The worst feeling in the world (okay..I exaggerate a little. If you didn't know that this must be your first time here!) is having to explain to somebody that you broke their shit - and then having to replace said shit. It's not a good feeling...at all.
I try to avoid lending people things at all costs. Nobody found out I had a spot cleaner for years, simply because I don't like sharing. Maybe it's oldest child syndrome, but really I think it's just better to avoid lending people things so the awkwardness of getting back a broken object is avoided.
...and I have successfully avoided all instances of friends' broken objects since 1992. Until today.
One of the worst things to lend somebody is your car. Sure it's insured and all - but what about the things that aren't covered by insurance? Stray shopping carts, running over a skunk, spilling soda/barf/urine all over the interior. The list goes on. How about driving over train tracks and ruining said car? It's not a great feeling.
Today I had to borrow my mother's Jeep. Long story short - driving home college kids who brought way more luggage home than they had when we arrived. I ended up leaving my car two hours away in Newmarket and took home my mom's Jeep because it had more room for their stuff. My mom will bring my car back (hopefully un-broken) this week sometime.
I drove these girls the two hours home - down the Sunday afternoon traffic of the 401 without incident. We get to London, only five minutes from the college, and my streak of not breaking other people's shit came to an abrupt end. It happened over a set of train tracks (the Clarke road tracks to be exact for you Londoners). I swear....SWEAAAAAAAAAR I wasn't speeding. The car did not become airborne, it was just a little bump and next thing I knew there was an awful metal grinding/clanking/vibrating sound coming from my mother's car.
I pulled over in a truck lot and we checked the car out and could not find anything wrong with it. I thought maybe I ran over some debris so I drove backwards and forwards trying to disengage anything that had become lodged - nothing. The next step was the dreaded phone call.
Luckily my mom didn't answer - so we called her boyfriend who was a lot more cool about it than I'm sure she would have been. Because he was over two hours away, realistically, there was nothing he could do. I called my mechanic on his cell phone and made him listen to the noise (which strangely was my second time calling him and asking him to diagnose a car problem over the phone). He said it was annoying but probably still drivable and to take it easy and that if it felt unsafe to park it (I have the best mechanic in the world by the way).
We arrived at the school, and I apologized profusely to the girls that I was dropping off. I was saying how sorry I was that they would have to be dropped off and embarrassed by the loud clanking noise. Then it was like the clouds opened up and a parking hump came to our rescue. I barreled over the hump a little too quickly and low and behold - the problem was solved!! Either that or a really expensive plate fell off the bottom of the car so now it is not rattling anymore - either way, I win!
I still have to take the car in tomorrow morning - mostly for my own peace of mind. This is why you should never borrow people's belongings.
Have you ever borrowed something and had to return it broken? How did you handle it ?