diana's famous!
Diana worked turn 8 at the AMA races at Sears this weekend. I hope she doesn't mind if I point to this awesome picture off her website. :)

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May 5, 2002

Today's entry is a rant. I apologize for those of you who have been good boys and girls and who sit quietly in your seats and only talk when called upon, but unfortunately, today you're going to get a stern lecture instead of recess.

I found out today that, late last night, my bike had been hit by a friend's garage door. There isn't any noticeable damage -- and, in fact, if his roommate hadn't told me about it afterwards, I probably would never have even noticed. However, we're all going to sit in a circle and hold hands now and have a little chat about something I like to call "personal responsibility" and "respect for other people and their things."

You see, I was in the friends' house when this happened, looking at pictures from the AMA races and blissfully unaware that 50 feet away, my friends were smacking their house into my motorcycle. Now, after said smackage, did my friends come into the house, looking appropriately sheepish, and say, "uh, Carolyn, we're really sorry, but your bike got hit by the door, and you might want to come out and wipe the paint off"? Of course not. Why would they do that? My friends -- and they really are friends of mine, which is why I'm so hurt by this; these aren't just acquaintances -- said "oh, shit" and decided to try and fix things themselves. Apparently there was just a bit of garage door paint on the very nose of the bike, and so my otherwise sane and intelligent dear friend -- who is alive now solely on the fact that he is one of my very best friends on this entire earth -- decided to use A SCOURING PAD to get the paint off. Let me just say this one more time.

A scouring pad.

They then proceeded to not tell me anything until this evening, when my very dear friend apparently had a moment of clarity and conscience and told me what had happened. A few deep breaths later, I asked why in the name of all that is holy, did no one come inside the house and, oh, MENTION THIS TO ME LAST NIGHT. The answer was basically, "we thought you'd have a big shit."

Now, dear readers, let me ask of you -- if my bike has just been smacked upside the head with a GARAGE DOOR, regardless of the fact that there was no permanent damage, is it not my god-given right to have a big shit? Not a long-lasting grudge-holding kind of shit, but at least a little tiny bit of a freak-out? I'm perfectly aware that accidents do happen, and I've been guilty myself of opening car doors into other friends' cars and whatnot, but really.

I'm so furious. And, you know what? I'm not even mad about the garage door. Seriously. There's no real damage, it was an accident, whatever. I'm furious because these are people who should know better, and they've treated me like an utter infant about this situation.

So, just in case any of you are ever misfortunate enough to accidentally ding someone else's motorcycle, I provide you this handy-dandy checklist of what to do:

  • Ask for help first. If you think your friend's motorcycle is too close to the damn garage door, ask her to move the stupid thing before you try opening the garage door. For god's sake, people. This isn't hard.

  • Tell her you dinged it. Really. This whole "maybe we'll wipe the paint off and she won't even notice" smacks of "we'll just buy a new hamster and little carolyn won't even realize that it isn't Mr. Nibbles anymore!". C'mon. Your friend is not 5 years old. She is presumably a mature adult and can handle knowing about a totally unintentional accident.

  • Let your friend be annoyed. OK, you put your foot in it and you told her, and now she's pissed. Well, duh. Now you need to shut the hell up. Don't try and say anything. Don't try and "help" further. Just shut up and let her be pissed for a second. She'll get over it soon enough and everyone can move on with their lives. But getting pissy because she's upset because you just told her you smacked into her bike and then didn't tell her about it? Not OK. Go sit in a corner and hope she doesn't come after you with a pipe wrench.

  • Don't try to help more. You've already scratched the bike paint with the scouring pad. If, when she tries to wax it a little to bring the shine back up, you insist on telling her she's using the wax wrong and she's not reading the instructions correctly, you deserve the wax to get shoved right up your ass. Just sit there and shut up. See previous point.

  • For fuck's sake, apologize. Yes, your friend knows it was an accident. Yes, she realizes it wasn't intentional. This is no excuse for you to say, quote, "well, you shouldn't have parked your bike so close to the garage door. It wasn't my fault -- you parked too close", unquote, when she asks for an apology. If you say that, you're acting like an asshole and your friend will forget that you invited her to see "Spiderman" that morning and you all had a good time, and instead she will look back upon the weekend and think, "Christ, what an uptight jerk".

I feel so betrayed and hurt. I'm frustrated because I know that the people in question think I'm upset solely because of the perceived damage to the motorcycle, but that's not it at all. I'm hurt because they had so little respect for me and for my property. This is my motorcycle, and I know it inside and out, and I know how to handle problems with it. I can't even put into words how bothered I am by their audacity in assuming that they knew how to handle the situation more appropriately than I would (a scouring pad!). Add to that the deceit in not telling me, the unwillingness to let me be upset about it, the lack of apology, and then the defensive reaction that it was actually my fault.... sigh

OK, rant over. The intent here was just to vent; not to point fingers or assign blame. It was an accident; it really was no one's fault. But, damn, it was handled badly.