it in town and were sitting in a turn lane at a red light on the highway. It had been raining, so the road was a little slick. As we were sitting in the lane, we saw a car approaching from behind at quite a fast pace. Watching the car approach closer and closer, we realized that the car was not stopping. Before we knew it, we heard a loud crash and were bumped forward as the approaching car rear-ended us. The driver of the other car was alright, and he told us apologetically that his breaks were not working. There was some damage to both of our cars, but nothing that could not be fixed. We got our car repaired shortly after, and it was almost like new once again. 


2. Dad’s Little Mishap

The second incident did not happen until after I got my driver’s license, and the car was officially mine. However, I was not responsible. My dad was unloading things from the trunk of the car as it was parked in our garage. The car had a hatchback trunk door, so it swung upward. We had found from careful measurement that the trunk could be opened inside the garage with just barely touching the track of the garage door on the ceiling. However, this was not the case when the garage door was in motion. My dad had unknowingly left the trunk of the car open and proceeded to close the garage door. After hearing a horrendous scraping noise, he discovered the situation and the resulting three-inch-long gouge in the back of the trunk door. He told me of the damage, but we decided that it was mostly superficial and that living with the mark would be a less costly choice than getting it fixed. Unfortunately, our reluctance to get the car repaired did not last long, as yet another incident forced us to take it to the autobody shop for repairs. 


3. Summertime Shambles

It was summertime and my car was parked outside in our driveway, diagonally facing our concrete retaining wall that runs alongside the perimeter of the driveway. It had stormed and rained very heavily that night. The next morning, I woke up and walked outside onto our deck, which overlooks our driveway. To my surprise, I looked down and saw that the retaining wall had been washed away and our driveway was filled with its broken concrete bricks. My car was surrounded by the rubble, and the hood of the car had been smashed by the falling concrete. I knew that this meant that we needed to get the car fixed… again. A few weeks later, after taking the car to the body shop, it was soon back to its original condition. However, more damage was soon to come.  


4. How I Met My Best Friend’s New Neighbors from across the Street

Frankly, this incident can be blamed on my part, but it nonetheless left its mark on my first car. My best friend had just moved into a new neighborhood a few months ago at the time, and I came over to her house to visit, as I did many times before. 

I was just leaving and I had parked in her driveway. I backed out of the driveway as usual, not really taking my surroundings fully into consideration. This was because my best friend moved into a fairly new development with not many neighbors, except one across the street, as new houses were currently being built. Thinking I had the entire road to myself, I backed out freely, taking advantage of the open street, until suddenly I heard the all-too-familiar crash of metal on metal. I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw that I had backed right into a white SUV parked across the street. Feeling a mixture of embarrassment, shame, and distress, I knocked on the door of the house of the owners of the white SUV and told them what had happened. Luckily, they were forgiving and said that they were glad I was honest about the incident. After exchanging our information, they were able to get the scrapes buffed out of their car through our insurance. We did not get my car fixed because the damage was not that noticeable on my end. After this incident, I told myself that I would be more vigilant and careful while driving. The last thing I needed was another fender bender. 


5. The Pea-Sized Pebble

Well, it wasn’t a fender bender, but it left its mark. One sunny morning, driving on my way to class, I heard a loud tap. A pebble had seemingly popped up out of nowhere and hit the windshield of the car. The aftermath was a pea-sized crack in the windshield. Not a big deal, but still another car-related headache.  

“What more could possibly happen?!” I thought. 

I told my parents about the crack, and soon after, we had it sealed so it would not spread. Little did I know that all this fuss about one little crack really was not worth it in retrospect.


6. The “Ten-Point” Buck

The worst and final damage that my car experienced sadly involved the death of a stout, full antlered, male deer that just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was nighttime, and I was driving home from work on the highway. All of a sudden, a deer ran from the center margin of the four-lane highway into my lane. I tried to avoid the deer as best as I could, but ultimately, it was too late. The front of my car came into contact with the large deer. Upon impact, the hood of the car flipped up and crashed into the windshield, blocking my view. Seeing through a tiny opening in the bottom of the hood, I was able to slowly drive the car to the side of the road. After realizing what had just happened, I immediately called my parents with tears in my eyes. 

When my parents arrived at the scene, we assessed the damage and discovered that the entire front of the car was smashed and my left headlight was completely gone. The hood hit the windshield so hard that it was not only completely cracked, but also the rear-view mirror on the inside of the car broke off. After the engine of the car stopped, it could not be started again, so my parents drove me home and arranged for the car to be towed off the highway the next day. The last time I saw my car was a few days later at the junkyard among other ownerless, smashed vehicles.  


Although the story of my first car is quite long, it definitely had an impact on my driving experience. Even though I was not to blame for a majority of the incidents, I learned to be more vigilant driving, especially while backing up. 


I am thankful that my parents supported me through these often costly repairs. I am also glad that this “bad luck” has died along with my first-car fiascos.   

Anjuli is a senior at Winona State University majoring in applied and professional writing and minoring in psychology. She is interested in broadening her writing abilities and writing about topics that she is passionate about. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her three cats, going to the movies and traveling.
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