8.30.2009

"We're Nice Down Here"

I'm pretty sure my brain hit the inside of my skull when I crashed my car into the back of that old lady on Friday morning. The impact was so intense my backseat popped out. Thankfully, though, neither one of us was hurt and our cars weren't badly damaged.

Ok, here come my excuses... It had been raining. We were stopping on a hill. The old lady started to go through the yellow light and then hesitated at the last minute. But, obviously, the front end of my car hit the rear end of her Crown Vic. So, regardless of my excuses, the accident was my fault.

So much for the fallacy that old people aren't tech savvy. She had called 911 before the light turned red!

Since neither of us was hurt, the 911 dispatcher advised that we pull out of the intersection and into a nearby parking lot. Once we did and were out of harm's way, the old lady got out of her car to come and check on me again. I assured her I was fine and asked, again, how she was doing. She started to cry and I gave her a big hug. Honestly, this was the weirdest accident encounter I've ever had.

But, that was just the beginning. Once her husband and the police officer arrived on the scene, all three of them convinced me not to file a police report. What?!?!?! Old lady's husband, said there wasn't enough damage to get the insurance companies involved. He assured me he could easily fix the bumper.

I was hesitant.

When the officer explained that along with the police report he would have to cite me for following too closely, old lady said, "Oh, we don't want to do that." And the police officer agreed. HUH?!?!?!? Old lady's husband, a retired insurance man, (What? We spent 20 minutes together... obviously I know their whole family history) explained that the only need for a police report would be for the insurance company to "get our money." Old lady said, "We've got a lot more experience with this, having raised four kids." The police officer was visibly on board with everything they were saying.

I gotta admit, I was pretty thrown off. I reluctantly agreed, after confirming one last time... that everyone (but me) thought the best course of action was NOT to file a police report. Bizarre. When the guys left, old lady and I exchanged names and phone numbers. While we were writing she asked me, "Are you from Chattanooga?" When I explained that I wasn't, her response was pretty typical, "I didn't think so, I noticed you talked funny."

{crickets chirping}

I bit my tongue and refrained from explaining that Midwesterners are known for NOT having accents. I didn't point out that, in fact, I speak like they do on the network news. I didn't ask her to notice that there is neither a twang nor a nasal inflection in my speech pattern. I stopped myself from accusing her of being the one who actually speaks "funny." Instead, I smiled GENUINELY and thanked her for being so kind and sweet through this whole ordeal. And I really did mean what I said.

She responded by saying, "Well, we're nice down here."

2 comments:

angelonwheels said...

Glad everyone is okay! I'm also glad you moved here. I guess it is hard for me to be aware of the diffrences since for better or worse, I have always lived in the south.

Anonymous said...

awesome. What a treat that gal was!!!