Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Be sure to visit Two Writing Teachers for more slices of life.

Something done automatically, without much self-awareness” is one definition of autopilot. 

I enter into the autopilot stage when my mind is occupied by a variety of thoughts. Some of those thoughts may involve tasks to complete, groceries to purchase, routes to plan to get home, etc. My mind is multi-tasking as my body switches to autopilot mode which allows me to accomplish those tasks. All this is said to explain my actions yesterday.

Gray painted the sky. The wind whipped and tugged on any loose bit of clothing or hair exposed. Temperatures did not invite one to linger outside. I pulled into the parking lot of the educational supply store, noting that only one other car was there. Surprise registered in my mind since school was still in session, I didn’t expect that anyone would be there. I knew exactly what I needed to purchase and where it was located. Quick in, quick out.

Still only two cars in the parking lot. I moved quickly to the car to escape the frigid wind. My thumb hit the unlock button twice. The car responded with its usual “beep, beep.” I pulled the handle of the door. The door swung open, I’m preparing to step in, but this interior was brown. My car’s interior is black. Confusion clouded my vision as my brain sorted out this information that did not compute. The next message sent to my brain said, “This is not your car! Abort!” Quickly I shut the car door.

Autopilot turned off. Realization set in. Both cars were white and similar in shape and size. (Side note: I am car blind, I don’t see differences in many cars. Much to my husband’s dismay.) I looked around, but there was no one around. Oops! I hustled to my own car and slipped out of the parking lot before the owner of the other car appeared.

Autopilot can be useful, but in parking lots it could cause me some problems. Guess I’ll have to turn it off in the future.


16 thoughts on “Oops!

  1. I got a chuckle as I too seldom notice differences in cars. I have even gone to another car even when my husband was sitting waiting for me. Just went to another gold one and almost got in!

  2. A few weeks ago I was trying to get into a white Nissan (I drive a white Nissan too). I couldn’t figure out why the door wouldn’t unlock. Then I wondered who put the travel mug in the cup holder….and why was the front passenger seat such a mess. Then I realized….not my car. Oops!

  3. Yikes! This has happened to me more than once – you’d think I’d learn. Once, I opened the door and discovered a Burmese Mountain Dog in the driver’s seat. Definitely not my mini van!

  4. I have a special necklace hanging from my rearview mirror now. There are too many old tan hondas around. I don’t have a button, but have certainly put my key in someone else’s lock before. Glad you didn’t drive away, Elsie!

  5. rosecappelli says:

    I can totally relate to this since I have done the same thing – even gone so far as to sit in another person’s car! Your snapshot of setting really helped me visualize what was happening. “Gray painted the sky” – a great line!

  6. Thanks for the morning smile. Sometimes there is a car similar to mine parked near where we are. I always tell Kathy that I will take that one (pointing to my car) because I know it’s paid for.

  7. So funny! I have gone so far as touching a car handle but not getting in the car. It was so shocking when I did that, I can imagine your reaction! I am still smiling friend.

  8. “(Side note: I am car blind, I don’t see differences in many cars. Much to my husband’s dismay.) ” That cracked me up! I knew that last line was coming when I started the sentence. It’s fun to be in synch with a writer. Thanks!

  9. THat’s my question too. I reread your slice a few times to see if I was reading things. That’s dangerous. But confusion…. I’m right there with you I just stopped when I looked into another car and knew it wasn’t mine. 🙂

  10. That’s kinda scary. Do you think the car was unlocked to begin with or that your key actually unlocked the wrong car? As far as auto pilot, join the club. I do that too much. I think that is why I write about being mindful so much.

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