As the song goes, the first cut is the deepest. Except unlike Sheryl Crow, I'm not talking about love.
Anyways, we dinged our new car a couple of days ago. A minor ding, with the paint still intact, and overall smaller than the size of a dime (well, for us Malaysians, less than a 5 sen). For the sake of simplicity, let's call it a pebble (it was a garage door incident, but too unbelievable to be told). Dime or eye of the needle, for that matter, it's never too small for a new item. It felt like someone had yanked out the family jewels and run them through the grinder. I moped around home and work for the next 3 days. I teared up everytime I got in and out of the car. It felt like Santa himself ran over my dogs.
Yup, the first cut hurts the most. And I'm not even talking about expensive things, but rather just things that one holds dear. I remember that Tommy Page button badge I had when I was in Form 1 (13 years old). He was like a God, with longish wavy hair and a voice that made all the girls crazy (God, I wished I could sing like him. I imagined me singing his ballads to the girls I fancied in school). Somehow, having that badge on my school backpack seemed to make me think that I was half as cool as him. After I got it scratched on that school bus, I felt like I had personally dug my nails into my idol's cheek and gave him a laceration on that sacred site that girls wanted to kiss. I spent a few hours painstakingly touching up and retouching the finish with some spray on clear paint (interestingly enough, no one I know this side of the world has heard of a famous-American singer named Tommy Page).
Oh, and I remember back in those days when cellphones were 'in' (now I consider them a pain-in-the-ass way for work to get in touch with me). I remember my first self-paid cellphone, that Nokia 2142 (the cheaper version of my brother's 2110) on the now-defunct A.D.A.M carrier, that I had saved up with months of allowances to buy. Never mind that it was the size of a brick, and had a talktime of an hour; it was cool. I remember how it felt when my (then) girlfriend dropped it onto the gravel road. Still worked fine, but it left a 1 mm nick in the corner of the phone and a gaping hole in my heart. It took a lot of effort to hold back the tears, and to convincingly tell her "It's ok".
Something else that I held close to my heart back in college was a yellow (yup, banana-yellow) Casio G-shock watch. Supposedly the craze all over America (never seen someone wear that here yet, but then again I've only lived here for 7 years). That watch was supposed to be indestructible (it probably is- it still works). But the first time it got a scratch darn near gave me a stroke. Now, it just sits in my dresser- my wife tells me that unless I'm planning to go deep-sea diving, it's not something people wear (and I'm not really sure why it is built to withstand depths of 250 m; would you need to know the time when you're dead?).
Anyways. Back to Lexi (the car)- it was heartbreaking. As I was relating the story to friends, I mentioned it was less painful to have my wife scrape her knee than to ding the car- at least that scrape heals. My wife didn't think that was funny though (I swear I was joking)(well, at least partially). Well, now that we've gotten the first ding out of the way, I'm thinking it'll be easier from now on.
(Dear readers, I swear I'm not that big of a materialistic bastard and certain emotions were exaggerated, but you guys out there- come one, admit it, you know what I'm talking about when you nick/ding/scratch a new prized possession!)