Q: Dear MKIA,
I have a standing arrangement with a friend. She said it’s okay if I drop my kiddo off at her house while my other kid goes to a weekly appointment. Sounds nice right? Well, we had a lot of snow and that snow hardened into ice and her street and driveway were not plowed or shoveled. I did the best I could and parked my car in the driveway. The long and the short of it is that when it was time to leave, I was S-T-U-C-K. I was so stuck that no amount of throwing dirt under the tires was going to get me unstuck. I had to call a towing company. And X number of dollars later, I was on my way. In case you think I was incompetent, the tow truck driver said there was no way I was going to get unstuck without his help. Here is my question and conundrum: I kind of thought it would have been nice if my friend would have at least offered to help pay for the tow truck. I wouldn’t have accepted it. But it would’ve been a nice gesture. What do you think?
I love these types of questions because they are more complex than we think. It reminds me of when I first moved in with my now husband. He had a small habit of sometimes parking the wrong way on the street. It really irked me. I thought, “What’s next? We stop bringing in the papers and then we start parking on the lawn? And then the car is up on blocks on the lawn?” To me, it felt like the crumbling of the social structure that kept neighborhoods nice. Guess what it meant to him? NOTHING. Except he thought I was crazy. My point is, I had attached some meaning and some value to parking the wrong direction on the street. He however, had zero attachment. For him it meant HE WAS PARKING THE WRONG DIRECTION ON THE STREET.
I share this personal tidbit to illuminate the fact that we all were brought up differently. Even the people who are so much like us. We all have different values and different social rules. We attach different meanings to different things. So, we have to be careful when we assess social situations. We can discard friends and we can lose future spouses that will give us three beautiful children, a dog, a house, and a great life. All because of how someone parked the car.
My advice? You asked right? There is no wrong or right here. It’s a total bummer to have to call a towing company and it’s more of a bummer to have to pay for it. So, here’s what I think. Get AAA. Towing is included in a basic membership. Secondly, try to remember that we all have think differently (GOD BLESS AMERICA) and that results in different actions and words. Lastly, next time you see an unplowed driveway, just keep driving. Keep on keepin’ on.
I do agree it would be nice if she would have at least offered but it’s okay that she didn’t. No harm. No foul.
Your song is ‘Stuck in My Car’ by The Go-Go’s.
Thanks for asking!