Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bonnie v. SUV

I’m lying in bed with thing 1 who has acquired strep. She gets it about 10 times a year so this seems like as a good a week as any. She’s reading my girly magazine and asking questions like “what is concealer, what is cellulite, what is foundation” Jonathan has the deepest wounds in the house today and we got a nice little duet going this morning in which every time I said the word “bus” he let out a dying seal sort of scream. Going to school without Rebecca for him amounts to the twin equivalent of being hit by a truck.

And about being hit by a truck or at least an SUV I thought I’d be fine by today and had threatened to teach this week but…... As I’ve said I really am fine and am incredibly lucky. I’m bruised, battered and either high on pain killers or pain depending on my mood but no broken bones and no permanent damage. For the record this was entirely my fault. I was headed to a post bed time wine and whine emergency which I had organized for a bunch of stressed out ladies at our favorite wine bar. I was talking on the cell phone and crossed against the light at a busy intersection. I usually put the phone down when crossing streets, as anyone without depth perception or peripheral vision should do, but for some reason planning a slumber party for Rebecca and Maya just seemed too important to pause even for three seconds. I don’t remember the car or being hit. We know that the driver didn’t see me until I was on the hood of her car. So the best guess is that I bounced off the hood and onto the road. I’m not sure who was more hysterical me or the woman who hit me. Remarkably my glasses did not suffer and after I screamed hysterically “someone get my glasses they cost $800 and I don’t have a spare pair” they were recovered from the middle of the road with my shoes and sweater which I flew out of. According to the ER docs and our friend who’s an ER doc that I fun obsessively probably saved my leg—the theory being that I bounced off my muscles and they took the force of the fall rather than my pelvis or femur which by all logic ought to have shattered.

My brand new pants from the sale rack at Anthropologie did not do so well. In my delirium I was obsessed with this problem. I remember saying to the EMT’s “co ou really have to cut my pants I just got them and do you have any idea how hard it is to find pants that fit after having children” It’s always nice to have first year UVa students say “m’am you’ve been hit by a car we’re gonna have to cut your pants and it’s not your biggest problem” This caused further delirious panic for me and inspired cursing in the ambulance “fuck please tell me you’re not in music 101 and you’re not going see my butt and tell everyone else about it” They assured me that they were not taking music 101 and that they understood about confidentiality. I preferred the x-ray tech who said “m’am you look really good for 41 and being just hit by a truck” The ER doc was also kind enough to suggest that this was a warning to stressed out mothers all over cville “do not try to drink wine and talk on your cell phone” The officer who came to take my information also kindly said that he would not deliver me a citation and that he doubted the woman who hit me would ask me to pay for the damage my head did to the hood of her car. Since I was still in the neck collar when he got there he thought I was suffering enough.

I’m running out of writing steam for now but do want to say that in addition to the obvious feeling lucky to be alive I am incredibly touched by the support of friends near and far. My parents and sister who have I think been worried that I’d get hit by a car my entire lives have managed to be supportive and not furious. My home girls have fed me, changed my sheets, taken care of my kids, sent their husbands out with mine for some stress relief, replaced my beloved brand new pants, taken over reading student papers, listened to my radical mood swings and generally been amazing. The UVa graduate students are truly remarkable and have given me the best gift a teacher can hope for—to show me that in fact I’m unnecessary. Music 101 has continued to run without a hitch including lectures, section assignments, and everything else. My grad seminar met, worked through hard articles, and helped each other with papers they are presenting in two weeks. And thanks to the initiative of grad students the conference won’t fall apart. My colleagues have taken over student papers and generally been wonderful. Everyone should have a good friend who is a massage therapist/Feldenkreis practitioner in times like these. And of course retail relay deserves special mention for hearing about the accident and sending over a complementary delivery of our basic grocery needs. And my husband has taken phenomenal care of me even when I’ve been a brat and deserves a special husband medal.

Today’s excitement involves an attempt to get myself out of the house to receive a grant in a ceremony on the steps of the Rotunda. I’m counting on my co-conspirator to hold me up. There is something very UVa and Jeffersonian about a senior man literally holding up his female colleague. It’ll be a nice photo op.

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