When I got in the car to head out, there was a cyclist about fifty yards behind me. What to do. Do I pull out and speed up to beat him? We were running late as it was...Or do I politely wait for him to pedal past?
I have an overly developed sense of people-pleasing. This is not always a good thing - like when reading Goodreads reviews. If I offend a complete stranger who I will never see again, I still ruminate on it for days - like the time I accidentally cut in front of someone in line at a play and she gave me that withering look. I mean, c'mon Spohr, get over it. All this to say, I waited for the biker to huff and puff past me lest he glare at my house every time he rode by in the future. The house could take it, but I can't.
Anyhow, I get to our stoplight and it turns green. My daughter's asking me a question and then SLAM. Guy runs in to the right side of my car. I've been in three (now four) car accidents in my life and when they say time slows down, it's true. Except not this time. This time it felt like less than a blink of an eye. CRUNCH. Holy &$#@.
The reaction of the other drivers on the road was peculiar too. No one stopped to either gawk or help. Indeed someone even honked at me, as if I'd just decided to park my car at forty-five degree angle in the middle of a lane of traffic for kicks and giggles.
Lucky strike two - the car wasn't totaled and was drivable enough to get my kid to preschool, but not much further.
Lucky strike three: the guy who hit me. He immediately admitted fault. None of this "well, maybe the light wasn't green" nonsense. He profusely apologized, and handed me his license and insurance. When my mind was considering going all Mama Bear on this dude, his humility and sincerity completely threw me. So I smiled instead of growled. I wanted him to not feel so bad, instead of wanting to lawyer up. He's already called the body shop and the rental car agency to set up payment. This guy's golden.
So when I think back, thinking about the butterfly effect of my waiting for the biker, how if I hadn't, I also would not have been hit, I can't help but see the lucky silver lining in all this. If I hadn't been hit, I never would have seen how people aren't always out for themselves. How the simple act of humility could so drastically change a situation - I lesson I sure as the dickens need to learn.
Of course, I'm not glad I got hit, and sure, my own act of hurried self-importance of cutting off a biker may have prevented it, but in the end, maybe I was lucky after all.
Be safe, be good, and buckle up, friends.