Although dreading the loss of several hours that morning, I took our Rav 4 to the dealer’s garage for a courtesy check-up. Although it seemed like everyone had brought their car in that morning, the garage mechanics finished with our vehicle in record time.
The man at the check-out desk handed me the lone key and pointed. “That’s your car, over there, hidden behind the other vehicles.” I followed his gaze and spotted our car’s red roof in the farthest garage bay.
Anxious to get on with that day’s to-do list, I hurried around the other vehicles and hopped into ours. I slipped the key into the ignition, but something seemed off kilter.
Then I noticed a jumble of plastic bags on the front seat, bags that weren’t ours. Strange, these mechanics had always been meticulous in keeping our cars clean. A glance into the back seat revealed a gym bag and sweatshirt.
The awful truth dawned. This was a red Rav 4 but not our red Rav 4. I scooted out of the car and actually looked at the vehicle for the first time. This car was several years older than ours and even had a different design.
I returned the key to the apologetic check-out man who said our car would be ready in a few minutes.
Was I mad? No. Embarrassed? Yes.
This mix-up was as much, if not more, my fault as the check-out man’s. It simply exposed an undeniable fact: The make, model or year of a car doesn’t matter to me. I go by color. If it’s red, it must be ours.