Saturday, June 05, 2010

Whereupon I Learn My Panic Level Is Dramatically Increased by the Inability to Find My Phone

Yesterday afternoon.

I was excited for the evening ahead as we had tickets to see Doug Stanhope at Herman's Hideaway last night.

So when I got in my car and started heading toward home, my thoughts went a little something like this...

"I wonder if I've got enough time to workout for a few minutes before I need to start getting ready?"
"Hmmm...but a glass of wine would be really nice."
"Ice cold, pinot grigio while soaking in a bubblebath sounds delicious."
"Or maybe coffee. I could use the coffee. I'm staying up late tonight."
"Or maybe I should have coffee, workout for 20 minutes and then...

And hit me, it did.

Driving eastbound on Arapahoe Road in the farmost right lane - the lane that allows drivers to either enter I-25 south or I-25 north a bit further ahead, I saw the black Mazda cut from the center lane over to the lane next to me, now nearly side by side.

I slammed on my brakes, tires squealing, laid on my horn and tried to head up the ramp to I-25 south in order to avoid the collision. But she was coming over too fast and did not see or hear me until it was too late.


And, just as my mother thought to herself before a dump truck t-boned her in 1985, my first thought was, "Shit! This is really going to mess up my day."

I might have screamed.

I did not pee my pants.

I sat there for a minute, tried to locate my hazards, and took a physical inventory of myself. Nothing hurt really. No blood. This is good.

My purse had flown off the passenger seat onto the floor and I reached for it to grab for my phone so that I could start making calls.

My phone was gone. It wasn't in my purse. Where the hell was my phone?! I'd just had it right before I left work. It had to be here!!!

The girl - and she was a girl of maybe 22 - had gotten out of her car and approached me by then. I was unable to open my door very wide as it had taken the most impact and was dented in but I'm thinner now and can slip in and out without any trouble. So I got out to start the process. Full of remorse, she kept apologizing and asking if I was hurt.

I said, "No, I think I'm fine, but I definitely want to file a police report for this," and promptly burst into tears. "I can't find my phone. Do you have a phone? Can you make the call?"

She walked away to make the call. Her brother who, it turns out, hadn't been in her car but in his own car about 75 yards ahead of her, came over and started to exchange information with me. I couldn't find my insurance card. I started to panic and there were more tears.

This isn't me. I don't panic. Why am I panicking?

I found the card in the glove box with the registration and tried to tell him what was on it albeit unsuccessfully as I was still wondering to where my phone had gone.

A tow truck driver showed up, assessed the damage, radioed in to the police to tell them (I'm assuming he did this) that the cars were both drivable, and then instructed us to meet the officers a block away in the Target parking lot so as to avoid impeding Friday afternoon rush hour traffic attempting to get on the highway.

As I was driving over to the Target, a car exiting I-25 north did not yield the right of way to me and almost hit me on the passenger side.

And I'm like all "What the fuck is this wacky traffic today?! What is wrong with you people?!"

I wasn't angry. I never was angry. I was bewildered and teary but not angry. I just wanted to go home.

Police came. The officer asked her what happened. I listened. She told the truth. He never asked me what happened. He gave me an affidavit to fill out and my version corroborated her version.

He asked her if she'd been drinking. She admitted to a beer 2 hours' prior. He issued a roadside sobriety test and breathalyzer. She was under the legal limit for DUI.

While we were waiting, her brother had disappeared in his own car. She told me it was because they'd been heading to a wedding rehearsal dinner - HIS wedding rehearsal dinner - and she'd told him to go on without her.

I felt terrible for them both.

The officer cited her for the accident, issuing her a summons and let her go. He handed me my final paperwork and told me what to do next and told me that she was not impaired by alcohol and about the wedding.

I said, "I know. She was excited and not paying attention. Stuff like this just happens, you know? It happens and it's OK. It just...happens."

He looked at me for a minute and said, "That's why we call them accidents."

Giving him a watery smile, I said, "But you know what? It's still Friday. The weekend. And I get to go home now and take a bath."

He laughed and let me go.

And then I found my phone. It'd flown out of my purse and into the dashboard console cubby where I keep a box of kleenex.

And I felt much much much better and calm as I examined the bright side.

1) No one was injured.
2) The airbags did not deploy (side collision).
3) She had insurance...we both have the same carrier.

Today I am sore about the neck and shoulders.

That could be from the accident or it could be from laughing so hard at the Doug Stanhope show.

My life is good. And I know where my phone1 is.

1: Is that like the equivalent of knowing where my towel is?


Jenni said...

Holy Cow! Glad you're ok! Love you.

zero hour said...

I'm glad you are all o.k!
But maybe you should get your neck checked out just in case..
I got whiplash from a 5 mile an hour accident bumper bump!

Kristin said...

Oh no! What a crappy way to start your weekend! Glad you are ok.

Betsy Taggart said...

Ohmygosh Jane! I am so relieved that you're alright. Darn about the car--but at least it's something that can be fixed. XOXO