It was a beautiful morning. My husband’s birthday always is.
He doesn’t like me to make a big deal of it. I always do.
He shares his birthday with an old friend who is an orchestra conductor with a love for the cello. This lovely friend has a lovely wife who loves birthdays too.
So, each year we try and get them together for a bite somewhere during the day.
They tell the same stories over and over again. The famous one is about a thief who stole the cello but abandoned it halfway because it was too heavy. They have also told the stories of their travels into East Africa many times. Another favourite is about a guy who followed them for days, turning up just when they thought they had shaken him.
We always laugh lots.
This magical day, we were planning to have lunch together, as usual.
I spent the morning at my office. I got in early, had a couple of meetings and when I looked at the time, I nearly died! I literally had 7 minutes to get my ass from the office to collect my husband, and to the lunch before anyone called him and spoiled the surprise.
I ran down two flights of stairs, jumped into my car and put it into gear. That’s when shit happened.
I looked down to the floor to reach into my handbag and then heard a loud bang!
I drove straight into a parked car!
No big deal, right? Wrong. It was a very big deal.
The car was one of a kind. An antique. A collectors item. A family heirloom. There were no spare parts for it. The car belonged to one of my colleagues. It was a special gift from his dad who had passed on. Everyone knew the car. Connoisseurs travelled from exotic corners of the world to marvel at its beauty. It had never ever had a single scratch on it. And, in a matter of seconds, I managed to take off the whole front bumper and kill two lights.
Before I could decide what to do next, there was a swarm of security surrounding my car! They all looked very worried as they waited for their boss to arrive and take charge. He called a couple of people and they debated who would tell the owner the terrible news.
The head of security suggested that I not move. He said “Just wait here. We will call someone to come and check”. I could NOT just wait.
So, I ran up two flights of stairs. They assumed I was running away.
I ran straight into the car owner’s PA, with her beautiful curly hair. In a split second and with just a nod, she gave me the green light. I walked straight into his office. I saw six people listening at the door. I could have sugar coated it, but I was not fast enough with the creative stuff. I said “I was in a hurry. My concentration was somewhere else! I lost focus for 1 second and bloody bashed your one-of-a-kind car”.
The owner of the car was calm. I think he was dying inside because when he heard the news, all he managed to say was two words. He said “Shit happens” and shrugged his shoulders.
He was right! Shit does indeed happen.I was late. I spilled my makeup all over my black dress and the surprise was ruined. I felt dreadful.
I chose not to share the story with the birthday boys over lunch. Instead, I drank lots of bubbly and laughed at the stories of the stolen cello and the weird Kenyan stalker.
My insurance company had a shock when I submitted the claim. I think it must have nearly bankrupted them. But hey, shit happens right?
Perhaps I will share the story over lunch this year and perhaps it will displace the other two stories from their thrones. If not, hey…bigger shit has been known to happen.
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