06 August 2007

Emergency Contact

My work week ended with a bang, literally, as the truck behind me hit my car and nudged me into the vehicle in front of me.

I'd seen him coming, and thought, "He's so not stopping". I stepped on my brakes as hard as I could and just waited for the impact.

Damage wise, it's nothing major. A couple of dents, really. It's what happened when I got out of the car that still has me going in little circles in my head, little voices that won't stop whispering, little voices that get louder than my i-pod when I'm running on my treadmill.

"Do you have someone you can call"? The blank look on my face must have made him question whether I spoke English or did indeed have a concussion.

"I'm sorry"? (Always, with the "I'm sorry")

"You know, an emergency contact"?

"Um, no, I, I'm not even hurt. I'm fine. Actually, I really need to get going. I'm late to the sitter".

"You're shaking like a leaf. I don't feel right letting you drive right now."

I looked down, and sure enough, I was trembling from head to foot. I raised my arm to start pulling my hair up and down into imaginary pony-tails (another nervous habit), and could barely get it above my head.

I decided to drop my cunning plan of proving I could physically move by introducing him to my engaging personality. (See, I know you just cringed, and this is why I love you, readers).

"Oh, no, I'm fine, (nervous laugh) what a great end to the work week, and it's not even the end for me, I have to work tomorrow, (nervous laugh) oh, you know, I'm kind of a nervous person, and so it's really just my adrenaline that's making me shake so much and (nervous laugh) so, do you work the day shift or night shift"? (nervous laugh)

The look on his face made me suddenly very frightened that he was about to call a psych consult.

"Don't you have a husband to call"? As he peered in at Little A's car seat.

"Not that I can remember. Kidding, I was kidding. Sorry" (nervous laugh; mind screaming to me: "SHUT THE HELL UP"!)

"Boyfriend? Significant other"?

"Wow. I almost feel like you're my grandmother right now". (hahahahaha, nervous laughter just shooting out of me like fireworks run amok. Speaking of shooting, where is a sniper when you need one? Nothing lethal, just a nice little ricochet off the ass to focus my energies on things other than running my mouth.)

"Do you have a friend that could come and get you"? I ran through my list of friends. All wonderful, all tied to activities and husbands and significant others on Friday nights.

"No. I'm a total loser. Sorry"

"Please, I'm fine to go, just a little shaky, that's all. (nervous laughter) Sorry."

"I'll let you go. You'll need to call me here to let me know you made it, alright?"

I actually managed to nod my head back and forth rather than let one more word escape. "And, really, since you do have kids, you should think about getting some contacts in order, just in case I wouldn't have let you drive. Or if it were worse".

"Sorry. Right. Thanks. I'll get that list done this weekend and put it in my car. Sorry. Thanks".

I suppose if it were a true life and death emergency contact situation, I'd have called any of my good friends. But the dents in my bumpers also made little dents in my subconscious. It seems like lately, I'm missing the person that should be my emergency contact, and I don't think I've even met him yet.

It seems suddenly (ok, over the past few years), I'm almost always the single one in any crowd I wander into. I've enjoyed it, really, for the most part. The not answering to anyone, the reading until three in the morning if I wanted to, the going out with my friends and not having to worry about anyone being jealous or feeling snubbed.

Don't get me wrong, there are times that I feel like I am ready for the point in time when I am not the single one among my friends.

Ready, probably, until he offers to be my emergency contact. And there in-lies another post.


PDX Mama said...

I'm sorry about the accident. It is such a scary situation when that happens. I don't know what to say about the emergency contact - but I hope when he comes along, you are ready.

(And yes, I will post some day, promise :-)

slouching mom said...

Jenn -- You are beautiful, you are a talented writer, you are a loving mama, you are damn funny!, you are all these things and more that I don't know about.

I wish I could wave my magic wand and boost that self-esteem of yours, but I know it's not that easy.

There will be someone. There will. And he will think, How did I live so long without knowing this amazing woman and her amazing children?

