My column this week:
I am now driving a green minivan. How is that for an opening line that just grabs you? Well, my vehicle (not particularly of choice but of necessity) is just as I guessed, first cousin to the vehicle deemed to be at the top of the heap of “bland” vehicles. This was so declared by Mike Schlee at AutoGuide.com. He unabashedly chose the Kia Sedona Van as his choice to be at top of “bland mountain”. (Picture me wiping sweat off my brow in relief because my van was not named specifically–although he did say that “minivans are as indiscreet as it comes in the automotive world.” I think he meant to say discreet, but who am I to nitpick when it comes to blandness?) By the way, my van is a vintage Dodge Caravan that just barely makes it into the 21st century.
I am driving a green minivan because some kid ran into my car in November of 2013. At the corner of Queen Street and Mill Street West. He hit me so hard that my car almost 360ed. I found myself on the opposite side of the intersection, turned almost completely around. With my right foot hard on the brake. So hard, that my right knee is now paying the price—but that is another story. Thank God we were in town, and speeds were not excessive—or I may not be telling you my merry story right now.
Just before my car was hit, I saw the surprised look on the driver’s face as the fact that he was going to run into me registered. I can only imagine the look he saw on mine. Surprise tinged with terror is my best guess. The sound of the impact was sickening. Metal hitting metal is not a good sound. I was so relieved to find myself safe and fairly sound that the fact of the accident did not fully hit me at the time. It has since, and my knee seems to be a daily reminder.
Was he texting? I don’t know—though my husband has put forth that theory. His explanation for not seeing the stop sign at the four way stop was that his attention was being taken away from the road by the passengers in the car. So who knows? The end result is that my car was totalled. Not crushed up in a tiny ball—but totalled so far as it could not be driven.
The policeman who showed up at the scene was compassionate. I think he thought I was a little nuts as I was worried about the kid who hit me. He, in essence, put the blame where it should be and explained to me that I was not at fault and how the accident likely happened.
Of course there was a little trouble getting what we thought we deserved from the insurance company, (which was not much considering the age of my car) but the local agent was great and helped us through. And we finally got close to what we thought we deserved….just enough to buy an older, used van with great mileage.
Regret and Contentment
I loved the little car I was driving and had inherited from my father-in-law at the time of the accident. It was a champagne coloured Aurora. I know you are not supposed to call a vehicle “cute” so I will call it “sporty” and “classy” instead. But really, I think it was cute. And it went fast. Like lightning. Not that I would know—except the few times I let her go on the McCain Sideroad. I really, really liked that car, even though by today’s standards it was ancient.
When I cranked up the radio and rock and rolled around town I did not look ridiculous (okay, maybe a little), but cranking up the radio in a minivan and bopping to the music does look ridiculous. But I don’t care. I still do it.
And if truth be told, I kind of like the van. It is the ultimate in incognito. Looks like I have nothing to prove. No red convertible with the top down for me (though in my heart of hearts I really do want a red convertible). Now, all I have to do is remember where I park it—because quite literally, everyone and their dog have a green van. I am ashamed to say I have climbed in the driver’s seat of a couple (people don’t you lock your doors?) before I realized it was not mine.