our little secret


Downtown Denver

I’m about to tell you a secret. But only if you promise not to laugh. And only if you don’t tell my friends on facebook.

Last Friday night I went to friend’s wedding in Denver, Colorado. Last Friday night, five minutes before the ceremony started, I totaled my rental car — right in front of the wedding venue.

It was one of those days when, up until that moment, everything seemed to be going well. I’d caught up with an old friend the night before and run a decent 7.5 miles in downtown Denver earlier that day. It was beautiful out, and I was proud of myself for making the trip. (The bride, Jen, is one of my oldest friends, and though Denver isn’t next door to Tennessee, her wedding was something I couldn’t miss.) I even managed to get ready on time and felt pretty in my dress. (Sadly, this is not always the case.) My only concern as I approached the venue that evening, then, was . . . parking.

The wedding was at a beautiful art gallery in downtown Denver. The gallery didn’t have a parking lot, though, and so the closer I got (thank you, Siri), the more I started looking for street-side parking. And the more I started looking for street-side parking, the greater at risk I (apparently) became for making a mistake.

I made a mistake.

I entered an intersection crossing a one-way street without seeing a stop sign — or the oncoming traffic. In fact, I never saw it. In the blink of an eye my world went from silence and Siri to screeching breaks, crunching metal, ssss-ing smoke, and inanity inside my head. Oh my god, oh my god . . . What just happened?

When my car came to a halt in the middle of the road (right beside the venue), I was in shock. The rental car, the rental car, the rental . . . Jen’s wedding is starting, Jen’s wedding is starting — I looked at the clock — in seven minutes. This can’t be real; this can’t be . . . Oh no, oh no, oh no. In all my life and seventeen years of driving, I had never been in a “real” car accident until that moment. I had no idea what to do.

A crowd had gathered on the sidewalks. People, many of whom were involved in the wedding, were calling out to me. “Are you okay?” Their voices came as if from within a fog. Finally a man in street clothes caught my attention; he made a downward motion with his hands and pointed to my window. “Oh- ohhh.” I suddenly understood. The front end of the car was gone, but my power windows still worked. I rolled mine down.

“Are you okay?” he asked, concerned.

“Ye-, yes, I’m okay.”

“Can you walk?”

“Ye-,” I nodded.

“You might want to get out. The car is leaking fluids pretty badly.”

“Ohh . . .” I was barely functioning.

“Can you put the car in neutral? Maybe we can push it to the side of the road?”

I put the car in neutral and got out and watched as several men pushed it across the road. I was mortified.


On the tow truck.

Things got worse before they got better. I’d been hit by a red Ford F150. After hitting me, the truck had spun sideways across the road and suffered significant damage. A rear tire was blown. The front end looked like it’d been mauled. The driver was on his cell phone on the sidewalk, and at first I thought we were the only ones involved. When I finally had enough sense to walk over towards him, however, I saw that two other cars had also been hit. A Mercedes sat beside the road with its rear end smashed in. The car in front of it had been damaged, too. Someone said that they belonged to people involved in the wedding. Ohh nooo . . . Then someone said they belonged to the groom’s parents. OH NOOOO!!!!

I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

But I was freezing. While the police reports were filed and phones calls made and insurance information exchanged, the sun had gone down. Colorado is cold at night in November, and I hadn’t been prepared to stand out in it in my dress. The driver of the truck was very kind and offered me his coat. “That truck is my baby; I’d just put new tires on it,” he mused. “But it’s okay; they’re called ‘accidents’ for a reason. I’m just glad everyone’s okay.”

I couldn’t accept his coat, though. Not after what I’d just done. I shivered instead.

I missed the wedding — watched the kiss from outside the gallery’s clear glass windows — and called the rental car company to report the incident and request a tow during the reception. Friends and loved ones gave me rides home and to the airport the next morning, and at the end of the day, I knew I should be thankful things weren’t worse: medical bills on top of insurance deductibles would just about break me right now. But sometimes it’s hard to be thankful; sometimes you just wish you could turn back time. My pride was wounded, and my mistake had caused great misfortune to others. Even now, trying to retell my story, my eyes well up with tears — and I don’t cry.

Next up: This one will be for you, Sreejit. I’ll email you!

A few pics from Denver and the wedding:


people are stupid

People are people everywhere, and people everywhere are stupid.

Just look at today’s headlines. Dumb-ass woman slays boyfriend, calls 911. Barbershop standoff leaves 1 dead, 2 wounded. Scoutmaster admits he molested boys. 12-year-old girl slain by brothers—for her bike. Deranged nanny stabs children, then herself.

Okay, I added the “dumb-ass.” But you get the point. The list of stupid people goes on and on and on and on . . .

One of the most stupid recent headlines happened this past July. This was the Colorado theater shooting, when America’s Biggest Dumb-Ass opened fire on an audience as they watched “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing 12 and injuring 58 others. (James Holmes, you disgust me.) The youngest of these victims was 6-year-old Veronica Moser-Sullivan, and, actually, rather than focus on Holmes (we all know he’s an idiot), my question today is this:

What was a 6-year-old doing in a PG-13 movie in the first place?

This is not a criticism. It is a question for all responsible parties out there.

While child development theories vary, it is widely accepted that young children have difficulty differentiating between fantasy and reality. Children learn from and imitate what they see, including TV programs, computer games, news, movies, and people. If this is so, and if youth violence is increasing across the nation (Holmes is only 24), could it be that there’s a connection between what our children are seeing, and what they are doing?

Bright idea, stupid.

In 1999, the world was appalled when two boys took guns to school and killed 13 people before killing themselves. Since Columbine, more than 100 school shootings in the Unites States have taken place. Many people argue that, in addition to media violence, gun control is to blame. I think we need to dig deeper. We’re never going to eliminate guns. And violence abounds in foreign countries, too. Just look at what’s going on in Syria.

The difference is that, in Syria, people are fighting for freedom. For values. For things that many Americans seem to have forgotten.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain, inalienable rights, that among these are LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. —Declaration of Independence

Because why are Americans blowing each other up? Because we own a gun and feel like using it on you?

America, what the f- is wrong with you?

Note: Sources are bolded and hyperlinked—though my bold font seems hard to see! . . . Also, “Talking Heads” is coming soon, I promise! I got a little off track.