CRASH! BANG! BOOM!
… was what I heard and witnessed as a silver Saturn hit my roommate’s car last night. I was following her in my car (we had met somewhere and I was following her home). I won’t bore you with all the details, but she was turning right onto an eight lane street (4 each way). I was watching her turn… a habit I have had for nearly 15 years, because my little brother was notorious in high school for hitting people from behind because he saw them start to turn, then rear ended them because they stopped and he was already looking at oncoming traffic for his opportunity to peel out… I mean, turn. So, I got into the habit of watching and waiting until the person in front of me is gone before I take my turn.
Anyway, after Jene’ had completed the turn and was fully in the lane and a good car length or so down the street, a woman hit her from the lane next to her on her driver’s side. The bang was so loud, and I saw Jene’s driver’s side get hit and then she got knocked up on the sidewalk and came to a very abrupt halt. I didn’t know if her car had been hit in the door or fender and my entire body tensed up (I have sympathy whiplash, lol) because I thought she had been hit mortally (I know, drama, drama, drama). Then, as I turned into the parking lot next to the sidewalk where Jene’s car had come to a stop, she got out of her car so I could see she was okay. I started breathing again.
Jene’s front left fender was smashed and the other car’s front right headlight and hood was damaged. At the angle the damage suggested, the woman entered the lane Jene’ had already occupied. Jene’ said the woman’s silver Saturn was not in her lane when she turned. I believe her. I did not see that part. I was watching my roommate turn as per my habit and it would be very awkward to run into the back of your roommate’s car because you weren’t paying attention… so whenever I am following her I pay extra special attention.
Here’s where the story turns UGLY. I knew when the woman got out of her car Jene’ was hosed… silver Saturn woman was tall, thin, blonde and had big u know what’s. Jene’ asked her (she’s a nurse, she has to) if she was injured, and the girl said, “so you are saying this is your fault!” which told me she already knew she was wrong (there are other juicy details, but I will not post them…). Her version, however, stated that she was in the far lane and Jene’ was pulling out and she hit her while Jene’ was turning and that she “tried to get out of the way as best she could.” Ahem…the damage (and even if I hadn’t been there to see that Jene’ had already completed her turn and was already down the street over a car length) said otherwise.
Silver Saturn woman called the cops at 5:30, about fifteen minutes into exchanging policy numbers and phoning insurance companies and after Jene’ wouldn’t admit fault. Jene’ and I hadn’t really discussed what happened, I asked her if she was okay and I told her that I didn’t see where the silver Saturn had been, I just saw where it ended up and what it did to Jene’. Then I went and sat in the shade by my car and since I felt left out of the phone call marathon, I called Amy and told her what happened and to have my small group pray and then I called Elizabeth, who laughs at me when I’m stressed and talking and venting and her laugh makes me laugh…
We waited over an hour for Houston’s finest. The silver Saturn woman kept saying that she was behind Jene’ and tried to get out of the way but couldn’t get stopped. Get out of the way? Well, I decided that since I had my camera with me I should use it, so I handed it to Jene’ and let her take pics. :p The silver Saturn woman got back into her car, put up her windows and got on the phone again. About twenty minutes later, a man about her age (she was in her mid twenties) shows up with a camera, which I thought was funny. If she uses those pics, they could work against her…
Houston’s finest show up at 6:38 p.m. Two nice, young officers. Jene’ and I looked at each other. We knew how this was going to go. Though both of us are well endowed (lol) we are not tall, (well Jene’ isn’t) and neither one of us is a skinnie minnie. To make it an even better experience than it already was, they even ticketed Jene’, because the girl’s statement was that she hit Jene’ as Jene’ was turning and the law says that if you are leaving a stop sign or light and are involved in a wreck (they also said that all four lanes have to be clear before you pull out, according to the law, to not get ticketed if a wreck happens) you get a ticket.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from Jene’, it’s that no matter how much you are being hosed in any given situation, sometimes it’s better to keep your sarcastic mouth shut, so I did (esp. when the hose-er has a badge and a car with pretty lights on top). It was quite obvious to me that the police did not believe me. Yes, I am Jene’s roommate and yes, she’s my best friend, but what they don’t realize is that Jene’ does not lie… not about her age, her hair color, her weight, ANYTHING. Jene’ told me that all she wanted me to say was what I saw, which is what I intended from the beginning anyway. I cannot lie creatively under pressure anyway (lol… just kidding) and the truth is the best route, because you can remember the truth, but it’s always tough to keep your lies straight. Silver Saturn woman will learn, even if not an outcome of this situation, that the truth will set you free.
Policeman A took my statement, and as the ONLY witness, it struck me as odd that he listened to me for less than thirty seconds and didn’t write anything down. Then Policeman B (a trainee who was taking orders from A) took my license number and he wrote down one sentence, that I said that the turn had been completed and she was more than a car length down the street. Then, A & B explain that they are giving Jene’ a ticket and yes, she’s getting shafted, but that’s what the law says, blah, blah, blah. Again, I keep my sarcastic mouth shut and count to ten. Jene’ handles herself as she always does… calmly, with deep breaths and a look of resolution on her face. I knew this would not be handled on the street but later with the insurance people.
