Tuesday, April 9, 2013
An Incident Involving My Purse, My Car, and My Face.
For my seventeenth birthday, I was "gifted" the family car. My mother, no longer having suitable use of her legs, could not operate a motor vehicle. My older brother lived away at school and did not possess a driver's license. I, however, had both working legs AND a license, therefore becoming the sole driver of the automobile.
Some would argue that my getting the car was an act of favoritism on the part of my mother. Other more rational people would see the logic in not giving the car to the oldest sibling who, as a freshman living on campus, was not permitted to have one by order of the university. And there was the small matter of his not having a valid driver's license. But more to the point, someone needed to run the family errands so I agreed to take them on and in return I demanded permission to use the car any time I pleased.
One particularly scorching August afternoon, I was tasked with acquiring Diet Sprite, the latest flavor of Snackwell's cookies, and various other essentials. Irritated by my mother's request, I just wanted to complete my chore and get on with my day.
In and out of the store in a jiffy, I silently congratulated myself on such a speedy trip.
As I drove home, I reached over to the passenger seat to grab my cigarettes from my bag. The seat was empty. Darting my eyes between the road and the seat, I realized my purse was missing. I quickly headed back to the store.
I sped into the lot to discover the cart was exactly where I had left it. I threw the car in park and jumped out only to find the cart empty. Turning back to the car, I checked the passenger to seat to make sure my purse hadn't just fallen. I searched, but to no avail. I couldn't breathe, my stomach churned and the tears started flowing. Sweat was pouring off of me, partially from the blistering sun, partially from my panic.
It occurred to me that I should go into the store to see if the purse had been turned in. I slammed the door extra hard in frustration. Unfortunately, I failed to remove my face from the car before doing so, thus slamming the car door directly into the side of my head.
I could feel my face swelling. There was blood. My hair stuck to my brow and tears stained my shirt. I was a sweaty, woozy mess. Still stunned, I closed the door, gently this time, and wobbled into the store.
Turns out someone found the purse in the cart and brought it to customer service where it was waiting for me. A store employee questioned me about my current state, concerned I had perhaps been attacked. I mumbled something incoherent, took my purse, and left.
When I returned home, my mother took one look at me and said, "Did you remember my cookies?"
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