Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fender-benders: a female perspective

I heard somewhere that women tend to have fender-benders while men tend to have major accidents on the road.

Crazy as it sounds, I almost think the latter is better. At least, if you’re in the hospital, you get some sympathy. It’s hard to criticize someone’s driving while that person is lying in a hospital bed in a full body cast. Plus if you’re unconscious, you don’t have to make the call. You know, the “Honey, I’ve had a fender-bender (again)” call.

For every fender-bender I’ve had in the past 13 years of marital bliss (which have NOT all been my fault, not to sound defensive or anything), my reaction has been the following:

1. “Oh, ----” Now, I normally don’t swear at all, and especially not in front of my children, but this has been my reaction every time, which made me wonder if anyone’s ever run his or her car into anything without a curse word slipping out. Is it humanly possible? I could tell a story here about a preacher I know but won’t.

2. I apologize to the kids for the swear word. (I should have been Catholic - the guilt thing - although I believe they allow swear words.)

3. I make sure the kids are okay and not hurt.

4. Then I THINK, “Oh, ----,” now I have to make the call.

5. I say to my children, “No, I don’t know how much it’s going to cost, and, no, I don’t know why I backed into that car, and, yes, that is a big dent, and, yes, that does look like a brand-new car, and, yes, she does look a tad angry, and, NO, we are not going to Dairy Queen!”

6. I pull out my cell phone and stare at it, trying to figure out who else I might call and then decide that not even my mama loves me that much. Not to mention I used up my allotment of those calls when I turned 16.

7. I seriously consider jumping back into the car and telling the kids we are going to pretend we are “Smokey and Bandit,” and then hightail it out of there. In today’s case, however, I remind myself that I’m in a church parking lot and quickly dismiss the thought before God gets mad at me. Plus there are witnesses.

8. I stare at the phone, regret I said no to DQ and contemplate how many ice creams dipped in chocolate I would have to buy my children in order to prevent them from telling their daddy.

9. Apologize profusely to the person I hit and blame it all on the fact that I’m either driving my husband’s truck, or he hasn’t fixed the rearview mirror like I’ve asked him to a dozen times, or he told me to hurry home because he was hungry. Either way, it’s all his fault.

10. Dial the number and say, tearfully, “Honey, I’ve had a fender-bender. And, it was all MY fault.”

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