By Heather O.
Life is funny.
Sometimes it’s funny in a Gilmore Girls, witty dialogue, boy that Lorelei makes me giggle kind of way.
Yesterday afternoon, on our way to church, my husband witnessed an accident. He, being the alert driver that he is, noticed the too car fast go zipping past him, and then swerve off the road and hit a tree at full speed. I, of course, was humming and staring off into space, and so noticed nothing.
DH stopped the car, turned around, and drove up to the accident. He and I got out, and with the help of another passerby, assessed the scene and called 911. The driver was a girl of 18, and she was hysterical. She didn’t seem seriously hurt, though, and I wrapped a blanket around her, wrapped my arm around the blanket, and tried to calm her down while we waited for somebody.
I’m sure we waited for no longer than about 5 minutes, but it felt a lot longer than that. I kept thinking, ‘Wow, if this person was seriously hurt, like not breathing or something, we’d be in big trouble.” When I saw the first emergency vehicle drive up, a police car, I was filled with relief. Flashing lights had never looked so good. I told the officer everything I knew, which, due to my earlier humming activities, wasn’t all that much.
The scene of the accident stayed with me throughout the day, and I’ve thought a lot about that girl. I’ve thought about her parents, who I had to call, and how they must have felt hearing from a stanger that their daughter had been in an accident. Luckily this girl wasn’t seriously hurt, but still, it’s not a call any parent wants to get. And I thought about the good men and women in uniforms who showed up and did their job quickly, efficiently, and with complete confidence. I felt this girl was in good hands, at least for a little while. She must have felt it too, because as they put her into the ambulance, she was finally calm. Like I said, flashing lights had never looked so good.
And then I got a speeding ticket.
I don’t mean right then and there. No, it was on the way home from a missionary openhouse, and I was trying to get home so my husband could make his home teaching appointment. I mean, c’mon, I was doing my part to build the kingdom of God, here, people! But somehow I felt this explanation wouldn’t fly with the arresting officer, so I just apologized for speeding, and handed over my info.
And then he asked me why the address on my driver’s license was different than the one on my registration.
And then he asked me why I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.
And then that uniform that had looked so strong and competent and reassuring just hours before looked a little frightening. Plus, it was nighttime, and they have to shine that big blinding spotlight into your car, which makes me want to get out of the car with my hands above my head and shout, “I give up!” if they will just make. it. stop. Which is, I suppose, exactly why they do it. Tricky.
And as I sat there in the freezing cold car waiting for him to hand me the stack of tickets that are going to cost more than my college education, I scrunched down in the driver’s seat so the flashing lights reflecting off my rearview mirror wouldn’t be so aggravating to my eyeballs.
Yeah, they didn’t look so good anymore.
And I must be getting old and ugly, because the guy didn’t knock off even 5 miles from the speeding ticket.
Life. Sometimes, it’s kinda funny. Or, wait, what’s the word? Ah yes. Irony, I think it is. Isn’t it ironic.
Although, when I listened to that song with my husband for the first time, which I suppose OFFICIALLY makes me old and ugly, he said, “Her life isn’t ironic–it just sucks.”
Well, I suppose that word applies, too.
I hope the girl in the accident is okay. And I hope she never has to see flashing lights again.
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