Anyway, tonight as I picked Moomin up from school, a big pickup truck backed into the drivers' side of my car. I saw it coming towards me, perpendicular, and just jammed my foot harder on the brake. It seemed like I might have backed up, but the truck was coming too fast. I had two thoughts, seriously:
"Moomin is safe, it's heading towards me and he's in the back seat."
"Oh well, my legs are already fucked up"
Oh the drama! I was very happy that I did not experience the thing which you may have imagined of being trapped in a car with your legs smushed and being pried out with Jaws of Life. Instead I spent an hour in the cold talking with insurance companies and a police dude and the hapless Other Driver, who was a really nice guy and who is a teacher. I could see him thinking that maybe he could get out of it and blame it on me but then he realized there was no way, and plus it was a moment of being honorable. I would say there was about a 2 minute window of half-desperation where he wished it were true...
After I got home I agonized a lot about making his insurance rates go skyrocketing up when he probably can't afford it. I thought about just sucking up the cost of the car repair and also doing minimal repair, ie straighten out the dent rather than make it all shiny-new. I don't intend to sell the car or anything. So it is not costing me anything to drive a denty scratchy car and I am a careless slob anyway. But, because we already reported it and his insurance decided very quickly he was at fault, I think the damage to his insurance situation is already done.
The insurance agent is just glad I am not claiming bogus injury as so many people do. So they are all acting like kissing my butt to make sure my "new car" is "perfect again" (as if it were perfect this morning... not.)
If he were another parent at that school and a rich one I would feel different about it. But in this case I am feeling guilty. I will get my fat cat new-ish car licked clean by insurance which could very well double this dude's premiums for years. I hope not... he said he had not been in an accident for like 15 years or something. So I feel like it is all very strange and doesn't make any sense. Do you see that it should not matter in this case about whose fault it is but it should weigh in what either of us could afford and what matters to us? I wish we hadn't called the insurance.
Ugh! I should not have gotten this car anyway! It was so wasted on me. I'm not used to this at all.
If a rich person had backed into me then their insurance would have been so good that their fees wouldn't go up anyway. But when you are poor you fuck up a tiny bit, just a hair, and you are utterly screwed. How is that fair?
It makes me think of that time we first moved here, and I was opening a bank account and had like a huge-illion dollars from me and Rook's new awesome-job paychecks, and the bank guy was like "oh, usually there is a $25 new account fee and one for checkbooks but since you are in the PlatinumosityAccountGroup of Valued Members we will just waive those fees, whatever". And I got boiling mad and was like DUDE how about I pay you the 25 bucks since I can afford it and your cocksucking fee-waiving is meaningless to me, and how about instead you waive the fee for someone who obviously can't afford it and who would care.
It feels just like that. Bitter privilege - it is very hard to walk away from. The bank has no mechanism to just behave decently and neither does the insurance company.