Me, 2013, when my Hyundai was brand new
If you’re not a person who appreciates a nice ride, this may not be the blog for you.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a materialistic person who visualizes driving a Lamborghini. Nor do I even care about cars, really. When I worked in an area where mass transit was more available, I went without owning a car for 12 years. No, I DID NOT get my license suspended, I didn’t need one. I worked in NYC. I lived across the street from both a bus station and a train station. And I had a ton of friends who enjoyed hanging out with me and always offered to pick me up for a great party, a show, or just to hang out at a coffee shop. I ditched an old car that I was driving and canceled my insurance. It saved me a ton of money. Every now and then, someone would let me borrow their car too, so I never really lost my driving chops. Driving is like riding a bike, you never forget how.
In 2006, I moved in with my husband, to a lovely area where mass transit isn’t as assessible. I needed a car. I had my eyes set on a brand new red PT Cruiser and I got it! Two years later, some drunk hit my Cruiser while it was parked! A neighbor called to tell me the bad news. I was devastated. It was the first new car I purchased since I was a teenager. It could have been totaled out, but I didn’t want to give up the car yet. Within a week, they fixed it up and it looked brand new.
By 2009, I wanted a new car. I was used to driving old cars throughout my 20s and 30s, after my first car, a brand new white Monte Carlo got totaled in a car accident. Driving old cars meant things went wrong. In 2009 I had my own business and was driving alone often, so I wanted to be sure I was safe. I wanted another new car. Chrysler was no longer making new PT Cruisers, but I found an adorable Hyundai that was a flip color, blue/purple–depending how the sun hit it. It was a cute little thing. It was reasonably priced and excellent on gas!
The following year, I was driving on a rainy day to my friend Darlene’s house. Darlene is an artist and wanted me to model for some photos. I was nearing her house and realized I was very early. Not wanting to rush her, I stopped for tea.
I was just two blocks from her house and BAM, a driver made a left as he went through a red light and I drove right into him. Again, I was devastated. But life was so good, no one knew I was in a car accident! When I called my husband, he thought I was joking. And I created art with Darlene, modeling for an eight-hour day.
Again, the car was fixed up in no time and looked brand new.
Four years later, I wanted a new car again. My husband tried to talk me out of it. My car was perfect and in great condition. Again, I was traveling plenty on my own and didn’t want to get stuck somewhere in an old car. I wanted one of those cool Hot Wheel colored cars, and Hyundai had them–but not on the lot we were looking. Not a fan of dealing with car salesman, I wanted to close the deal as soon as possible so I got a nice black Hyundai — a sporty upgrade from the one I had.
Ten years later, I am loving this car. Yeah, it has some nicks here and there, but it’s a sweet ride. It’s comfy. Heat and air conditioner still work (unlike old cars I’ve had in the 1980s and 1990s). It’s high on miles, but nothing is wrong with it. When I reached that 3-year/4-year mark, instead of switching to a new car, I stuck with this one. I just like it and I’m used to it.
Yesterday my husband and I were going to an event and a woman made an illegal left hand turn and smashed into the car. My husband was driving and I was in the passenger seat. I am okay, just shaken up. And sad. My car will get fixed, I know that. But this was all unnecessary stress–on the way to an event that was important to us. We had to attend the event with smiles on our faces and be there for the next eight hours, then come home and deal with insurance. What a hassle.
It just feels like whenever my car gets hit, it’s not my fault. I’m at the mercy of a careless driver. It’s a violation that something of mine, that I take care of gets ruined because of someone else.
I’m not a material girl by any means. I’ve left expensive sweaters in cabs, I’ve lost good jewelry, I ripped a pair of brand new name brand pants on a client’s old desk drawer. It all stung a bit, but none of it bothered me.
But a car, in a way, is like a second home. Except for a house, it’s the most expensive thing you will purchase. Cars should be treated with respect. Even though it’s called an accident, I feel a great sense of disrespect. It happened because someone was careless.
And I count my blessings to the highest heavens that a car can be repaired. And, yes, I am a bit sore today, but I bounce back fast because I am healthy. When I got into accident with my first Hyundai, after having acupuncture twice a week for a few months, a chiropractor analyzed my health and said, “You are in better shape than people who DON’T have car accidents!”
But what about people who aren’t? A car can KILL someone!
Yes, accidents happen. But can we all try a little harder to go the extra mile?
Stay alert. If you are lost, get off the road and gather your bearings. Obey signs and traffic signals. Stay within the speed limit. Do not text while driving. Do not drive while you are stressed or under the influence of alcohol. Do not try to beat a yellow light. And, most important, get your eyes checked once a year. The lady who hit my car told my husband she didn’t see us. Perhaps she needed new glasses, then she would see the signs and realize she was making an illegal left turn.
If my story can convince one person to drive more carefully, my work here is done. Even if someone walks away from an accident in good shape, there’s still the trouble of dealing with insurance, aches, and the sad thoughts of “re-living” what you went through, especially when you see the damage on your car.
Even if it was the most minor fender bender, please, do anything you can to help the other person, if it was your fault. Because until the car gets fixed, the person will most likely be down in the dumps.
If you liked this blog, feel free to buy me a kombucha: https://ko-fi.com/maryannechristianomistretta
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
She is the author of the following books:
“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:Be (Extra)Ordinary
“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: I Don’t Want To Be Like You
Her fiction book “Love Cats” second printing is now available, under the pen name Krystianna Mercury, from Pink Flamingo. You can purchase it here: https://eroticbooknetwork.com/product/love-cats/
Maryanne is also available for book editing and coaching. Rates are competitive.
And for positive messages, visit Be YOUnique, the Anti-Bullying You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLq6J9MSvcjd-haQ30ycLWA/videos
Visit my business page, Pear Tree Enterprises, at: https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/