Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Driving Under the Influence

Drinking a non-alcoholic LeFou's Brew at Disney
the day of the accident.

A week ago I was hit by a drunk driver.  I’ve been doing a joke about Melvil Dewey changing the spelling of his name from Dewey to DUI and here I was living the joke!  Not as funny this time.  It was one of those moments that makes you stop and ask: If now is my time to go, have I done everything I ever wanted to do?  My answer was pretty much yes (aside from winning that Oscar or finishing my book), so I welcomed finally hanging out with God to ask him why librarians are losing their jobs but a TV show called “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” got a green light.  Then I remembered I had said I would perform at a library fundraiser down in Sarasota so I decided sticking around would probably be the more professional thing to do.

In all seriousness, I was pretty shaken up by the whole thing.  A family friend had just passed away, my dad was having major surgery the next day, and here I was about to die where my obituary would read, “Meredith was an unemployed librarian and an okay comedian.  She is survived by a lot of cute clothes.  Some of them she sewed herself because she had the time.  Sadly today, she ran out of it.”  And my poor family!  They would then have to sell all of those clothes and open my bills to see how I had yet to pay for them.

Thankfully none of that is going to happen because I am okay.  I even retrieved my favorite bow headband, which on impact, flew off my head and out my open window to land in the middle of the street.  I had forgotten about it due to my panic of almost dying at the hands of a twenty year-old in a monster truck who couldn’t stand up let alone operate a big wheel under the influence of drugs and alcohol.  It was only after my brother and I were driving away that I remembered the headband and we turned around and there it was completely unharmed by passing cars.  I was so grateful that none of the people driving those cars cared enough to stop and steal it or intentionally drive over it with their muddy tires. Which reminded me that none of them stopped to help me either. What a bunch of assholes!  Sorry about the profanity but I almost died, okay?

That headband - which was once just a combination of satin and plastic used to cover my roots when I had yet to make an appointment for the hair salon - is now a symbol of SURVIVAL!  An example of how $3 on the right accessory can make you forget all about shitting your pants and thinking you were about to die.  Okay, I didn’t really crap my pants but the reality of me being somewhat calm and cooperating with the police probably won’t get me a show on TLC called “Here Drives Stand-Up Librarian.”

Truth is I am okay with not having that show.  It is times like this that I am ever so glad that I quit drinking over a year and a half ago because I never want to be responsible for taking away someone else’s chance at living their dreams or accomplishing their To Do list.  Plus I never want to shortchange myself either – I’m not done yet.  You hear that, God?  Besides, I just know this book I am writing is going to be a bestseller and then made into a movie where I play myself and get nominated for an Oscar and win.  I know this because I already have the dress hanging in my closet.

So please.  Don’t drink and drive.  I’ve got shit to do and headbands to wear.

I had also bought a Mr. Toad pin at Disney but hope
from now on to leave all the "wild rides" to him!  

***FYI, this post is not to make light of or joke about the seriousness of DUIs or those who may have lost their lives as a result. We all handle grief and trauma differently so my way is sometimes to write about it.  I honestly hope this kid gets some help because we were both very lucky that it wasn't worse than what it was. 


Peter J. Orvetti said...

It was being cited for a DUI -- which, luckily, involved no accident -- that I realized I had a serious problem and needed to get sober. I wish more people would take that lesson from the experience.

Meredith Myers said...

I agree. Many times we all need wake up calls to make changes but I am glad I received the call without any accidents or incidents. Congrats on your years of sobriety, Peter, I hope this kid takes note of this lesson and gets help too.

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