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August 4, 2007

Parenting. Changed forever.

crash

I have anger issues. I'm hardly proud of that. It's just me. An interaction with a surly salesperson is enough to set me off.

A few days ago, while accelerating from a red light, I got rear ended pretty good by a Ford Explorer. I got slightly startled and, contrary to what many advised, no signs of "whiplash". No big deal.

And, no anger.

Some damage from a frightened twentysomething woman who didn't know what to do. I had some paper and wrote down the relevant information for both of us. She seemed a little stunned and sorry. Very non-Paris Hilton. Both vehicles driveable, we went on our way.

Within an hour, her father was on the phone asking if he could pay the damage without insurance involvement. Too happy to oblige, I tracked down an estimate and her father gasped. He went with the insurance and gave me all the information I needed. He also told me how many nights he lay awake worrying about his daughter's driving and how great a daughter she was, "She does everything right, she's a great kid." Insurance proceedings have progressed uneventfully and within a couple weeks and a little inconvenience, I'll probably have forgotten the incident. Unfortunately, my taillight assembly is currently held on with (matching) duct tape so my vehicle is barely street legal.

What surprised me was my reaction. Big picture: no one hurt. On a lesser scale: I felt horrible the entire day for the young woman (probably her first accident), her financially-burdened and worried father and my parents who tolerated my automobile mishaps throughout my life (I had MANY). It was a slightly scary reminder of how long the challenge of parenthood is - forever. Most of it good, much of it scary. It also made me laugh at the silliness of parenting classes. Nothing can prepare you for this journey.

8 comments:

Dane said...

Oh Dave, I'm so glad you're ok. It looks kind of bad.

Having been on both sides of that situation - the shaky, upset sinner and the sinned against, I'm just sad for both of you.

Her dad sounds so much like mine.

Big Momma said...

The girl's dad reminded me of how my father would react, but the duct tape job has my dad written all over it.

Glad to hear that everyone is ok, other than being a little rattled!

Dave said...

Hey Dane, not so bad. Nothing 3K won't fix, just a car.

BM, thanks for stopping by, look forward to future visits to your site. Might even see you at C'ville farmers market sometime.

Maria from way back when... said...

Kudos to you Dave. As the parent of a teenage driver I would hope and pray that god forbid she is faced with a similar circumstance that the other party would react similarly. I was rear-ended to the tune of 3 grand by a BMW about 18 months ago. I reacted very calmly much to the amazement of the other driver. My rear bumper is much nicer now and my kids weren't with me. Several months later I rear-ended someone and he treated me just as kindly. That was a no damage situation but the guy could have been a real jerk about it because I wasn't paying attention.

Betty said...

When my oldest had his accident as a teen (nobody hurt), it was quite traumatic for me. Loss of sleep, more worrying, etc was the norm for a while. By the time the youngest had hers as a teen (nobody hurt), it was more like an item to check off of the list of Things To Go Through With A Teen. My daughter had hers right after school in a school zone. The cop said there's usually one a day there.

As I recall, everyone involved was nice about it.

Dave said...

Good things to look forward too. We should've had two I guess. Makes you a tad less neurotic.?

Betty said...

There was another one between oldest and youngest. I think I just became too tired to be as neurotic as I had been :)

Lexi said...

Wow. No, really. Wow. Anyone who's ever hit me has been an uninsured jerk. I thought it was a Columbus thing but I guess I was wrong.

I love the duct-tape job. My passenger-side mirror was duct-taped to my car for almost a year by the time I could afford to fix it ($300).