The truth is that the details about the collision with the professional football player are a little hazy. "Why?" you ask. Well, it's not because I was at all impaired when I was driving, or that I'm too old to remember (although it did happen about 20 years ago). No, the reason the specifics don't come through loud and clear is because there are so many other crashes that are clouding my memory.
The first was when I was only sixteen years old. You always remember your first. I had been summonsed home from my best friend's house, where I had planned to spend the night. My mother had other plans -- my grandparents were visiting, and I should come home.
1987--I was driving my 1980 Mustang hatchback, which was an ugly brownish orangey color with heavily tinted windows (but Dad -- really -- I was happy to have any sort of wheels at all!). I was on Cartwright Road, and I remember that I kept looking in the rearview mirror, through the heavily tinted back glass, where I saw no headlights. Then I looked up, and I was quickly coming up on the back of a paneled station wagon -- Crash!
She was stopped, turning left, and in trying to figure out what happened, I think that I figured out a couple of things: she did not have her turn signal on, and her foot was not on the brake. I think that she was about to turn and had let her foot off the brake, but I can't be sure.
The end result -- my car pretty much totalled, and hers not so much. I got a ticket for "following too close behind" (when in fact I simply crashed right into her going 30 or 40 miles an hour.
The fallout -- not much. I think that I worried my parents and they were pretty nice to me about the whole thing.
Other kerfluffles include:
- driving into a ditch right outside my high school
- a little fender bender inside the school parking lot
- years later after I was married (in our brand-new Saturn) I was involved in a scary pile up on the freeway. It was not my fault, but my car was smashed right in the middle of a Suburban and a big truck.
- I think that I've been pretty clean since then.
A black BMW with vanity plates saying "Meads" stopped quickly in front of me. I was paying attention this time, but BMWs can stop a lot more quickly than Hyundais, so I crashed into him. A very tall Black man got out of the car. He was nice (although understandably perhaps a little irritated at this young girl who dinged his BMW).
I don't think that there was much damage to either of our cars. We didn't call the police, and my dad handled it himself instead of turning it over to insurance. In the course of talking with him on the phone, and him revealing that he was a little busy and in and out of town, my dad realized that Johnny Meads was playing for the Houston Oilers, who were in the wild card playoffs at that time.
Coming soon: The truth about the prom dress