Sometimes you have a bad feeling about the day ahead from the get-go. That’s how I felt about today. I don’t know if it were because I had another day of meetings, meaning there would be little productivity or because it was Tuesday (because the theory at work is that Tuesdays Suck) or because I had to head to Main Campus for a meeting, which always results in logistical nightmares (I work for a university). I even said to a coworker before leaving for the meeting on Main Campus that I had a bad feeling about it.
I decided to drive to the meeting despite the construction snafus because I couldn’t figure out which bus to take and time was running out. The meeting itself went well, and I felt greatly reassured that we had managed to find the closest permitted parking area easily and found the building in which our meeting was to be held with ease. We were even early!
The drama didn’t happen until we were almost out of the parking garage. I don’t even know how to explain it. I was getting ready to turn right. Another car was getting ready to turn left. I tried to brake but my brain froze, and I ended up hitting the gas instead of the brake. Several times. I hit the other car (a Mini Cooper!), spun it around and drove into a pylon in the parking deck.
I was mortified. Shocked. Stunned. How did this happen? Fortunately, my speed was probably only a few MPH, so the damage could have been a lot worse. My Honda Pilot had cosmetic damage and the Mini Cooper had a bit more but was considered drivable by the police. More importantly, no one was injured. We were all shaken up, but no one had any injuries. Heck, my air bag hadn’t even deployed.
We spent an hour in the parking deck while campus police documented everything. I freely admitted fault, and I felt horrible. I wished I had been alone in the car because at least then my humiliation could have been witnessed by only myself (and of course the poor car I hit). Oh and the many, many cars whose inhabitants gaped at us as they drove by.
I held it together pretty well until the end. When I was talking to the police officer, I started to cry. Also, how do police academies manage to cultivate the skill in which you feel like a criminal regardless of what happened when you are talking to an officer? Once we were free to go, I dropped off my coworker, sat in the parking lot and cried, and called it a day.
I feel like I overreacted, but I’ve always been like this. If I do anything “wrong” or “stupid,” I feel awful. Terrible. I practically get out the hair shirt and whip. Is that a normal response? Why can’t I just say, “I screwed up. It happens. It was an accident” and move on? I’ve always felt pressure to be a good girl and to do the right thing. Any deviation from that – any at all – and I am nauseous and self-loathing. And it’s fear. Fear of messing up. Fear of doing anything wrong. Fear of being seen as less competent and therefore, less worthy. Am I weird or is this a feeling many (if not all) women can identify with?
Meanwhile, Daniel, when he heard about the wreck said, “I will ROARRRRR at the other car.”
Inhale. Exhale. I know I’ll feel better tomorrow (especially once the scene stops replaying in my head), but I feel fairly shitty tonight. And I hate that. How can I feel able to take a risk or make a mistake if my reaction to any repercussions is so out of proportion?
So yeah, Tuesdays suck However, I can recommend the Honda Pilot if you are looking for a car that will do well in a wreck.
While the wreck isn’t funny, I have to share this picture. It gave me a much-needed giggle. My front license plate is the flag of Scotland. The Mini Cooper displays the Union Jack. If you know anything about British history, you will understand why this picture is the tiniest bit amusing.