Mark my words.

(I'm so very glad you were not hurt.)

Her Grace said...

I'm so glad that none of you were hurt, and I know how being in a scary situation can make you feel vulnerable. I hope that, when the time is right, that Mr. Right comes along for you. And until that time happens, I hope you can find peace and happiness in the life you've built for yourself.

(And I also swear that I'm going to TATTOO my phone number to your hand. I'm right freaking here. You should have called.)

Anonymous said...

It's hard being alone, it's nice, but there are hard parts as well. I remember when my son was two and he and I moved to a new city, I taught him how to call 911, just in case. It was scary being by myself, knowing he depended on me.

Maybe that's why it's not so scary now, less dependents.

Hope you weren't too stiff the next day.

T with Honey said...

I have a husband but we had a similar shock when we enrolled Princess in day care. They required an additional emergency contact, someone that could pick her up in case something happened to both of us.

We have no family living near us and the only friend that we trust to take care of our daughter lives over an hour away. That friend is listed as the emergency contact/pick up for Princess.

I thought figuring that out was bad. I don't envy you at all.

Angela said...

Emergency contacts picking them is no fun. I am just glad I have gotten to know more people.
I hope you stopped shaking before you drove.
Sending you a smile!

Lawyer Mama said...

The last time I was in an accident I was a friggin basket case, so I understand. Even a fender bender has me shaking like that too. I'm glad you're OK.

And oh, sweetie, you will so find love someday. You will find someone who loves you and your kids and every amazing, neurotic, selfless bone in your body.

InTheFastLane said...

It was my years as a single mother that made me who I am. You are a strong woman, but even strong women feel un-strong. Keep enjoying the great things that make you, you and one day someone else will want to be a part of that, whether you are ready or not.

flutter said...

He sounds like he was remarkably decent.

You? Are just remarkable. Glad you're ok.

jen said...

that was a heck of a lot of "sorrys" in one post, sister.

and you know, since you've just put it out into the universe, it's going to happen. it will. and i can't wait. (better not tell him there will be a host of chicks evaluating his worthiness for our jenn)

Blog Antagonist said...

Oh hon....I've been there. There was a time when I was thousands of miles from home, and alone because my fiancee had ditched me for my best friend. It was lonely.

But I found someone great and you will too when the time is right.

I'm sorry about your accident. But I think you sound like an incredibly strong and courageous woman.

canape said...

It's good to know when you're not ready, and good to know when you are. I hope you find what you want in life without even having to look.

Christine said...

put my name down on that list and i'll be there in a heartbeat.

ok, i am not the boyfriend you are looking for, but i know he is out there. that probably sounds so damn corny, but i really believe it.

bgirl said...

jenn, i feel as if i'm reading my heart as i read this. it resonates on many levels. i too have all the pros to being alone, yet with pros come cons.

i agree with jen, once you say it outloud, to the universe, it puts things beyond you in motion....

here's to those emergency contacts...and the good goosebumps they bring!

Jonas said...

"Ready, you know, for that."

That's an IMPORTANT first step...the rest is up to you...and Cupid...

luckyzmom said...

So, I had had it with men and decided I would just work and raise my daughter and just use men for "you know, for that". And then I met my husband. I tried to get into his pants and he said,
"We haven't even talked about love yet."
That was more than 30 years ago. When I turn my head to the left I see his head with the bald spot, that I always tell him is smaller than it is,visible above his recliner as he watches TV.

I don't think God brought us together because I had given up on men, but because I had come to realize that I could take care of my daughter and myself.

With so many of us cheering for you it's going to happen!

Wayfarer Scientista said...

so, I've got some catching up to do on your blog...

I totally know what you mean. I do a lot of hiking alone and you're supposed to let someone know if you do so they can call for help if you don't get back but I don't have anyone to tell, and I don't know if anyone would notice if I didn't make it back. And while I don't hate being single sometimes I'm just ready to be in love.