Sunday, February 28, 2016

Random Observations on Inattentiveness

Two weeks ago, my car was fatally rear-ended by a woman who wasn't paying attention.

Don't get me wrong. I'm eternally grateful neither Jack nor I was injured in the crash. I wish the woman driving the other car well and hope her injuries were superficial. (She was transported to the hospital but appeared to be mostly okay.)

But my car was rear-ended for the third time in 18 months, this time fatally.

I really loved that car, a red Mazda CX-9. It gave its life for me and Jack, performing honorably. I miss it.

The consequences of her inattentiveness have surprised me in the past two weeks, so here are a few random musings upon those consequences.

1. Ambulance-chasing lawyers are killing trees. The amount of junk mail I've received (including two identical mailings from a single lawyer which arrived on the same day) is preposterous.

2. After three rear-endings, a person is apt to become a bit paranoid about cars coming up from behind. It occurred to me that a giant sign on the back of my new car might make me feel better. "Please Don't Hit Me!"

3. Whatever we're paying police, paramedics, and firefighters isn't enough for the amazing work they do. On the day in question, the wind chill was near zero. To a person, every first responder was polite, caring, compassionate, and kind. The police officer who took us home even helped the tow-truck driver unload my groceries from the wrecked car. My heart overflows with gratitude for them.

4. I mentally shut down at the prospect of buying a new car. I'd rather have another root canal. Fortunately, my husband had my back on this one, performing a spectacular speed-shopping feat of bravery (engaging car salespeople takes courage). He found me a close replacement for my vehicle at a pretty great price. All I had to do was show up and sign papers. Thanks, honey!

5. When you want a red CX-9 right now, it's a sure bet the only color available within a two-hour radius of your home will be black.

6. On Tuesday, I drove the new car to a cafe before Bible study. As I left the building, mocha in hand, I saw a shiny new black car parked on the side of the road and thought, "What a pretty car!" I did not recognize it as mine. Emotional ownership will come, but slowly.

7. Going from two more years of car payments to five just plain sucks.

8. Having both a black car interior and a golden retriever forces you to let go of obsessive neatness, which will lose to dog fur every time. The saddest part of having dog fur in my new car: the dog's not even set a paw in the car yet. The fur floats in on the people. 

9. Going behind the gate of a giant, deserted, body-shop parking lot to retrieve the registration from your totalled vehicle on a Sunday afternoon makes you feel like a bad-ass.

10. To the guy who almost slid into my not even a week-old car at a traffic light on a snowy Friday morning...thank you for your quick maneuvering. Had you hit me, the police would have had to lead me off to the psych ward. I truly would not have been responsible for my actions.

10. Pay attention out there, folks. Our cars are fun and convenient and useful and sometimes even cool, but they are big and potentially dangerous. Be safe.