Register news clerk
Wednesday night I was sitting at home thinking about how good I was feeling. For the first time in quite a while my bills were all up-to-date, I felt like maybe things might be falling back into place after several years of scraping by on two minimum wage jobs, and thanks to my dad's support, I finally thought that perhaps I might be able to see a little light at the end of a very long, tight, depressing tunnel. I went to bed smiling and had one of the best night's sleep I'd had in months.
Corny as it sounds, Thursday morning I got up with a little song in my heart and prepared for a good day.
Then I went out to my car.
I was running a bit late so I was just a bit distracted, so at first I thought there were ice crystals on the driver's side back door. I put my hand up to it and my hand went right through the opening that was, the night before, a window.
A very kind, understanding Sandusky Police officer told me my car was just one of about 30 whose windows were shot out over night. He took my name for the report. He gave me the case number to report to my insurance company. He told me they had suspects in custody but he doubted there would be any chance at restitution.
My day job requires I at least show up to avoid absentee points and maybe a write-up, so I get in my car and notice two bullet-like holes in my windshield. I call the police to add that to the report. As I drive I can hear glass from the back window crinkling, crackling and raining out of the door. I arrive at work, punch in, talk to my supervisor, punch out and head home, all the while knowing the $31.20 I was losing by not working was just the beginning of my losses for the day.
I get back home and call the insurance company. I'm covered, thank goodness, with a $250 deductible.
I was the first call Randal at Butler Glass had that day, but by no means his last. He was able to order my windows and get me in at 11 a.m. The damage was repaired within hours. The total cost came to $512 -- $250 for me, $262 for the insurance company.
I went to my night job and stewed.
Friday morning I again called SPD. I asked if I needed to do anything to press charges. I was told the juvenile prosecutors office would handle it all.
By this point I'd moved beyond shock and into anger, in a big way. I wanted someone to pay. Somebody needed to take responsibility for this and since these were children who were out and about at ungodly hours, my anger focused on their parents as well.
Why should I have to take the responsibility for someone else's children's recklessness? My insurance may go up, and I'm back in a financial hole through no fault of my own.
I struggle every day to keep a roof over my head, reliable transportation to my jobs, heat, electric and my phone. My extravagances are cable and internet. I haven't been able to buy new clothes in more than a year and one of the shoes I wear for my morning job is duct-taped to keep it in one piece. I work 60-65 hours a week, so I'm no sissy. And I'm no kid anymore. I'm more than three times the age of the oldest (alleged) hoodlum. I haven't seen a doctor or dentist in more time than I care to remember. Even with insurance, there's the deductible.
I used to have a $40,000-a-year job in downtown Detroit with a Fortune 500 company but decided to move home to Sandusky when my mother passed away; I chose to stay because my dad is here. I made the right decision, and I'd make it again. For the most part, the important part, my life is good.
However, I've been asking myself, ever since this fiasco began, why I try so hard. Maybe I should quit my jobs, get my landlord to Section 8 my apartment and get "into the system." HEAP, PIP, food stamps -- why not? Why fight every day just to survive the rat race?
Why should I take responsibility for my life? Clearly these children haven't been taught, by the age of 14, to be responsible for their actions, or that those actions affect more than their egocentric selves.
We all do stupid things as kids. I know I did. But I can also tell you that if I did it once, it was the last time because my parents made me accountable for my deeds.
I'd like to know how these parents plan to discipline their children.
Friday night, when I got home, there were no cars parked on our street. These children took away our feeling of well-being in our own neighborhood. How do their parents intend to bring that back?
I know kids will be kids, but aren't parents supposed to be parents?