Augh. Yesterday was a bad day. I went to visit my elderly grandparents (who refuse to move into a condo or assisted living, but really should...). They have a very long, narrow driveway. And because we've had a bunch of snow here in MI, and they're old, the driveway wasn't in its best driving condition. And there was a large pickup parked pretty close to the edge of the driveway. So I kissed them goodbye, hopped into my beloved 98 VW Beetle that i bought less than 3 months ago, and backed down the driveway. At the end of the drive, there was a pretty thick snowplow pile. I had to hit the gas rather hard to get through it. As I arced out into the street, the front left corner of my car caught the ball hitch on the pickup just perfectly. The ball hitch grabbed and tore off my whole red plastic front bumper cover. For a moment I just sat there in shock, then I got out of the car. The pickup was unharmed. My car, not so much. I was able to tie the bumper cover back on with some rope and make it driveable. So I went to the body shop to get estimates. THe grand total: $1576 including parts, paint, and labor. For a stupid freak driveway accident! Can you believe it? I need to replace the front bumper cover, front left headlamp, front left outer fender, and front left inner fender. On each piece, the plastic is just torn right up. I don't have that kind of money. Being a young driver, I'm absolutely loathe to claim it on insurance, because if I do they *will* jack up my policy next month. (I've been counting the days until it goes *donw* on my 19th birthday...) Plus I have a pretty high deductible. After calling every junkyard in the county and beyond, I've come up with $400 worth of aftermarket parts and a guy who will paint them red for $400 and my dad and my brother who can screw them on. But for a student, that's still over a month's pay. What a costly lesson to learn. Oh well. Life goes on.