Okay, so did I tell you that I had an accident? I did. I backed right into a guy and smashed the crap out of his very old Ford Escort.
It was pretty comical really, in an awful sort of way. Here's the story. I tried calling my friend, let's just call her J. I tried calling her like five times, and let's just say she likes to screen me. Supposedly, another friend of hers was in crisis and she was on the phone with her and she planned to call me back asap. Really, she promised. (Just kidding, J.)
Anyhooooo.....finally I saw her. She was leaving our children's school just as I was arriving. I rolled down my window to wave at her and since she was on the phone (still!) she didn't see me until she was just about past my car. She stopped, but not until she was just slightly past me. I very absentmindedly decided to stop, throw it into reverse, and back up to bring my car even with hers.
Ooops. There was this little car behind me that I didn't even see. Honestly, when I heard the crunch I thought I had hit a trash can on the side of the road or something. It never even occurred to me that someone was behind me! I mean, the gall, someone having the audacity to be behind me when I needed to back up to talk to a friend! Sheesh.
Well, his car was definitely totalled. I mean the thing probably was worth about $600 and the damage was far more than that. My bumper fell off, but that's about it. I felt horrible for the guy though. He seemed young and he didn't seem to have a lot of money. I'm sure it was a definite hardship for him to be late for work and car-less.
I was nervous and quite shaken. It was my first accident as a real adult. The only other crash I had ever been in was when I was 18--driving my parents' car and still on my parents' insurance. They took care of all the details, of course, including making me commute from college every Saturday morning for over a year to clean their house to pay them back for the damages. They literally fired the cleaning lady so I could take over her job.
In any case, this time, I was supposed to know what to do but I didn't, so I just did exactly what it told me to do on the back of the insurance card. It took forever for the police officer to come and when he finally did, he wrote me the ticket. Duh. Guess you can't get more guilty than I was. The poor guy was just driving along and was probably going only about 20 miles an hour, when I just backed right up and smashed his car to smithereens.
So later, I'm reading over my options and I realize that one of the options I have is to attend Defensive Driving School and get the ticket removed from my record. That sounded like a sweet deal to me, so yesterday, that's just what I did.
I hired a sitter to watch the kids while I was gone. Then I woke up at the crack of dawn, and sat in a room with 60 other traffic law violators.
It was actually kind of fun. And interesting. The guy who taught it was totally Bill Cosby. He was pretty darn funny. Plus, the other violators were an interesting mix of citizens. There was a 65+ year old grandmother sitting behind me knitting. She even brought her own cocoa in a thermos and her own mug. When she was done drinking it, she put it all--spoon, dirty cup and all--into a ziploc. Then there was the 50+ something New Yorker lady who complained about how if she were back in NY, she'd have been walking to work and would have never gotten a ticket. There was the assortment of young punks, dressed in baggy clothes and ridiculous looking sneakers. A couple of professionals, a couple of students, young, old, middle class and poor. Just for the people-watching it was worth the $128. Plus, I learned everything there is to know about DUIs and seat belt laws, road rage and the main cause of accidents, which by the way, is not cell phone use, but rather eating while driving.
And best of all? I got my National Safety Council certificate in Defense Driving. Whoo hoo!