Monday, November 15, 2010

People Are Strange

That song by The Doors tends to pop in my head at least once a week due to actions I observe from other people. They really are...strange to me. Because I don't know why they happen to be doing what they are doing. I'm the stranger.

Something happened this morning as I took the girls to school that hit me, yet again, with the realization that we are not all the same. We all have different priorities, beliefs and backgrounds.

We have the same routine every morning, but today started off different. I overslept and had to wake the girls in a rush. "Come on, get dressed, get backpacks and let's go! We're late."

They weren't necessarily late for school, but late for their school breakfast and there's not enough milk for two bowls of cereal in the house. I rummage through the cupboards, but only find Halloween candy. Crap. I'll have to double my speed to get them there in time for a bite.

We jump in the car and make it down the bumpy driveway without tearing the exhaust off my car. After turning onto the main road, I hit the accelerator, only to notice something in the road ahead of me. I let off the gas and see that in my lane lies a deer and in the other lane a Toyota Camry is stopped. The windshield is shattered and hanging into the driver's side of the car. The driver's window is completely gone but for shards of glass in the window track. The woman is staring at her steering wheel. Dots of blood cover her face and her neck looks to be pretty bloody.

Of course, I slam on my brakes. "Honey, are you okay?"
"Uhm. I hit a deer."
She's in shock. I turn on my hazards (we're on a two lane road) and get out of my car. "Are you alright? You're bleeding."
"It was a deer. It just came from nowhere. I slowed down, but...I hit a deer."
"Yes, honey. Are you hurt anywhere? Can you move?"
"I need to call my brother." She turns to rummage through her glass filled car, which instantly worries me.
"No, no. Don't dig through all that glass. Let me get my phone." I run back to my car, tell my girls to be good, and grab my cell phone. Traffic is starting to back up behind my car and behind hers but I don't want to touch a dead deer and doubt I'd be able to move it anyway. I go back to her window and ask for the number to dial. While I wait for an answer on the phone, I see a man get out of a work truck.

Thank goodness. He's going to help. I wouldn't be able to move her car on my own either, and she certainly wasn't in any shape to push it! He lifts the leg of the deer and whips it off the road into the ditch. Then he climbs back into his truck and speeds by, yelling out the window, "Get outta the road!"

"Asshole!" I scream, before remembering that my children sit in the car with my window open and the woman in her wrecked car might not appreciate such language. I turn my attention back to her.

"I can't reach your brother. Can you very slowly move your car to the edge of the road?"
"I think so. It's running isn't it?"
I lean down and hear the engine. "Yep, it's running fine. Just be slow so the glass doesn't fly in your face." As soon as the words are out of my mouth, I feel like an idiot. She's already covered in glass.

Another driver pulls to the side of the road. When she gets out of the car in scrubs, relief floods my body. Perhaps she is a nurse and will be able to better evaluate the woman's condition. I know shock is a definite diagnosis, but the blood is still worrying me.

So, I could go on and on with this story. To make it shorter, I'll let you know that the woman was fine-minor cuts only. The other driver dressed in scrubs stayed with her until her brother arrived so that I could take my girls to school. All in all, it ended as well as it could have. Thankfully, she wasn't hurt.

But I was mad at that man that drove by, hollering out the window. I thought, "How could he?" Then I remembered. He's not like me. He's not been through what I have. Perhaps he was late and if he lost his job, he couldn't feed his children. Maybe his own loved one was in an emergent situation that I didn't know about down the road.

But I do know this; my girls were both relieved to hear that the woman was alright and both assured me that it was okay they didn't get breakfast. They were just happy that everyone was safe. *tears of pride*  Skipping breakfast IS a big deal. But my girls are like me. They do care about others above themselves (most of the time). They are awesome.

Now...Question for you. Could you write a story from the "rude" man's perspective of that whole situation?


  1. Way to go by putting yourself in that man's shoes. Though, he could have been a little more tactful. And, he didn't have to holler out his window even if he was in a hurry.

    Glad the lady was okay and the kids got to school and all. ;-)

  2. At first I thought this was a true story... just a blog post. And then I started thinking it was a fiction story.. and a well written one because I knew my heart was beating faster... I was expecting something bad to happen, something big, freaky, scary. And then I decided it really was your true story, after all, and VERY WELL written!

    What a morning. Nothing like a crisis to put things in a little better perspective, eh? You're awesome for helping out, and that guy, no matter what his situation, acted like a jerk. That said, it would be fun to write this from his perspective! I bet there's a good story waiting in there. :)


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