Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Enter with Caution... Tree Huggers Welcome

My life in cars...

Mom's 90's GrandAm... yep, I hit a pole with it.

My punishment for running into the pole. It backfired... I loved my little car!

Our current car... a Lumina from 1492.

But OUR tires are not as pretty as the one's above. See?

Our current van... a Chevy Venture... we still owe $100,000,000 on it! YAY!

My future car... a 1970 Volkswagon Convertible Beetle... in Pink!

My other future car... a red BMW... I may have to cut off my legs, but it will be worth it...

I'm a tree hugger.

I have hit many stationary objects in my driving life. In driving school, I was more interested in impressing my absolutely edible driving instructor than I was learning to actually... drive.

Somehow I made it through the class & then went on to take my driving test... 3 times. I did fabulously on the written exam, but guess what? The written exam doesn't mean a damn thing if you can't actually drive. I hit cones the first two times I attempted the driving course. The 3rd time I hit a cone, but it didn't actually fall over. It just weebled and wobbled without falling down. So the teacher, get this, passed me! Woot Woot!

Every time I failed that test was like a slap in the face. Mom took me to Delaware (the town in Ohio, not the state, although I thought about it) because we heard a nasty rumor that there was an evil instructor in Marion, our town. We drove home the first two times, the non-passing times, and I'd cry and cry... I was NEVER gonna be able to drive. Damn cones! They were way too damn close together! SUCKERS!

You have to know me to understand why me driving is such a fear to so many of my family members & friends... and sometimes even myself. I'm blind... honestly, I'm blind... did you know you can be blind and still be able to see? Basically, if you see really sucky and squint more than you don't to see perfectly normal-sized objects, you are blind... legally. If, like me, you can't see a damn thing at night, and even when you put your glasses on or contacts in, you're still squinting to see the golden arches 1/800th of a mile from McDonald's, you are positively blind.

Every time I go into the BMV to renew my license I get squirmy, sweaty, silly and stupid. Seriously! I take my number from the maddening little number-machine and sit there, in the presence of Marion folk talking about the current drugs they are taking and who their dealers are. It's always a lovely errand to run. When they do finally call my number, normally 6-8 hours later (okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but it feels like it!), I walk a fake saunter up to the desk, my head held high, full of fake self-confidence & enthusiasm, smile sweetly and put my head up against that little machine... and GUESS! That's right, I can't see any of it, so I guess. I pray my 6th sense will kick in, and I'll recite the correct letters... or numbers... hell, I don't even know if they are numerical or alphabetical... I've never seen them. It's always the same story. The chick or dude looks at me blankly, and as if they don't know what in the hell to do with me, they just stamp me as 'daylight restricted' once again. Almost 14 years of daylight restrictions. Believe it or not, I'm quite okay with that. I realize how lucky I am to be able to drive at all. Although I am blind, I can see... sympathy vote? YEAH BABY! Driver's License? YEAH BABY! I shouldn't but I do! Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah!

So the day I finally got my drivers license, I got home and my mom reluctantly let me drive over to La Rue, a little town about 15 minutes from our house. My little sister went with me. Looking back, I realize my mom must have prayed on her knees the entire time we were gone. I can't even imagine my kids driving. The mere thought of it makes me grip my chair in panic, and I hear that feeling won't ease up as they get older. They're never driving. I just decided that. :) Aw, I feel better.

So anyway, Tara and I were on our way to La Rue, windows rolled down, listening to "California Knows How to Party" by 2PAC. I thought I was extremely cool listening to that song over and over again in Mom's red GrandAm. That car was hot at the time... not hot as in stolen... hot as in HOT! Even though I couldn't see the boys I drove by, I liked to assume they were admiring my car, my music & my skills. I'll never know.

We got to La Rue, I pulled into the parking spot, and BAMALAMA BOOM BOOM, I hit a pole. Yep, head-on, ran right into a pole... first day I had my license. It cracked Mom's license plate cover. Accident number ONE. Luckily, probably because I'm blind, I didn't get grounded, chored to death or stood in a corner. I think I got the sympathy vote on that one. :P

Not long after the GrandAm incident, I came home from school to find a little grey Plymouth Horizon in the driveway. I believe it was a 1987 model... not new, but new to me and I LOVED IT! I had to push on the gas just the right way to get the car to start, and there were tricks to driving it, but to me, that was more special than driving a normal car. No one could just jump in my car & drive it! I was the only master! The master of the Horizon! Yeeeeehawwwwwww!

There have been several driving incidents over the years involving me and various cars. Over the past few years, I have hit more mailboxes than I care to admit. Oh, hell, I don't mind admitting it... I have hit an average of 10-15 mailboxes, some in succession. It's not that I don't drive with caution... I truly do... I use more caution than the average driver due to my lack of vision. I do, however, focus on not going left to center, which in turn makes me hit mailboxes. You see, it's really not my fault. If the lanes were wider, I'd be fine. The town of Prospect is a dangerous place... small lanes. They aren't even really lanes... they're tiny little tightropes, just begging for you to mess up and hit something.

