Saturday, March 21, 2009

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

My brother has crashed his car. Again.

A few months ago, he rear ended a guy in a jeep. Before that, he hit a fence at some speed. This time, he went around a curve too fast on his way home from work on a wet night. The wheel is broken and the suspension arm and spindle are bent, but he was unhurt.

When my brother had his previous collision with the law student jeep driver, they agreed to keep insurance out of it. My brother's car, technically my parents', looked lousy but still ran. My parents paid for the guy's new bumper and expected my brother to work off the cost since he was fairly broke.This time they are, understandably, feeling a bit less charitable. Given that my brother has continued to drive like at twenty-one year old male who believes himself to be invincible, I think their anger with him is appropriate.

We're still awaiting word on what repairs will cost. My brother is driving my parents' ancient, rusty, Suburban in the meantime . My parents have agreed that my brother is now on his own when it comes to paying for repairs and for buying his own car insurance. If the costs of fixing his Taurus are more than it is worth, they expect my brother to buy a replacement, even if that means he has to make payments. He can continue working a couple of shifts a week at the pizzeria after he resumes college in the fall.

All this seems very sensible, but I can't help feeling a little strange that they were much nicer after I wrecked. I'm happy they finally let me have "my" Taurus back. If I'd had to buy a replacement, I would have been on my own, but my parents never got quite so mad at me, never wanted to find ways to punish me. My mom insists that this was because I'm generally a cautious, non-aggressive driver who got caught by bad road conditions when the temperature unexpectedly dropped, unlike my brother who makes a habit of driving stupidly. I suspect that my parents are right and my brother needs to be jolted into taking responsibility for his actions, but my masochistic tendencies keep whispering that I, too, deserve worse than driving a dinged up car for the next few years.


Fabulously Broke said...

Well but you don't.

I think your parents are 100% right, you are probably more responsible and cautious and what happened was PROBABLY not your fault and could not have been avoided (I don't remember the story, or if you even told us what happened).

Whereas your brother within a short period of time, managed to ding the car twice. That may happen ONCE in a lifetime that you ding a car, but he was clearly going too fast etc...

*shrug* Just desserts, I say.

savings said...

I'm glad he's ok!

My parents were the same way… when my sister and I got our licenses, they gave us their old cars and paid for insurance and repairs. When my brother got his, he was on his own. Seems a little unfair to me, but only because he's never gotten into an accident and he's a very safe driver. If any of us were irresponsible though, it would be totally justified that we had to pay for our mistakes.

Revanche said...

That's the thing, though, you feel guilty even though they didn't punish you as much as they are your brother.

He's likely getting the heavier hand because his behavior doesn't indicate he's learned lessons. After all, they did let him off the hook before.

And this is the third time in a short period of time, right? Accidents happen, but that high a frequency is worrisome.

If he doesn't stop driving like that, he or someone else is going to get seriously injured. Better the firmness now than regrets later.