Saturday, April 28, 2012

Y- Dear yellow car,

A mustard yellow nova. I'm sure the sticker (when you were new) said something like "golden rod", but you were mustardy, that's all there is to it. You were my mom's car, and I think 4 of the 5 of us learned how to drive at your wheel.
You couldn't quite make it through the 5th teenager. and I've always felt like it was my fault.

In all the years that you belonged to our family, you never had a dent or a scratch... until me. On my way to my first teaching interview, I stopped to visit a friend. I was just stopping to say hi because I was quite early for the interview and she lived right near the school.

As I was leaving her driveway, I did a u-turn in the street. All of a sudden, I heard this excruciating (Interrupting the story to say, that since yesterday's post I am noticing a lot of words I use have an "x" in them!)  loud noise- a horn blaring down on me from just a few yards away. She hit your right front fender and knocked a nasty dent into your lovely yellow paint.

Such a sad day. I called my mom and told her. She wasn't very happy about it, but glad that I was okay.
On the plus side, I made it to my interview and even got the job! (I think the principal was impressed with my ability to stay calm and focused after just having had an accident!)

But here's the confession, little car. You know how first (and sometimes only!) impressions are very important? I have to say that I didn't make a very good one on the girl from the other car  who was involved in the accident.

See, for years I had been trying to break a habit that a picked up in middle school (actually practiced in middle school because I thought it was cool). I was trying not to swear anymore.  Now I had gotten pretty good with it, (going to a Christian college had certainly helped!) but something about the shock of the accident brought it all back to me in spades. That poor girl heard more in the first few minutes than I had said in the last few years! Now, let me just say, I was not aiming these horrid gems her way, just tossing them out in general.
She finally looked at me and told me she didn't appreciate the language and would I please stop.

Even more awkward when I found out that our families knew each other.
I stopped.

And honestly, her comment did more for my rehabilitation than anything else I had tried.

I really remember this quite vividly for having happened almost 30 years ago. I truly hope that girl doesn't remember quite so well. ("No way, Linda? She's a children's pastor? with that foul mouth?")

So anyway, (I did digress, didn't I?) little yellow car, because of the accident, you were never quite the same after that and my little sister, Cindy, did not get to sit behind the wheel of the car that we had owned since she was born.  Just a year before she could drive, we had to say good-bye to our faithful ride.

So, the end of this post, little car, is a sincere apology to you, Cindy, and the girl in the other car.


No comments: