Ever been hit by a car while walking? Well, now I have…

As I’ve mentioned to anybody who’ll stand still long enough, I love my car partially because it’s just such an awesome car and partially because it saved my life 7-1/2yrs ago. So, Volkswagen has held a special place in my heart as a brand that can SAVE LIVES. (I’ll post that story later this week, since I think I haven’t told that one yet.) Those ads they used to run where the people would be talking in the car and then suddenly you’d see them standing on the side of the road next to a wreck of a car that they easily escaped from? Yeah, I’ve had that happen to me.

And now I can add American Tourister to the list of “life-saving” brands.

Last week, I was at a conference in that bastion of civilization, Alexandria, VA. As a native Washingtonian and a naturalized Marylander, I have a general sneer when it comes to the parts of Virginia that are just damned inconvenient to get to, and Alexandria is on that list. As a matter of fact, in the 24 years I lived in the DC area, I think I went to Alexandria TWICE. When I was offered the option to go to a conference there, I pulled on my big girl panties and said, “FINE – I’LL GO TO NOWHERESVILLE NORTHERN VIRGINIA”. (As my Arlington friends chuckle, because they know that I’ll happily hang anywhere on the Orange line and miss my time on Clarendon.)

The last morning of the conference, I was walking the 1/2mi from my hotel to the conference hotel, with my American Tourister rolling bag on my left and my laptop bag across my body, hanging on my right. There is an apartment complex across from the hotel where the conference was held, and the crosswalk in front of it is broken up by a small island (one lane into the complex, island, one lane out). The walk light was firmly lit, so off I went across the first part of the crosswalk...and that’s when it happened.

With no warning, my rolling bag came flying into my left leg and I was promptly dropped on my ass (what I described to others as a very rough version of falling rapidly and harshly on an extremely icy ski slope, in terms of the hardness of the surface). What in the…? I looked up and saw a small white car stop.

Holy crap, I was just hit by a car.

I went over to the driver, who didn’t get out of his car (what a lovely human being!), as he stammered over and over again, “You have to forgive me! Please forgive me!”

I honestly wasn’t sure WHAT to say. I was just hit by a car.

I said a few choice words at the driver – although far fewer than I expected myself to say – and I made it perfectly clear that I wasn’t going to give him the absolution he craved. How do you forgive someone for hitting you with a car? I can understand forgiving someone who accidentally let a door swing shut on you, but that’s not a one-ton thing powered by an engine.

I checked the one leg that felt a little off, and it just sustained some minimal scrapes; it wasn’t until later that I felt somewhat bruised on my hip – but that was also minor and I had a very large bottle of ibuprofen. Honestly, it was the bag that saved my life – or at least my left leg. If I hadn’t had my rolling bag on the side where the car hit, the car would’ve taken out my already dodgy knee, and instead of angrily walking to the conference in shock – and a snit – I would’ve been in an ambulance en route to one of Northern Virginia’s fine hospitals. The suitcase did sustain some minor damage, specifically a crack in one of the handle rods, but I managed to resolve it well enough to get myself home and am now just hoping American Tourister can help me get a replacement handle to solve the problem fully.

The bag in question is this awesome little suitcase that I got as part of my DisneySide party gear; it’s the PERFECT bag for a 2-3 night trip, and now I know it can take some serious body blows…like from a moving vehicle probably going 15mph. I took it on a bunch of trips this year, and it’s small enough that you can stow it easily on a plane or a train, yet it’s also roomy enough that you don’t feel like you’re cramming in just a few days worth of stuff into a one-night bag. It rolls very smoothly and the ball wheels make it super-easy to navigate even without putting it on an incline. It’s also light as all get-out, so it’s very maneuverable and easier to wrestle in/out of an overhead bin.

Party Kit

The awesome American Tourister bag – plus all the lovely party supplies for my #DisneySide party from February

For a better close-up of my new favorite bag (which I actually fell in love with before it saved me from a trip to the hospital), check it out at Amazon.com: American Tourister Have A Ball 20″ Spinner.

So, kids, I guess the lessons are as follows:

1. When offered an opportunity to stay at the conference hotel, even if it’s not a Marriott and you won’t get all the awesome points that you want, JUST STAY THERE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY.

