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Monday, 19 March 2012

The Car Accident

By Lyn Burnstine

I was driving my big blue Dodge van, the family car that was part of my division of property when my ex-husband and I separated. My little boy was playing on the open floor in the back. In those days, in the 70s, we thought nothing of children playing, unbelted, in back of the front seats.

It was Friday and I was coming north on Route 9 from Wappingers Falls, New York to Hyde Park in bumper-to-bumper, IBM, rush-hour traffic. The girl in front of me stopped suddenly. I braked quickly and stopped. The guy behind me slammed into my rear end. I was the pickle in the middle of a car sandwich.

My son went ass over tea kettle in the back. My wig and glasses flew off. Fortunately, nobody was seriously injured – mostly, I was embarrassed. But I did need to get checked out at the ER, and I had some slight trauma to my hands and neck from whiplash.

My car was undriveable. What made the event so memorable, though, was that for the first time in my then-40 years I didn’t know who to call – no daddy, no husband. My new boyfriend was at work. I thought, “Lyn, you are truly on your own. NOBODY is responsible for you but yourself, so use your brains and your resources.”

My resources were my wide circle of friends. I called the one that lived the nearest to where I was. That strategy worked then and ever since.

My car never recovered. I did, but I never forgot the lesson I learned that day (and I never forgot how embarrassed I was when my wig flew off).

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. PLEASE read instructions for submitting.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Lyn - What an horrific experience. (Losing your wig, that is!) Luckily, your boyfriend was busily occupied at work! - Sandy

You are so funny, making an auto accident funny is no accident!!

Terrific story, Lyn.

It takes a very special talent to make losing your wig in a traffic accident funny.....

Great story and way to make a point. Especially as we age, it's our friends we depend on.

I think one of the greatest things that happens in when a woman realizes she has other people in her life to call to be rescued besides her husband/boyfriend, etc. It makes her interdependent and independent all at once. Thanks for sharing!

Great Story!! I think Beth's comment is right on the money--To be interdependent and independent at the same time is really important to us elders. I would add it is true married or not.

Lyn: I had a funny wig off thing happen to me. My ex imported things from Hong Kong and one item was wigs. I decided to wear a short brown culy one to a dinner party we were going to. No one commented until one man at this formal sit-down dinner told me how nice my hair looked. I joked and told him it was a wig. He didn't believe me, so he grabbed it off my head. I wasn't embarrassed, but oh was he, but it served him right I thought.

Lyn, I lost my wig dancing with a man who promptly "helped" me by adjusting it on my head, sideways!

Nice to know I'm not the only one!

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