It was a beautiful morning in the summer of 1988. I was driving to work. My music was blasting (I’m guessing that may be part of the reason why I now have permanent ringing in my ears). The windows were down. All was good with the world. Until I tried to merge onto I-287 and was met with an 18-wheeler. Literally.
Ok, so it wasn’t my fault. Right? I mean, I had my blinker on. So what if I was driving a little 2-door Honda CRX. It was red. The guy should have seen me and moved out of the way. He didn’t. He hit me instead. Then decided to try and make a get-away. Yeah, right. Nice try buddy.
So, I did what every 100-pound 20 year old young woman should do. I got out of my car. In the middle of the lane. In rush hour traffic on a major highway. And I stood there with my hand up, screaming obscenities. Picture Superman trying to stop traffic with his super powers. Well, without the obscenities. Except I didn’t have any super powers. I was cute. Sometimes that worked for me. But not this time. The trucker looked at me like I had 2 heads. I know he thought I was nuts. In retrospect, I was.
This was in the day before everyone had a “car phone.” My future sister-in-law saw me standing there looking like a lunatic. She was 2 lanes over and couldn’t get to me. Like I said, it was during major rush hour traffic. Outside of a city. And she’s not an idiot. When she got to work she called my future DH.
I was a damsel in distress. Except I was gone by the time future DH got there. Remember those SOS trucks that used to drive up and down the highways looking to help stranded drivers? One of those guys stopped and basically told me to move along. As for the truck driver, he did NOT think I was very cute. Not at all. I don’t know how it ends. I can’t remember. No one was hurt or arrested so all must have gone well. My car even survived.
So, you know when I complain after working at My Retail Job for 7.5 hours on my feet the entire time and feeling like I got hit by a Mack truck? I literally know the feeling. Because I was hit by one. How many people can say that?
I know the perfect way to thank a Veteran for their service. But I don’t suggest you take my lead. It’s only perfect for me. Anyone who knows me knows it’s very fitting.
If you have one of those cars with the backup “beep beep” that goes off when there is something behind you, there is a reason for that. Because there is something behind you. And when it goes “beep beep” really really fast to the point where it’s a long continuous beeeeeeeepppp, then that means whatever is behind you is going down. In this case it was a flagpole. Believe me. I had fair warning. But who pays attention to that back up beeping thingy anyway?
It wasn’t funny. It really wasn’t. But when you have two 15 year old girls in the car laughing their asses off, it is. So, when I rang the doorbell to the house of the owner of this broken in half pole, with the flag sacrilegiously touching the ground, she opened the door to a laughing me. Hysterically laughing me. Like, cross my legs, I’m gonna pee, laughing me. But I didn’t really find it funny. Not really. At all.
Luckily, I know this woman. She’s really nice. But I don’t think she was too happy with me today. Can you blame her? I knocked down her beautiful flagpole. I friggin’ KNOCKED DOWN her flagpole. With my car. DH wasn’t too happy with me either. But he also wasn’t surprised. I can’t imagine why.
And Happy Memorial Day to everyone. Thank you to all the men and women who put their life on the line for our country.
And the next time my car beeps at me? I’ll stop and look. Maybe. Because last year I knocked down a mailbox in the same manner. I think I’ll just keep my car in the forward motion. I’m much better off. And so are all inanimate objects.
DH and I have different views on how you should care for a car. For me, it’s 4 wheels with a roof that gets me from point A to point B. I don’t mind if it dents, scratches or buckles. I will wedge myself into a parking spot with barely room to exit (I proved so here) if it means taking less steps to get to my destination.
My husband believes in caring for your car as if it were a new baby. Gently parking it in what I refer to as “the nosebleed section” of the parking lot. If I wanted to walk that far, I would have left the car at home. I know he’s doing the correct thing. For resale value, treating your car with kid gloves is the way to go. But I intend to drive my car into the ground. So I’m cool with it.
Did I mention that I am married to the Car Whisperer? His dent radar goes off every time I have a mishap. And I have a mishap often. I have hit those stupid cement pillars in underground parking lots (who puts those things there anyway?), I have run over mailboxes, deer heads and nails. I’ve backed up into bushes and down embankments (that only happened once and my driveway was icy so don’t judge me).
Once I completely didn’t see a large carcass of I-don’t-know-what in the middle of the road. It literally scraped against the undercarriage of my car. That stench stayed with us until we traded her in. Anyone who has had the pleasure of coming into my driveway knows that there is a huge rock to the left of it. I have even hit that and blown out a tire. I think my husband has given up. My next car will most likely be a leftover from the demolition derby, I’m afraid.
But don’t be frightened to drive with me. I have less accidents and traffic tickets than most. In fact, I really am an excellent driver. Just ask the deer I hit.
Today, after school, the kid and I went to the store to return a gift she had received. I saw the perfect parking spot. Here’s the only problem:
Sure, when I was 19 and weighed all but 98 pounds. Not so much for a middle-aged woman who’s middle has gone south with the geese and who’s as flexible as a 90 year old gymnast.
I thought for a minute. I guess I can always just park somewhere else. Nah, the kid is already outside waiting for me. It would be way too much trouble.
I proceed to haul my fat ass across the middle console and over the passenger seat so I can exit the vehicle. Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Well, it didn’t go as smoothly as all that. Here’s proof because my sweet daughter took it upon herself to snap some photos. Stupid iPhone.
After losing a shoe and a little pee, I made it. But I can promise you, that will never be attempted again. You have my word.