August 23, 2005

By the Skin of My Teeth

I am a lucky woman. Really, I am. There are three times that I nearly got myself killed and managed to squeak out of it pretty much unscathed.

The first time was when I was 17 years old. I had been over at a friends house on a Saturday night. We were drinking and I was quite drunk, so I called my mom and asked if I could spend the night. She said no because, if I did, I wouldn't go to church in the morning (yes, I was forced to go to church until I was 18 - another story entirely).

I knew that I was too drunk to drive. What to do? Well, my friends and I decided that my friend Mary should drive me home, Scott would follow and give Mary a ride back. I really should have just left my car there as Mary was drunk, too. We took the curvy, hilly country road that was the quickest way to my house. Mary missed a curve, and my Chevy Impala sailed through the air into a very deep ditch and rolled 2 or 3 times. I remember bouncing around inside the car and seeing grass going by the windows. I literally thought to myself "Grass. That's grass. There isn't supposed to be grass there." as we spun around.

When we came to a stop, right side up amazingly enough, we were able to crawl out of the car and I witnessed the carnage - my car was totalled. Mary and I were shook up, but otherwise seemed fine. I had, however, caved in the entire dashboard/glovebox of my car with my knees and the removed the rear-view mirror with my head, I suspect. My car was completely trashed - headlight laying on the ground, all four corners and top smashed. Shit.

As we crawled up the grassy bank towards the road, Scott had doubled back seeing that we were no longer behind him and found us. He gave me a ride the rest of the way home, and guess what? I didn't go to church in the morning because I was one hurtin' unit. I still have indentations on my shins from where I bruised the bone caving in the dash. I was very bruised up and very lucky. Yes, mom regretted making me come home that night.

My dad tortured me with that car for months after that. The poor thing looked like a demented banana-mobile - front end smashed upward and to the left, back end smashed upward and to the left. He had the tow truck put it in our driveway so I had to look at it, the icon of my shame, every day while he "parted it out" before sending it to the junkyard.

Mary, who promised to pay me back for our agreed upon 1/2 of the value of the car, suddenly found some unknown reason to be mad at me and not speak to me. Chalk one two up to a learning experience. I had the privilege of driving a nice beater (a '76 Buick Appollo) for a long time after that.

Next episode: Nightmare on the Paris Metro


  1. Wow, that car is lookin' pretty rough. When I was in high school I flipped my car into the grassy median in the middle of a 4-lane highway and slid along on the roof for like........a really long way.

    Wasn't wearing my seatbelt. Not a scratch on me.

  2. Shit woman, thats was a close one. You are VERY lucky. I have never been in a car accident, except minor fender benders.

  3. Celti girl,

    It's a wonder you were not hurt badly! Gald you survived so you can be here with us!

  4. Last story I heard like that didn't have a happy ending so I'm glad you came out ok.

    First rule as a parent, preventing your kid from driving drunk trumps going to church, and I attend every week.

    Or if it's so important, go pick up your kid.

  5. I can kinda co-miserate with you. One night I had my father's 64 Chevy and on my way home, sober. As I got to my street there was a cr parked on the corner. No occupants, and somehow I ran right into the rear. I was stunned. The non-existant occupants of the other car, jumped out of the car naked... as they were in the back seat... and didn't have time to look for their clothes. lol

  6. Wow, I remember you telling me that once, but it sounds so much scarier when you blog it next to that picture! Glad your alright. I've seen kids in lesser accidents come out much worse than you did!

  7. I don't want to seem disrespectful to your Mom, but WHAT was she thinking? On the other hand, your Dad's idea to leave the wreck out front as a reminder was inspired.

  8. I had friends that died in a crash exactly like that in high school.

    Lucky woman indeed.

  9. I'm glad you faired better than the car. The beater was probably a good reminder to not drink and drive...ever.

  10. I lost too many friends to drunk driving. You were fortunate the goddess was looking out for you! :)

  11. Well....glad you're still around to tell about it...I remember a the Maquoketa area that lost 2 daughters....five years apart in a similar situation.

  12. I don't think it was entirely fair of your dad to do that to you since you TRIED to do the right thing and stay there! I remember calling home many a time and telling my mom I was crashing at the party house. One morning, post party, my dad showed up at the house, pounded at the door until he woke the whole house, found me and dragged me back home by the ear. Apparently my mother was dead asleep when I called the night before and hadn't remembered I called. SHe thought I was lying when I said I had and I was very very grounded for a month.

  13. Sloth - Yeah, it was banged up on all 4 corners. You're a lucky girl, too, eh?

    Muse - It was and I was. I've been in too many - always the horrified front seat passenger.

    Jenn - no kidding. They said it was because I was drunk & didn't tense up that I wasn't hurt worse.

    Vince - I've heard many similar that had very unhappy endings. In my mom's defense, I didn't tell her that I was drunk. Didn't want her to know if she didn't have to.

    Denny - Ouch! Oh, that had to suck. Hilarious about the naked couple, though! Surprise! lol

    Jamie - no doubt! I was very lucky.

    Cali - I didn't tell her that I was drunk. Thought I could get away with it, you know? Yeah, Dad enjoyed that too much.

    JP - yep. I think we all know some.

    Boo - yeah, it was. lol

    Seamus - she sure was!

    Mike - I'm glad, too. Ouch - both daughters. Horrible.

    CB - Yeah, I know. He said it was just to be practical - use the parts, you know. I know better, though...he was punishing me. Oh man, that stinks about the night at the party house.

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