Bumper Cars, of the less fun variety

I hit a car yesterday on my way to school.  Nothing too terrible, although I felt really terrible about it.  I was stopped at a light.  The light turned, we all started moving.  I must have glanced down and the woman in front of me stopped.  I slammed into her, or at least it sounded like a slam as I was probably going only 5 to 10 miles an hour.  There was little to no damage (at most, a scratch, although that may have been there before– and some dust as I need to clean my car).  We exchanged information and got back in our cars.

Driving for about 4 years now, I’ve never hit anyone before.  I’ve been hit, in a very scary parkway accident that, miraculously, left both cars with no damage (only some scuff marks).  That was when I’d been driving about a year.

Getting back in my car yesterday, I was scared and shaking.  Everything loose in my car (some shoes, clothes, two stuffed animals– and my cell phone) had flown.  I moved some stuff back onto the seat and sat for a moment to collect myself.  I frantically tried to find the phone, but couldn’t.  I was meeting molecularsheep at school before we parted ways for our respective classes.  I was now late, with no way to reach him, and scared.

I sat in my car and realized that I couldn’t stay there forever.  I couldn’t call anyone to come get me without my phone, so I had to start driving again.  I made it to school uneventfully, pulled up next to molecular sheep’s car (who immediately knew something was wrong) and began to tell the story, sobbing.

He got out, hugged me, and helped calm me down.  He listened to everything and helped me find my phone.  I got my stuff for class, although I was already pretty sure I wasn’t going at this point, and we sat in his car for a bit while I called my dad, mostly because he holds the car insurance.

My dad was low-key about the whole thing.  Working hard to make sure that everything was ok, especially me and my car, and then to calm me down a bit.  He told me about his first two accidents as a driver, both which involved him hitting someone from behind (except, in his words, doing more damage).  As I was still shaking and my class is a dance class (requiring coordinated movement…), I opted to tag along with molecular sheep to main campus.  He had a full day of teaching and work, so I sat outside his building, in the shade of a beautiful day.  I called my mom.  I told her everything and, she too, tried to calm me down and make me feel better, as I felt immensely guilty and scared.  She told me about an accident she’d had.  We must have been on the phone for more than an hour, and I did feel better when I got off.

The rest of the day was spent reading the book that molecular sheep didn’t feel like carrying to class.  I was enthralled and– in between sandwiches and blueberries and another hours-long conversation with mom– read about 50 pages.

After school, we (molecular sheep and i) had already planned to go to Target, so we did.  We’d both been talking about planting some things– vegetables for me and him, herbs.  As we pulled up, the sign reminded me that Home Depot was right next door.  I suggested we go and after Target, we delighted in rows of vegetable plants and pots and soil.  He chose a variety of peppers, some herbs, raspberries, and tomato plants for his mom.  I got some corn and tomatoes (one cherry, one beefstake), and blueberries.  I also wanted red peppers, but they only had yellow and green (of the bell pepper variety).  I’m going tomorrow to get the red peppers at a local supermarket where I saw them the end of last week.

By the end of the day, I was exhausted, but feeling much better.  I’m grateful to have parents who, while they’ve pushed me over the years, knew that I’ve always been so hard on myself that they haven’t been hard on me (and instead have to help curb my thick guilt and sense of responsibility).  That plus a good friend, a good book, and a little gardening made the day so much better.

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3 Comments

Filed under Life, The Garden

3 responses to “Bumper Cars, of the less fun variety

  1. Oh, how I miss gardening! It’s true that the zen of that can stop the heftiest guilt train . . .
    I rear-ended someone eight months ago, the day after I returned from running a half-marathon in Oregon. My son had spent the preceding days resisting napping–which meant no napping for me–and I was exhausted. Stuck in traffic, I glanced down, then glanced up and went, “Crud!” My foot hit the brake and I thought everything was going to be fine. Alas, my foot slid clean off the brake and I hit the lady in front of me. I felt miserable about it, but the lady I’d hit was gracious.
    It took me a couple of months till I got my “driving confidence” back, but it did come back! I hope you get yours back sooner, and have an easier time recognizing everyone makes mistakes . . . and that it says nothing about anyone’s capability or awesomeness!

    • I’m loving gardening for this reason! My driving confidence is coming back. Thankfully, there must have really been no damage as I did not receive a call from the woman– who was not as gracious as I might have hoped, although I can’t complain as I’m glad to have not heard from her again! It’s taken me this long, but I’ve started learning that it’s ok to make mistakes, or have the occasional day when I don’t get anything done, or eat too much, or just feel cruddy. It’s a learning process, but I’m finally learning. There may be a blog coming about this soon 🙂

  2. Pingback: An Airbag of Angels | creativecaterpillar

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