Tag Archives: car accident

Day late. Dollar short.

29 Feb

Hind-sight is 20/20. As are belated comebacks.

Everyone has that moment, well after the comic timing has run out, when they realize what they should’ve said or done in a situation. Right? I think entire episodes of Seinfeld were based on this.

I pride myself on being pretty good at being snappy in the moment – sometimes a bit too snappy, since I’ve been accused of being stuck in “perpetual smartass mode” by a few people. (You know who you are.)

And yet, my instincts failed me Sunday night when I saw the driver who hit me last year. I simply ducked my chin and kept walking, just trying to avoid a conversation since I knew how long-winded she could be. (I shuddered to think how she stayed at the hospital, telling me her life story while I waited for an MRI. Let’s just say, I could ghost write her memoirs without a follow-up interview.)

Anyway. Afterward, I chatted with Alan, telling him I’d seen her.

Alan: What did you do?
Me: What do you mean?
Alan: Did she recognize you?
Me: No! I kept my chin down and went by as fast as I could.
Alan: But she was in her car?
Me: Yep. The same car. 
<<PAUSE. Slow dawning of an epiphany.>>
Me: You know what I should’ve done?
Alan: Waved?
Me: No. Better.
Alan: What?
Me: I should’ve rolled across her hood.
Alan: Huh?
Me: Instead of walking in front of her car – I should’ve just rolled across her hood and kept walking.
Alan: Dude. She was so traumatized last year – that would’ve pushed her over the edge.
Me: Probably. She would either weep that she’d hit two pedestrians…
Alan: Or?
Me: Recognize me and think that I had actually flung myself into her windshield the first time on purpose.
Alan: Brilliant.

Fortunately, I know where she lives, so there’s always time for a do-over. I’ll let you know how it goes.

It would've looked kind of like this. Except I wasn't wearing a pervy trenchcoat.

The planets are in alignment. Literally.

28 Feb

I did not take this photo. Some awesome photographer from Reuters did. I'm borrowing it to illustrate my story. Is that technically copyright infringement? I sure hope not.

Leaving yoga last night, I happened to look up and see the moon. Well, the moon (a sliver) and two very bright stars underneath it. My memory jogged to a Facebook post I’d read the night before, in which a friend had urged everyone to head outside and check out Venus and Jupiter, just under the moon.

I looked around and realized that what I was seeing was MUCH brighter than anything else in the sky, and I knew I was looking at planets. With my naked eyes. I became inexplicably excited and couldn’t take my eyes off them, except when passing other pedestrians. And I realized: apparently I’m the only person who finds planets to be a kinda big deal, because everyone else was shuffling along, talking on cell phones, not looking up.

I wanted to stop strangers and say, “Look up! Check it out! Those are PLANETS.” And I considered doing it – I assessed every person I walked past, trying to find someone I could share this marvel with. But that’s when I figured something out: when you’re walking alone, after dark, and you approach strangers, they’re going to think you’re either a) A criminal, or B) Crazy.

I couldn’t decide if the yoga mat over my shoulder helped or hurt my cause. On one hand, it showed that I wasn’t homeless (unless it was actually a bed roll), but on the other, it could mean that I was some kind of crazy Earth Mother who liked stars AND astrology.

This mild self-awareness prompted me to exercise some restraint and NOT approach strangers. However, if they’d studied me closely, they would’ve seen my eyes dancing from their faces up to the moon and back, much like a dog trying to hint that he’s ready for you to fill up his bowl. No one looked up. Their loss.

Unable to contain my enthusiasm, I called Alan and my sister and encouraged them to head outside, and sent my friend Betsy a text. I needed to share this with someone. I mean, it’s not every day that the planets are aligned so you can see them on a casual walk.

You know what else doesn’t happen everyday? Spotting the person who hit you with her vehicle. That’s right.

Walking down T Street, I was just about to cross the opening to an alley, when a Prius turned to enter. I hesitated for a moment before crossing its path (it was a Prius after all – and the same color as the one that hit me, at that!) and in that moment, I looked up at the driver. It was Tina. The woman whose face I had seen vividly through that same windshield once before.

Not sure how I recognized it.

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me to bump into her (no pun intended) since she lives two blocks from me. But I did just celebrate my one year crashiversary (Feb 13!)  by observing that I hadn’t seen her since that night in the ER. Guess I celebrated too soon.

Ironically, for the first time since I’d set eyes on the moon, with the one person who stood a chance of recognizing me, I didn’t feel compelled to stop her and ask her to look up. Instead I just tucked my chin down and hustled past, glad for the anonymity.

