Ever have one of those moments when you get all up on your high horse about something and you’re so proud of yourself in the moment you’re finished because you really had a right to say everything you just said? A full-on, SO THERE! moment?
And in that next moment: Dear God, I am such a jackass. WHY did I do that???
*frantic hand waving* Me, me, me.
I’ve been meaning to write about the car accident I was involved in a couple of weeks ago, but I just haven’t had the energy. Why? Because I’ve been expending all of that energy dealing with the mental, emotional, and tangible fall-out from it, including the fact that my car is sitting useless and battered in a body shop that I’ve never even seen in person while no one is taking responsibility for getting it fixed or paying for the rental car I’m driving at $25/day (and brother, I’m here to tell you that I don’t have $25/day to be giving away – ever, but particularly right now since the IRS wants $$ out of me in 12 days). As I was the hit-ee in said vehicular onslaught, I’m dealing with the other driver’s insurance company to attempt to get something done. Yeah. I’m not sure what planet my sad little brain was on when I thought they’d actually be straightforward and do, ya know, what they’re supposed to do, AKA The Right Thing, but I was obviously delusional that day.
I just left a reasonably nasty (for me) message on the claim adjuster’s voicemail, the jerk who won’t bother to return my call, has been rude to my rental car office, has been a complete assclown to my body shop, and who has the estimate for my repairs sitting on his desk for no less than 2-1/2 days now but has known about the whole damn thing for the entire 2 weeks. I made threats to send my insurance company after him. I used the word lawyer (I slay myself… let’s remember that I don’t have the $ for the rental car). I told him that he was rude AND unprofessional. I’m such a badass. *groan* I somehow imagine him getting the message and laughing himself all the way to the vending machine for his celebratory M&Ms.
The very short version of the accident is that it was pouring rain in a “somebody build an Ark” fashion, and as I was bringing the kids home from school (one mine, one not mine), the other driver (by her statement) tapped her brakes to change lanes and suddenly was careening into a hard spin that would have been 100% impossible for almost any vehicle to make at that sharp of a degree without the benefit of hydroplaning—a benefit she had in spades. In what is, without a single doubt, the very best bit of driving I have ever done in my life (and I’ve had some good moments), my addled brain managed to process the potential outcomes of my possibilities and, from there on, took over with eerily calm almost-instinctual maneuvering. I didn’t slow. I sped up. I drove as hard as I could FOR the median, knowing that I might rub it but that, even if I did, it was the only way to keep the gargantuan barge of a vehicle from hitting my car directly at my son’s door. If I was lucky, we wouldn’t be hit at all and maybe I’d just lose my driver’s side mirror. I wasn’t lucky.
I’ve been in a couple of accidents in my lifetime, only two as the driver — one deemed 50% my fault (I pulled out in front of him, believing his turn signal – foolish, inexperienced driver that I was) and one 100% not my fault (rear-ended on a busy freeway in stopped traffic). Incidentally, they happened within 7 days of each other. But, I’ve been a passenger in several others; I did grow up in the Midwest after all, and lo and behold, ice changes things for anything with wheels. I can solidly state that I have never been in a vehicle that has been hit as hard as mine was in this accident, a combination of the ginormous assault vehicle, 55 mph starting speed, and the momentum of both when combined with hydroplaning. We 360’d in the middle lane of a very busy freeway in the middle of town — both vehicles — and somehow, neither of us hit anyone else. A miracle, nothing short of.
Anyway, the boys dealt with it well, the other mother was able to pick them up within about 30 minutes, my car was towed, my husband picked me up and brought me home, and I was finally able to lose my composure after we’d pulled into the garage and turned the car off. You see, that processing that happened in my mind? I was right. When I looked at the damage to my car, I was hit directly at the rear passenger side wheel/gas tank door area. And when you looked closer, you could see the small margin of the rear passenger door that was abnormally bent. The door behind which my son was sitting.
In light of that, fine, so I made a stupid phone call today. Two weeks ago, I may have saved my son’s life.
I am a badass.