That brings me to my next story, or confession if you prefer...

A few years ago, pre-babies and in my skinny-mini days, I led Weight Watchers meetings. That's right... I was a leader! Scary thought, eh? Anyway, one Monday night after our weekly meeting, I decided to pull left out of the Southland Mall (which is a beautiful mall by the way, if you ever decide to take a field trip to Marion :P). It was dark. There was snow... and no lines whatsoever on the road. Everything was snow-covered. I turned anyway, and got into what I thought was the turn lane. I looked behind my right shoulder to see if there were any cars coming, and while I was looking back to my right, I was veering to my left. I ran head-on into a mini van. I immediately felt terrible. The driver got out of the van... a chick around 30. She had a few kids in the van, and I soon found out she had no insurance and no driver's license. She was busted, and it was all my fault. It was very cold that night, and when the deputy got to the scene, he asked me to sit in his car. When he called in my driver's license, the dispatcher read off my information, and then added "DAYLIGHT RESTRICTED ONLY" in a stern tone. BUSTED! The cop didn't even know what to do with me. He said he didn't know what to charge me with, if anything. He told me he'd be at my house the next evening at 7pm. UGH! 24 hours to dwell on what was going to happen to me. I just knew I was gonna go to jail, get beat up cause the Marion hookers and druggies would think I was stuck-up and prissy, then be put on house arrest for the rest of my days on Earth... I scared myself half to death... then the cop got there.

Mr. Nice Cop didn't charge me, although after further investigation, he explained to me that my driving after dark is just like someone driving without a drivers license at all. The crime I committed was one step below a felony... the highest misdemeanor possible. I was a criminal! Fortunately I wasn't convicted. And I rarely drive after dark now. :P Just sometimes...

So, the freshest incident in my mind occurred this past Sunday. My husband was doing a little job at my boss's new house. Hubby & boss's hubby went to get a part at Sears, and I decided to take the kids to get pizza. Backing out of the long driveway was a challenge for me, as long driveways always are. I veered off the path twice and had to pull forward and re-group. After my second re-group, I started to back up. My backup assist started beeping really fast, and then WHAM BAM BADALADA BOOM BAH, I ran smack-dab into a tree. I'm a tree hugger. The kids thought this was incredibly funny, and begged me to do it again. . I was too anxious to get out of there! I was afraid my boss could hear the crash from the house. I didn't even care about the van... after all, it has a missing side mirror due to a prior mailbox jumping out at me and several scratches from my friends & I running into other cars, etc. Yeah, that's right, I tend to hang out with other crashers... and they're not even blind! :P

I did feel that I should call hubby after tree-hugging, so I did. The worst part of this whole situation? The guys had been talking about the possibility of me hitting that tree even before I hit the tree. Nice of them to tell me. :P Joel assured my boss's hubby that I had backup assist so I should be fine. See, normally backup assist starts beeping slowly, and the closer you get to the car, tree, person, curb, monkey, barn-yard animal etc, the faster it beeps. It failed me Sunday. SUCKER!

I've been pulled over various times. I've only had one speeding ticket, which a haggy female trooper on St. Rt. 23 gave me one time on my way to work in Columbus. She was out to get me. I wasn't going THAT fast... 15 over is nothin'! Joel has told me of crazies going over 100mph in a 55 zone. My speed seems quite normal compared to that. Jeez! ;)

One time I got pulled over coming home from Marysville. I was following the flow of traffic on Rt. 4, going nearly 70mph in a 55mph zone. A deputy passed our long line of cars coming from the opposite direction. I slowed down a bit, saw him pass and then inadvertently sped up again. He flipped on me, pulled me over and let the long line of speed offenders in front of me speed along their merry way. I pulled off onto a side road, as to save myself from the pure embarrassment of it all. As soon as I parked, pretty lights sparkling behind me, who do I see? My dad. Yep, Dad pulled right up to the stop sign I was sitting beside. Oh the horror! I cried and cried! The cop asked me what was wrong, as I had been acting perfectly normal, and then suddenly lashed out in convulsions and full-on crazy-woman-ness. He let me go.

This year on Easter I, once again, was going 70mph in a 55 zone. Joel was home sick with bronchitis, and I had never been pulled over since he became a cop, so I wasn't sure if the cop-wife-magic would really work for me or not. Aiden sat in the back yelling that he didn't like the policeman. I was horrified. The cop asked me for my license, title & proof of insurance. I had my license, but none of the paperwork he asked for was to be found. I spit out "man, my husband is a cop... you'd think we'd be better organized"... he let me go. :P

So, although I've had many bouts with cops, polls, cars & bark, and the vehicles I've driven have the torture marks to prove it, I'm still alive, believe it or not.

I'm thinking of getting a driver... any volunteers?


    Holy cow Kelly - you make me laugh so hard! I kinda feel like a lunatic sitting here alone with everyone else sleeping literally LAUGHING my tush off!!


  2. Wow! At least you didn't hit a fire hydrant while trying to avoid hitting a deer. I will never live this down with my friends.