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Chapter 8: The Handicapped Ramp

Happy Friday Blog People!

It’s the last day of the month, and you know what that means?

15 more days until I go back to work full time
23 days until my fall semester ends
25 days until CHRISTMAS.

We have so much going on between school and festivities that I can’t even begin to fathom when I’ll have the time to blog- probably when I’m supposed to be doing homework. Say it with me, PROCRASTINATION.

Do you ever try to do something nice for someone, only to have it totally backfire? This is the story of the time I tried to do a nice thing, and instead my family will forever be reminded of that time I killed the mini-van.

So, I’m 16 years old, and I hate our mini-van. Don’t get me wrong, I love riding in it, I just hate driving it and refuse to do so. It’s big and clunky and it was one of those boxy ones. I was used to driving a smaller car, and as a new and inexperienced driver, I hated that you had that extra row of seats to look back at in the rear view mirror. I know, SO DRAMATIC, but what can ya do.

So, I didn’t drive it. Ever. To this day, I think I only drove that van twice in my life, and apparently for good reason.

Let me set the scene:

My mom has to take her car to the local gas station to get some work done- probably like an inspection or oil change. So, she asks me if I can go with her and then drive her home. “Sure,” I said, “NO PROBLEM.” So I got in the car, she got in the van, and we drove up to the gas station. Mom parked the van and I parked the car and she went inside to talk to the people about the work. Since I’d given her the car keys, I went and hopped into the passenger seat of the van. COMMENCE DOWNPOUR. I mean… like out of no where rain. And I thought… “Man, this van is parked SO far away, mom is going to get soaked if she comes outside.” So, I decided to do a nice thing. I was going to move the van closer to the entrance.

I figured, what the hell, I’m just driving it like 30 feet, if that. I don’t know, I have no concept of distance or measurement. It could have been 300. But the bottom line was, I was going to be courageous and drive that van so the Suz didn’t get wet. So, I jumped over to the drivers seat, put that baby in drive, and went around the building so that I could pull up right at the entrance ramp. It was a super proud moment. I was driving the van, and doing a good deed. What could possibly go wrong?

But then, the inevitable happened. As I pulled up to the curb, parallel park style, I felt a little bump. Almost like the wheel got stuck on the curb, but I didn’t actually know what that felt like, because hello…I was 16. So I kept going… and going…. and… going. I figured, “eh, a little curb never hurt anyone”

Inside the gas station, a different view of the same scenario was taking place. My mom was facing away from the outside and the cashier was facing the street. Supposedly she was all “Oh my God, look at that!! What is that girl doing? Oh my.. oh my GOD, she’s just still going… what kind of idiot… yup, she’s hitting the pole, she’s totally ruining that van”… and at that juncture, the Suz whipped around in time to see her beloved van just scraping along that bright sunshiny yellow handicapped ramp/pole marker thing. You guys know the one I’m talking about? Y’all, I wasn’t hitting the curb…

I GOT STUCK ON THAT POLE BY THE RAMP AND RATHER THAN PUT IT IN REVERSE AND MOVE,

I JUST.

KEPT.

GOING.

As it turns out, my mom KNEW “what kind of idiot” was doing that, her daughter guys. It was her daughter. So she rushed out, visibly upset and was like “What in the hell are you doing?” Meanwhile, I’m all “HEY! I did it! I drove the van! I was picking you up so you didn’t get rained on!” And really, how can you be mad at that.

Well, you have someone rip off half a running board and scrape yellow paint down your sliding van door and let me know how mad you can be at that…

The damage was done… I was embarrassed, but also feeling a little justified. “See,” I said… “This is why I don’t like to drive the van.” I was such a smart ass about it too. But, what are ya gonna do? Nick tried to help me buff the yellow paint out, and we decided the best course of action was to find a piece of construction paper that matched the color of the van and somehow fashion that over where the hole was. Our hope was that this would break the ice and serve as a reminder that while ineffective, it was the same solution my Aunt Terry (dad’s sister) tried to do when she hit something as a teenager. Spoiler alert- it did not work, mostly since they didn’t make dark teal construction paper.

So, that van, aka: the Grocery Getter, lived out the rest of it’s days with a semi-detached running board and a few scuffs of yellow paint down the side. A nice little reminder of how fun it is to have kids and let them use your expensive stuff. We can laugh about it now, obviously, and we do. Every time we tell that story we laugh and laugh at the women inside calling some girl me an idiot and we laugh harder at the cover up attempt and the mental image of that van just scraping down the side of that pole, screeching and scratching the whole way. I never even looked back or thought to like, throw it in reverse.

Lessons were learned by everyone that day guys. I’m the reason my parent’s can’t have nice things.

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1 thought on “Chapter 8: The Handicapped Ramp

  1. I love your blog, Ashley! Your stories always give me a laugh and I can visualize what is happening as I am reading. You are a great storyteller! Looking forward to future stories!

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