A few years ago I decided to play a game of risk with my car. The ol’ dropping the insurance coverage so that it only covers the basics so we can save a few bucks each month on insurance costs. The reasoning behind the decision was that my purple car — yes, I’m a guy driving my wife’s old purple car — has about 200,000 miles on it. That old car also lacks a heater and an air conditioner, and to top it off the windows don’t roll down. All of that means that I get about 4 weeks a year of driving in comfortable temperatures. It also means my car has a pretty low value and carrying insurance to replace the car or fix the car if I get in an accident didn’t make a lot of sense.
On Saturday morning I began doubting my decision to play that game of risk. Early in the morning—around 3 a.m. — Casey headed off to the airport for one of her work trips. When she goes on her work trips she drives my car and leaves me her car with a fully functioning heater and air conditioner. At about 4 a.m. I missed about a dozen phone calls on my cellphone from Casey. I also had about a dozen text messages.
That morning I woke up at 8:30 a.m. and saw the number of missed calls and waiting text messages and immediately the adrenaline starting pumping through my body. I don’t get repeated missed calls and texts unless something bad happens. I called my voicemail and listened as I heard a very shaky and weepy voice from my scared wife explain to me that she had been in an accident. Another car had sideswiped her on the interstate and left my car, well, likely totaled. The worst part was that the other driver, who was likely drunk, didn’t stop, but instead left my wife spinning in the interstate at 55 mph.
Casey and I have had these kinds of conversations about car accidents before and what makes me the most sad about that voicemail is that Casey was likely weepy and shaky because she was scared of me. If she was going to be scared it should have been because the car she was just in slammed against the median divider wall a few times after she did a few 360 degree spins. She has been in a few accidents in the past and those accidents always frustrate me and bring out my very serious lecturing voice. I don’t know why my lecture voice is scary because I don’t yell and I don’t talk loud and I don’t even use mean words, but both Casey and Addie have told me how much they fear that voice. The lecture voice that came out six years ago after an accident that happened in Los Angeles is one of the factors that played into Casey’s reasoning to get a divorce way back when.
This time around it was different. It’s now 5 years since Casey asked for a divorce and we’ve both made big changes in our marriage. Changes that apparently left me not worried about my car at all. I still wonder about my insurance decision, but what I was most worried about when I heard about her accident was whether or not she was okay (she is by the way).
Although we’ll have to figure out how to replace my car, I’m glad I had the opportunity to see if I really had learned my lesson from 5 years ago. And on a positive note, I may not have to hide from my clients at the courthouse as I try to sneak into my purple car anymore.
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