I’ve always been proud of being accident-free driver, and since my daughter is about to start driver’s ed, my clean record has given me an air of superiority.
All that changed last month.
I was in my first car accident, which meant an end to the moral high ground. And since this accident was a rear-end collision, I am doubly shamed by the fact that it was my car doing the rear-ending.
Yes, it was in bumper-to-bumper traffic in a major American city, and no, I wasn’t on my cell or putting on mascara or reading “War and Peace,” or doing anything idiot drivers do. I was looking straight ahead, everyone started to move, and then the guy in the giant honker SUV in front of me stopped moving. Too late on the brake and ba-bing – - there went the front end of my old Honda Accord.
Turns out the guy in the SUV was the nicest person, and he was with his future bride, soon-to-be Mrs. Nice. They were on their way to the airport to pick up the best man, since they were getting married the next day.
Thank goodness there were no injuries, since a headline flashed through my mind: “Bride Rear-Ended by Psychotic Female Driver; Walks Down Aisle with Busted Schnoz.” I would’ve gotten hate mail for the next 10 years.
I was on my way to see a potential client, so the bad news is, I didn’t make it. Too bad. I was having a great hair day and after two hours of vacuuming, I had eliminated all but a few dog hairballs floating around the car’s interior.
The good news is my replacement car was a VW beetle, in a snazzy powder blue, so for one brief, shining moment, which lasted all of four days, I was a cool mom. My children suddenly wanted me to pick them up at school and the mall, and right out in the open, for all to see. No parking a few dozen yards away and hunkering down in the front seat. Golly.
Of course, my daughter is never going to let me forget the accident, cool mom aura or not. I had done what I am afraid she will do every time she gets behind the wheel – hit another car, a tree, a house, whatever stands in her way.
Won’t be the end of the world if she gets into her own rear-ender, though. She could get a cool replacement car, and my old car will be repaired again – but after a certain age, couldn’t we all stand a little front-end work?