An Accident And An Aftermath

A month or so ago, I got this story from Annie, about her life and my Snarky Cards, and their intersection. It’s a pretty awesome story, and it comes with pictures! I hope you like it as much as I did:

Everything began the Sunday after Thanksgiving. My boyfriend DJ’s sister Christina was visiting from San Francisco. It was the first time I had met her, and I was hoping to make a good impression. All was going well, until…

We were coming home after a trip to Hippo Hardware, chatting, laughing, discussing, and looking at the beautiful crescent moon suspended over the Portland twilight. Then, in that split second that my mind was not at the wheel, I ran a red light and was plowed into by a car coming from my right. I looked over at DJ in the passenger seat and was horrified to see his life flashing before our eyes. The next thing I knew, we were on the sidewalk, smashed up against the corner of a building. I didn’t understand. I tried to drive away. It didn’t work. My car started making horrible noises. I tried putting it in park. DJ moved my confused hands away and took the key out of the ignition. I just sat there. In shock. For a long time. Maybe an hour. I don’t really know. People were yelling and moving here and there. Information was needed. Somehow DJ and Christina took care of it all. They made the angry, angry man in the other car go away. They talked to the nice police officer. They called my family and my insurance company.

The police officer drove us the mile back to my house. I had an anxiety attack in the back seat of the cop car. All of the lights and sounds of the road were too much. I went into the house, into my room, into the corner and sobbed for a while. Then I hid in my bed and refused to speak to anyone. Finally DJ came in and took my hands in his and said goodbye. My parents tried to talk to me without much success, so they decided they had better take me home with them. I somehow managed to pack a bag and follow my mother out to her car. More flashing lights and noises and hyperventilating. After some club soda, several Advil, and a cold wash cloth to the forehead, I began to feel more like myself.

The next day, reality began to sink in. The accident was not a nightmare– it was my own awful reality. I had caused it, and I could not take it back. My car was gone. DJ and Christina had seen me at my very worst. I imagined them thinking horrific things about me: that I was crazy, reckless, psychotic, or at worst, homicidal! I feared that I would never hear from DJ again. My irrational anxiety was calmed when DJ and Christina showed up at my parent’s house that morning with hugs and a potted pomegranate plant.

Although I had been forgiven by DJ and Christina, I had not forgiven myself. I needed to make some kind of gesture to show how mortified and sorry I was for what I had done. I wanted to send Christina a thank you/I’m sorry package and I wanted to let DJ know how much I appreciated his help and support.

My mother and I went out to run some errands, one of which was a trip to Hawthorne Cutlery. While my mother tried to get her cuticle scissors sharpened I wandered around the store looking at various knives, swords, and knickknacks. A stack of familiar looking cards sat on the front counter. I recognized them from a visit to Music Millennium— they were the hilarious cards proclaiming brutally honest messages. After a few laughs and gags I stopped. I had found one that worked.

It was true and sweet and just what I wanted to say–

“Dear DJ,

I don’t care if we’re scrubbing toilets or making out on the couch. I dig the whole package and want to hang with you.

Sincerely, Annie.”

Perfect. It was so perfect that the store owner wouldn’t let me pay for the card. After hearing my story he said that I was meant to have that card, and that it was too sweet to sell with the rest of the raunchy stack.

I slipped the card into my purse, and later into an oversized envelope. When DJ received it in his mailbox a couple days later he assumed that I had made it, because it just seemed like something I would say. Perfect.

I thought the story would end there.

A few days later I was walking down Belmont with some friends. We noticed that Koipod was having a holiday craft fair and decided to check it out. The first thing I saw upon entering was a huge stack of snarky cards! The second thing I saw was a lovely lady sitting behind the stack of snarky cards! I couldn’t believe it– she was real! There was a living, breathing person behind the cards that, in my mind, had taken on a life of their own. I awkwardly went up to her and asked if she was indeed the creator of the cards.

We talked about how great the cards are, about my recent acquisition of DJ’s card, and about the accident. I thanked Alisa, the card creator, perhaps too many times, for bringing me so much amusement and joy. I told her that my next step was to send something to Christina. We came up with a personalized message that I would later send with a pound of Stumptown coffee: “

Aren't they a cute couple? Aren't you happy that Snarky Cards saved the day?
Aren't they a cute couple? Aren't you happy that Snarky Cards saved the day?

Dear Christina,

I’m sorry I tried to kill you and your brother. I really like you and I hope I can still join your family.

Sincerely, Annie.

The card was so perfect that Christina’s roommate posted it on the refrigerator, where he can obsess over it and wonder where on earth he can get his own snarky cards. (Don’t worry, I let him know about Etsy.)

So thank you Alisa, card creator, for helping me cope with and manage a painful and socially awkward situation with grace, dignity, and a lot of laughter. I wish you well in your snarky card business, and I will remain

Annie and her boyfriend's dog, John Chrichton
They're a pretty adorable couple too, huh?

your loyal customer.


P.S. DJ and I are still together, enjoying the snow and the holiday season. I am including a picture of us from Halloween, and a picture of me with DJ’s dog, John Crichton.

2 thoughts on “An Accident And An Aftermath

  • February 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    um, I love this story so much. It made my heart tickle and my eyes slightly moist.

    can’t wait to see you this weekend, sicky

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