Bright Side (or “Goodbye, Lali?!?”)

Finding the bright side of a car wreck. (I’m ok.)

I was in a car wreck today and likely totaled Lali, my beautiful little blue hatchback. I’m ok. We won’t dwell on whose fault it was, because as the cop said, in that straightforward cop way as he eyed my crunched hood melded into the other car’s rear bumper, “It’s pretty obvious what happened.”

laliwreck1Earlier today, I was having a rather prophetic chat with my work buddy (at least as far as this post is concerned). I’ve been having a high-stress couple of days, for good and bad reasons, personal and professional, and we were talking about taking stock of the good things about the various stressors. “Just try to argue with a smile on your face. It can’t be done.” Muscle memory and it’s stubbornly positive effects on mood, and all that. Fake it till you make it philosophy, y’know?

Anyhow. Then I wrecked my car. So here, I am, forcing the smile while I tally up the good things about possibly totaling my car. Most of them are sincere. Some of them are a stretch. But I am grateful. I am. I am.

Things for which to be Grateful After Wrecking your Car

The air bag didn’t leave any bruises on my nose or chest after it deployed, just immediate shortness of breath, some lasting sore spots, and a little redness. When the airbag deployed, it only broke one of the strands of my double-strand vintage bead necklace passed on from my mom (a gift from her high school graduation), and a large number of the beads turned up in my bra later. The air bag deployed.

laliwreck3My feet are not even externally bruised and from where the front of my car crunched in on them as I slammed on my brakes 3 seconds too late. They are only a little sore now, several hours later.

I didn’t inhale too much smoke, and the splattered, rivulets of red stuff on the pavement was only radiator fluid.

I hit a beautiful 2 yr old Porsche, which then hit a brand new Audi. Go big or go home. The woman in the Porsche, who was already wearing a full-leg metal brace on her left leg, aaaagh– was not not further injured. There were no passengers and no one was hurt.

I did not have my daughter in the car. LittleBird was with her daycare provider who loves her and was happy to keep her till we got there.

Due to a last-minute scheduling change, the husband was in Seattle and got to me in under 30 minutes.

Everyone else got to drive away from the scene and I got a tow truck driver with very nice roadside manner, who was both really good with a crow bar and immediately, sympathetically snide for the driver of a lowly, admittedly disty, commuter hatchback smacking into a Porsche and an Audi.

If you have to wreck your car, directly across the street from your place of work is a good place. You can call the aforementioned work buddy to come talk you out of the trees while you’re crying all over everything and waiting for the husband. A couple of your other co-workers will see it out the windows, directly facing the accident spot, likely saving you the trouble of telling everyone why you’re in late and sore the next day.

Today was one of the rare days I put my computer bag in the cargo back of the car, rather than the front floor seat, which got crunched in. The infernal machine starts and everything. The can of soda in my purse that WAS on the floor in the front seat just got really banged up and didn’t explode, so yay, ginger ale.

The insurance claims woman and the rental car guy both had amazingly comforting voices.

If I had to total a car, at least it was the one we just paid off a few months back. (sob)

The clasps on that old car seat were really tricky and probably just needed to be replaced wholesale. Plus, I needed to completely clean out my car anyhow, and now I don’t have to take it in to get the squeaky brake fixed or the 100,000 mile service.

The hot water didn’t run out in the shower, and I only have a few sore and shallow indents from the seat-belt across my stomach.

This happened to be the same night I got to babysit a very cuddly, therapeutically warm and sleepy puppy and Kanarie brought me the magic of vanishing scent Bengay, for tomorrow when I’ll need it but don’t want to smell like an old man.

The car did the job I bought it to do 7 years ago, to take me safely all over the place and handle me in case of accidents. She crumpled around me, rather than crumpling me, and cars–even my darling Lali-monster– are just things, and I will get over the adrenaline soreness and the loss, and we are all ok.

As she pulled away in the gritty grasp of the tow truck, Lali smiled at me. The lop-sided fighter’s grin. “Who takes care of you?” she seemed to cough through her smashed in grill. “I take care of you, babe.  You go on now. I got this.”



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