Nestled back in my home, I googled “Venus, Jupiter, Moon” to make sure that what I’d seen were actually planets. (Yep!) But then I found this article that informed me I’d missed the real bonanza last May, when Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Mars were visible to the naked eye, with Uranus and Neptune visible with binoculars.

WHAT?! I missed the chance to see SIX planets at once with nothing more than opera glasses? Where was I when this happened, and why didn’t anyone drag me outside? Also? Maybe this explains why no one mirrored my amazement last night. They probably all had seen six planets last year and would’ve been like, “Yawn. Big deal…” if I’d stopped to point out Venus and Jupiter.

It would’ve been kind of like that time in France when a couple stopped me and asked for directions and – because I couldn’t actually understand their question, I thought they were gesturing at a building that had caught fire the week before, so I’d excitedly responded to their simple inquiry with: “See that? It burn! It BURN! Burn big! Go bye!” Their eyes had grown large and they started backing away from me as if I were about to light them on fire.

So anyway. I guess there are three morals to this story: First, trying to engage strangers on the street is a recipe for looking crazy. Second, when the planets are in alignment, expect the unexpected. Third, if ever you don’t understand what someone has asked you, err on the side of giving them directions to a supermarket. At least you will have communicated something non-threatening and potentially helpful.

The good news? The planets will be visible for a few more weeks, so you haven’t missed your chance to see them. I just ask that if you DO see them and want to share the joy with a stranger, you point to the moon and tell someone how to get to FoodLion.

My bucket list requires a helmet.

20 Aug

Thursday my colleague Rebecca and I flew to Melbourne for the day to meet with the team there. It was a mini-reunion of sorts, because one of the women there (the one who sent me the terrifying photo of the huge spider) worked on our Boston team when I was first hired. It was great to see her and get a mini-orientation of Melbourne.

We landed around 8am and hopped a cab into the city. The rush hour traffic was fierce, so although we were on the highway, it was all “hurry up and wait” with a lot of quick acceleration, followed by a jamming of the brakes. I was feeling a bit woozy from the flight (“Touch of turbulence, mate!”) and the cab ride wasn’t helping things.

To take my mind off how crappy I felt, I started telling Rebecca stories of random business travel experiences I’d had the US. In the middle of one of these stories, our cab (again) stopped. Then we heard a crunch, and were suddenly whipped forward. It took us a minute to process what had just happened.

Awesome! I’ve now been in car accidents on two continents. Check that off the bucket list!

It was a bit surreal. Our driver got out, went back and traded information with the driver who had hit us. (Apparently they only call the police if someone is injured or isn’t taking responsibility — much more civil.) It was all very matter of fact and calm — none of the American drama with people screaming, “What were you THINKING, you jackass?”

When our driver hopped back in the car, he said, simply, “People aren’t driving very properly today. What you gonna do?”

I love that. Goes right along with the “no worries” attitude that seems to be the national motto.

The rest of our drive was without incident, and when he deposited us downtown, I stood outside the car, waiting for Rebecca’s credit card to run. As soon as it had, she jumped out.

“Do you not tip cabbies?” I asked her.

She looked at me like I had five eyes. “Seriously?”

I nodded.

“No. And I think even if if I did routinely tip, I wouldn’t if they got me in an accident.”

I can see her logic. No wonder Americans are known for being tip-happy.

For Valentine’s Day, I gave Alan the gift of Crazy.

17 Feb

Since I had to travel for work on Monday (meaning I would miss Valentine’s Day) Alan and I decided we would celebrate early by making reservations at Brasserie Beck for dinner right after work Friday night.

We were both pretty excited about it, so when my leg ballooned to the size of an elephant’s trunk and I hopped a cab for the hospital, I called him with the news, “We may need to push back our dinner reservation, because I’m on my way to the ER.”

I probably should’ve started that call with, “I’m fine and you shouldn’t be worried…” but I was too fixated on the meal to think rationally. So it was no wonder Alan promptly freaked out and jumped in his car to meet me at the hospital.

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Part One: In which, for a moment, I think someone has taken out a hit on me.

14 Feb

I’ve never needed an emergency room before, but this weekend I was there twice, for two separate things.

First, my work day was cut short on Friday because I looked down and realize my left calf was suddenly Hulk-worthy, measuring in at almost two inches wider in circumference than my right leg. I called my doctor and he directed me to the ER to get an ultrasound for a blood clot. (More on that in a separate entry.)

Then yesterday, thinking I would take advantage of the gorgeous weather, I ventured out for a walk. Forty minutes into the walk, while in a pedestrian crosswalk, I got hit by a car.

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