I am a train wreck.
Correction: I am a CAR wreck.
One week ago, today, I crashed my car. The combination of the Pacific Northwest’s finest downpour coupled with a predictable bottle-neck in 405 North and topped with an inconvenient time to be changing radio stations resulted in a flood of brake lights and my silly car sliding, hydroplaning, skidding and ultimately crunching into the car in front of me.
You might, if you are the generous sort, say that it was a combination of poor timing and bad luck. “Just an accident,” you might say. “That’s why they are called accidents,” you might compassionately assure me.
And if I were any other girl, you might be right.
But if you knew my history. My not-so-stellar driving record. If you knew that I could map out Pierce County by the places I have bumped, crunched, slipped and dipped my car … well, then you would join all the others who know me and lament about my poor driving skills.
And I will no longer protest. I am finally admitting, publicly, that I am a terrible driver.
It started in high school, when I did not quite clear a friend’s car with my front bumper. The damage was itty bitty and she forgave readily.
At 19, it was in my mom’s car. The insurance agent I hit was none too please by the two-inch line of white paint on his bumper. I cried.
At 20, I stupidly took my bald tires up a hill in the snow. I still maintain that my car slid off an embankment. But if my brother Dave was telling the story he would assure you that a 30-foot drop straight down into a creek is a cliff, not an embankment. For two more years that car had a different colored trunk and a tail-light that liked to short out in the rain.
At 22, a massive traffic cone ate my side mirror. 48 hours of driving in 5 days and this happened just one hour from my destination. Go figure.
At 23, a drive-up ATM ate another side mirror. There are no words for how stupid this makes me feel.
Oh! One that wasn’t my fault! At 24, a kid ran a red light and took off my front bumper and gave me whip lash. Yay! (I probably shouldn’t celebrate that, huh?)
At 25, a rainy corner and failing brakes sent me careening off the edge of 512. Snapped a rack and pinion. Classy, Sarah, super classy.
Also at 25, an inconveniently placed traffic reflector coupled with a breath-taking Lincoln National Forest claimed another side mirror. Shoot.
And, at 26, the worst of all. I have no memories of this accident, so I cannot tell you what happened. However, my “failure to yield the right of way” listed on the police report gives me the impression that I stupidly thought I had enough time to go before the UPS truck. Unfortunately, I judged wrong, as evidenced by the fact that my dear friend Becs and I woke up in hospital beds.
Three fractures to my pelvis and four fractured ribs should have taught me a valuable lesson about driving and cars and crashes and caution.
But alas, I still had that fateful day last week when I slammed my car into another person’s car.
I think the fact that my first three driving lessons were in bumper cars may have confused my muscle memory.
When will I learn? Maybe when I’m 27??? I hope so, that’s in two weeks.
For now, screaming helps.