Ah, the lovely insurance people. I have nothing but good things to say about Geico… Jene’s company. They were nice, thorough and explained everything quite nicely. Now, Progressive, who represented the silver Saturn woman tried to twist every word I said. The man treated me like a dumb woman. In a very patronizing tone he said, when I told him I was watching my roommate turn… “Are you sure? Because we all know NOBODY watches a car turn, they pull up and are looking the other way to see when they can turn.” I said no and repeated myself and he sighed. Hey, what can I say, I’m unusual. And then, to make my testimony more convincing, when he asked me what kind of police showed up (what kind of question is that?) …I was tired, and I hadn’t eaten and this guy was ON MY LAST NERVE so I asked Jene’, “It was HPD, right, not Metro…” and she looked like she didn’t hear me and I laughed and said, “No, it was the one’s in the blue car, so it was HPD.” They have me on tape saying this. Yeah. So I sound like a dumb roommate to top it all off.
Oh, the joys of car wrecks…And what does my roommate have to say about all this? “That’s life.” I was more angry on her behalf at the injustice of it all, but like she said, if she’s not upset then I can’t be…lol… and as Mary Ann said today, “there’s no grace in that.” All day people asked me what I thought God was trying to teach her (I could detail the calamities of last three years for both of us and we could both legally change our names to JOB, but Jene’ more than me). I told Jene’ that it’s all my fault (kidding) because it’s what God’s trying to teach me that I’m not getting… because, obviously she’s getting it (“that’s life”).
I’m calmer tonight. If I had blogged last night there would have been a gratuitous use of some words and way too much drama… but I realized today that Jene’ has the right idea. Again this goes back to her parenting, (read previous blog). She’s found so many silver linings today (even after the ins. adjuster declared her car totalled, and her car being an older, she will get NOTHING for it — thus leaving her car-less) that she could forge a ring. Nobody got hurt, her car is just a thing, I kept my sarcastic mouth shut, etc…
Things happen. We may never know why bad things happen to good people…again… and again…and again… but they do. What can you do? Like Jene’ often tells me when I’m mid-rant — why waste energy over something you have no control over and cannot change? In mid rant… I have to stop and admit to myself she’s right and not finish my beautifully sarcastic and witty rant. UGH. Is God sovereign or isn’t He? Is God in control or isn’t He? Can God provide or can’t He?
Now, before you draw a halo over Jene’s picture… she’s not dancing around the apartment (she’s too sore anyway) rejoicing over her loss. She’s not calling people and telling them in a joyful tone, “Praise the Lord! Guess what! Today the funniest thing happened… this tall, perky blonde girl hit me and her story doesn’t match up and my car is totalled… and I’m so happy that I don’t have a car anymore and between the two of us the car with air conditioning is now gone and I’m so happy!! WOO HOO!!” No, she’s not happy, but, as she just told me, “The old lady just can’t waste any time on this.” And (blankety blank), she’s right.
So, I’ll end with that and give you a few helpful hints about what to do in case of/or to prevent/or to prepare for an accident…
* First and foremost, always watch the car in front of you turn to make sure they are out of your way. It’s just smart driving. Just ask my brother.
* Put a disposable camera in your glove box for such a time as this… or in case you see Elvis pumping gas off Hwy 36 at 3 a.m.
* If you are in an accident and you don’t look like a runway model but the person who hit you does, prepare to be hosed. Just know it’s going to happen. Be calm. Fight another day. If you look like a runway model — praise God and don’t use your looks to be deceitful. Remember, the truth will set you free and you need to know this because one day you won’t look like a runway model and you need to know how to act when that time comes… because even if you aren’t ready to admit your hoochie days are over but everyone else can plainly see they are, it won’t matter what you think.
* The car really is just a THING. I was driving a buddy’s car (about a year and a half ago) and a sixteen year old kid hit me, and promptly admitted it to his insurance company (then I spent fifteen minutes on the phone with his mother trying to convince her he was indeed okay). I called my buddy to tell him about his car and I expected at least a little anger, blame, something (from past experience with others) and all he said was, “Are you okay? As long as you’re okay, that’s all I care about. The car doesn’t matter.” Though I should have trusted my friend’s character and known he would have reacted that way, that response really taught me something. Jene’s actions over the past two day only reinforced that it’s just a car.
* It’s not about me. It’s not about Jene’. It’s about God… and she’s been able to say, “Well, I’m just going to trust God,” and be a light to an insurance agent. FOCUS.
Jene’ is renting a car to drive to West Texas tomorrow… and I’ll keep you posted. If life lessons keep happening at this rate and I actually keep paying attention… I might have to check and see if my soul has stretch marks. (Yeah, I’m wondering how one goes about that, too).