Alia’s bridal shower was in May of 2011 and Rachel and I were, happily, both able to attend. We planned on making a whole weekend out of it and having super fun times. Rachel would take the bus from New York to Boston, I would pick her up, and we’d have a fun-and-girl-talk filled road trip to the great state of VT. Also, there would be snacks.
I left work early that Friday (with Mr. Louis in tow) to meet Rachel at South Station in Violet the Versa (my car that I’d bought brand-spanking new 7 months earlier). I should preface the rest of this story by letting you all know that I have a TERRIBLE sense of direction. Absolutely terrible. If I’m following directions telling me to head north on Main St., etc., I will actually pull out the compass on my phone to find north. When I’m visiting my parents, who still live in the same town that I grew up in, I have to ask my mom how to get to the mall. I once got horribly lost in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and ended up in a dark, scary hallway where the administrative offices are located. I’m a mess. Also, at the time of this road trip, I did not own either a GPS or a smartphone. I have since invested in both. Well, more of a two-in-one deal. I digress.
I knew how to get to South Station, since it has its own exit off the Mass Pike, but from there I was just going to wing it. I knew there were a bunch of different highway entrances around South Station; with Rachel as my co-navigator, I was sure we’d easily find a sign leading us to I-93 north. Boy, was I ever wrong.
This was my first time driving downtown and it was much more confusing than I’d imagined. Damn you, Boston, and your one way streets! First, we could not find 93 north. There were entrances to the Pike and 93 south, but no north. We circled around the same intersection twice before we finally saw a sign…at the end of one of the infmaous one way streets. So, we circled the opposite direction, of course hitting every red light, and finally made it. The on-ramp to 93 north was just up ahead…we were so close! And then: disaster struck. And by disaster, I mean a small, unapologetic, Asian man with limited English skills in his beat up old car. And by struck, I mean he literally struck my car with his car. He had been parked on the side of the road when I turned on to the street, with no blinker on indicating that he was doing anything other than sitting. However, right as I was driving by him, he decided to pull away, sharply, from the curb. He basically turned left into my car, clearly not checking his blind spot or even really looking where he was going. The collision made a HORRIBLE noise. I was so surprised at what happened that I did not immediately stop driving. I’m pretty sure I asked Rachel if that guy had just hit us, to which she replied affirmatively. Before this, I had never been in an accident where another car was involved (I had knocked the sideview mirror off of a Zipcar once, but that resulted from a collision with a wall…inside of a ferry…but that’s a story for another day).
The rest of what happened was a blur. I pulled over and Rachel and I both exited the car through the driver’s side door- the passenger side door was no longer an option. It’s a good thing she’s tiny and a good crawler. I somehow managed to do everything I needed to (made sure we were not injured, got the guy’s registration and insurance information, called the police), but the whole time all that was running through my head was “my brand new car!!!”. Rachel said I remained super calm and collected through the whole thing…so I guess I do ok in a minor crisis, which is good to know. Thank goodness Rachel was there with me. She took pictures of the car and got information from a witness who had been walking down the street- and ended up saving me from having to pay my insurance deductible! The insurance company of the guy who hit me of course tried to blame the accident on me, which is totally ridiculous. Rachel also ran down the street to retrieve my hubcap, which had popped off during the incident.
After information was exchanged, we had to find a police station, as I had been advised to go pick up an accident report. The woman I had spoken with on the phone gave me the address of the closest one, which was near Government Center, but I of course had no idea where the specific street was. So, instead of asking for directions, I just started driving. Rachel tried to look the address up on her phone, but it tried to send us to Middleborough. Wrong city, Google Maps. Nice try, though. We followed the signs for Government Center. I somehow thought calling my ex-boyfriend for directions would help. It did not. I was a little frazzled. Then, magically, we happened upon the street! It was a miracle. We then parked illegally in front of the police station (not the smartest choice, I know, but parking in downtown Boston is hard!!!) and ran inside for an accident report. The officer working at the front desk was VERY helpful AND there was an entrance for 93 north right behind the police station! Hurray! We were (finally) on our way.
Thankfully, the rest of our trip was uneventful, except for the crazy rain storm that forced me to slow to a crawl on the highway. Not being able to see out of your windshield is not conducive to driving.
Violet the Versa ended up having to have both passenger side doors replaced, her frame was bent, and there were issues with one of the wheels (I think). She was in the shop for a month. A whole month! But, she was just like new when I got her back, and I haven’t been downtown since.
Song of the Day: I’m in Love with my Car by Queen