Twee was the first car I LOVED. The first car I named. The first car I took pictures of, even. She had JUST hit 24K the weekend before her untimely death. We had just hit our 2nd anniversary together.
A guy was driving the “NASCAR I-20″ and was going from far left lane to far right lane and back again – about 15-20 mph faster than the rest of us. I remember thinking, “he’s not going to make it” and taking my foot off the gas, but he still clipped my right front coming back. I spun and hit the median wall head-on and then slid down it a ways. He spun to the left also and clipped the back of a third car, spinning him to the right across three lanes and up onto the embankment.
There were 3 cars involved, during rush hour traffic, moving across multiple lanes… and we didn’t hit anyone else. I still don’t know how that happened. They took 2 of us to the hospital as “just in cases” — my first official ride in an ambulance.
They x-rayed my collar bone and chest, and nothing was broken, but I had a burn on my arm where the airbag hit, bad bruises on my collar and chest from the seatbelt, bruises on my knees from the dash, and a scrape/bruise on the top of my left foot when it went under the clutch. I got some pretty good drugs! Flexiril and Vicodin!
I spent the next few days sleeping a lot. Looking back, I think my “kwokonut” (as my nephew used to call it) got jiggled, and my brains were a little scrambled. I was pretty loopy for a week or so – at first I thought it was the drugs, but I took the last of those on Saturday after the accident, and even this past Saturday I was still a little loopy.
Deep inside after everyone told me, “Oh, you are so lucky to walk away.” I agreed with them, but also mourned the loss of my Jeep. Everyone asked if I’d get another Jeep, and was immediately told, “No. I can’t yet. Maybe later.” I know it’s stupid to be mourning the loss of a car, for pete’s sake, but I am.
I was soooo not looking forward to buying a new car, but also knew from looking that my Twee was a total loss. My insurance company, Liberty Mutual, was fabulous. I drove a bright “Tonka” yellow Chevy Aveo rental thanks to them, and other than picking up the police report and faxing it to them, haven’t had to do another thing.
I started thinking about a replacement car that Thursday, and knew that a friend of mine ran the Honda dealership in Woodstock. We have had several Honda’s and great experiences with them all. I bought my CRV up there in 1997, and sold it in 2007 when I bought Twee. I gave Scott a call and we went up Friday and got a rental from the Enterprise guy at his location. He showed me a couple of the cars (even though he doesn’t work in sales).
I did some research online, and narrowed it down to the Insight, Civic, and Fit. We went over to the dealer closest to us and did a “sit test” in all three. One of the requirements is an automatic (because The Boy will be driving in 3 years – gasp!) and enough room for a grown-up to sit in the back seat. The Insight was pretty much an immediate “no.” Wow was it small. Also kind of flimsy. The civic was ok – but the Fit was awesome! There’s as much headroom in the back seat as the front! There is slightly less legroom in the back seat than the civic, but otherwise – I had my car.
Scott got me a loaner and I drove it for about a day – and when I took it back Friday morning, we were just down to the color. I liked the silver, and the orange. They checked the delivery list and a silver was coming in “any day.” As we were chatting with Scott and met our official salesman, Dusty, the GM came by and said, “truck’s in – want to see your car?” Um, yeah!
So I really got to see my car right off the truck – plastic wrapping all over everything – 3 MILES on the odometer! Sweet! We get with Dusty and get a price, so we could find out how much out of pocket we need to get together before Monday. Then we get a price without the floor mats ($150, wow!). We call our insurance agent to find out when we’ll get the check and how much it will be. The check’s delayed until Tuesday because of the GA flood claims.
But the greatest part about this – my out of pocket cost? Sixty-one cents. Ten dimes and a penny. A roll of pennies and eleven. Two quarters, a dime and a penny. Sixty-one cents! wooo! We went up to the dealership with the check, and my 61 cents (I took 6 dimes and a penny, btw). Saw Scott again, saw my car again, and started signing. Then I gave them my check and change – everyone got a great kick out of that. Finally we went back to “the money guy’s” office and he started printing everything out. Then he refused to take my cash! He changed the price of the car to be the amount of the check, so I have the 6 dimes and 1 penny in a case for keeps.
I started writing this post at the end of September – only a couple of weeks after the accident. I didn’t post it, because there is REAL pain out there in the world. People are losing their parents, siblings, spouses and children, and I’m going on about mourning my car?!? But now I can look back (a little) and acknowledge that it really, really hurt, as shallow and stupid as it sounds.
My Fit (still just called Fit) has over 5,000 miles and I’ve been taking pictures at every 1,000 miles. It gets unbelievable gas mileage (30 in town, 37 highway) compared to Twee’s 16-19, and has been to Tallahassee twice. It has delivered a baby bed to a friend, a table, 4 chairs and a computer to my mother-in-law’s new place, and carried more stuff than you would expect a little car to carry. Adults have sat comfortably in the back seat. And it has a USB port, so I have an 8gig thumb drive chock-full of music to listen to — but the radio is pretty cool too.
I’m still dealing with the insurance of the car that hit me. The ambulance bill was $1,732.50 … Transport $1,627.50; Mileage Charge (4 miles @ $26.50) $105.00. And two of us rode in that one ride, and you KNOW we both got charged – no halfsies here. I’ve asked the company to pay for all of my co-pays, x-rays, prescriptions, and the three days I took off. But they want me to prove that I wasn’t paid for those three days. I was paid – but that was three of my vacation days I took, that I wasn’t planning on taking. If they push back on this, then I will ask for that amount in pain and suffering, and I’m thinking about tacking on a bit just because they wouldn’t do it the easy painless way. I truly dislike dealing with stuff like this – I know no one does like it, but still. And having my insurance company, Liberty Mutual, be so cool throughout the whole thing makes dealing with the “minimum coverage” company that much worse.