I had hardly ever heard the phrase 'it happens' spoken to me, until this past month, where I heard it over and over. A few weeks ago, I had my first-ever car accident. Well, the first accident where I had to hang my head and accept blame. Then came the words, 'it happens.'
People said it when I had to explain what happened and what I had done. Personally, I never thought of a car accident as something that happens to everybody at one time or another. I think of slipping on an icy sidewalk that way. I think of getting your vehicle stuck in a snowdrift that way. I think of getting bucked off the chairlift and getting a face full of snow that way. Notice how all those accidents have to do with ice and slippery business? That's because that is the only justifiable reason I can think up as to why you should get into an accident. I feel like otherwise you should be fine.
Thus my accident makes me feel like the village idiot.
As part of my punishment, I was given a rental vehicle 14 years newer than my current ride. Can we say 'culture shock?' The guy renting it to me gave me a tour of all its features like a salesman. And I had to drive it all over town! PITY ME! I fretted to my hubby and he stroked my hair and told me in soothing tones that everything would be fine. He reminded me that I have been driving for many years and everything has always gone smoothly before. I felt all warm and comforted. Then my hubby was going to run an errand and I told him to take the rental so he could have the fun of driving a vehicle 15 years news than his. For a crooked man with a bad back and a stick... he can really move. And by move, I mean, back away from me as fast as he could and get into his little silver bullet that is, yes, quite a healthy teenager.
Now I feel this weird mixture of internal incompetence and external pampering. Anyone ever felt that? I feel like someone who just ate a tower of cheese fries knowing full well they were going out to dinner and then ate that too, only to vomit in the parking lot and ruin everything. I should have been given a rental car by some guy who snapped his gum too hard and just kinda pointed to the 1999 (insert least desirable car brand) with the peanut butter stain on the seat. Maybe if I had to ride around in a clunker (worse than my clunker), ruin at least one pair of my pants, and have to hold my nose while I drove, I'd remember 'it happens' and I wouldn't get into a car accident ever again.
Unless there was ice. I'd forgive myself for that.