2. Always walk with your rolling bag on the same side as where a car may hit you.

3. ALWAYS take the opportunity to buy a Volkswagen if you have the means; they are built like tanks and that may come in handy someday (hopefully you’ll never need it, like I did).

4. Buy American Tourister. They’ve got a fan for life in me, and now I know my luggage brand of choice from this point forward. Any luggage brand that can keep me out of the hospital wins my money forever.

Why I’m glad the guy at the gym wore an offensive t-shirt

Let me preface this by saying that my local YMCA branches are all wonderful, and I love being a member there. The Y is family-friendly without being militant about it, they provide a nurturing environment for the kids all year ’round, and they genuinely care about the overall health and well-being of their members of all ages.

That’s why I was so surprised when, while working out yesterday afternoon, I saw a young guy sporting a t-shirt with the following message all in caps:

CHEAT ON WOMEN
NOT ON YOUR WORKOUT

Let’s pause for just a moment to savor the complete douchebaggery that this shirt represents. I’m all in favor of not coming up with yet another excuse to skip a workout; I have far too many of those and have played that card likely far more than I should have. HOWEVER, there is no reason to espouse cheating on anyone – men or women – as a way of justifying your workout above everything else.

The very concept of “cheating” implies that the person performing the action understands that they’re not supposed to be doing it. Very few people go around saying, “Nice bit of cheating there, old chap! Way to go!” If a relationship is “open” or without a commitment, cheating doesn’t happen because that’s not how polyamory is classified. If there’s a commitment (monogamous or otherwise), and there’s cheating (activity with someone outside of that commitment), then the cheater is breaking a promise.

Now, I understand that sometimes there can be extenuating circumstances, but there are so few cases outside of soap operas and other screen-based getaways where anyone actively roots on cheating that it’s pretty easy to say that it’s more the exception than the rule.

So, this brings us back to me being actively happy about the shirt. I didn’t know the guy wearing it; he was likely in his 20’s (at most) and with that utterly forgettable attractiveness that young men can so easily have at that age. I did, however, completely appreciate that he wore it so that he was advertising to one and all that he is, in fact, a tool. That kind of self-awareness, that self-identification that screams, “YES, I’M THE GUY WHO WILL SLEEP WITH YOU FOR MONTHS ON END AND NOT TELL YOU THAT I’M SLEEPING WITH OTHER WOMEN ON THE SIDE BECAUSE MY EGO DEMANDS IT” is so refreshing. It saves everyone time, really.

I do hope that the young ladies who were in attendance at the gym this afternoon, of which there were several (and they were rather attractive in their own right), saw Mr. Awesome’s shirt and made a mental note never to exchange phone numbers with him.

After all, if his shirt is any indication, he will be in the gym…and perhaps that’s as far as he should go with being around other human beings.

Long story short

Yes, this post breaks all the “bloggy” rules. No images. No fantastic headline. Not posted as part of a schedule. And somehow…I’m not getting struck by lightning.

The reason for so much radio silence lately is that things have just been overwhelming. I’m just now back from a hastily-scheduled two-day trip to DC to help my parents out when overlapping medical appointments (including an emergency oral surgery) made things really difficult for them. I’ve now been to DC twice this month, once for my father’s heart surgery and now for this trip, and I’ll be there in two weeks for a work trip. JetBlue kinda loves me right about now.

I got promoted at work – and then spent the first two days in my new role working remotely from 500mi south. Thankfully I have the best boss ever, and I have coworkers who are very tolerant of teleworking.

I’m helping organize a massive event for my employer, and that’s taking up many of my brain cycles – not even including those that are occupied by a very high-profile project that has become even more involved than I’d ever imagined.

And then there was the start of Kindergarten and 2nd Grade for the kiddos. Never, ever assume that the start of a new school year won’t come with its own challenges, including kids that won’t sleep well and fights over what’s for lunch.

But the marathon walk for The Jimmy Fund was awesome, and between me and dh we managed to raise $2,000 for Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. So there’s that. I’d say that we’re both over the moon about that, but it would be an understatement.

On the other hand, I’ve started getting hot flashes, so I guess this means perimenopause for me! Yeay? I thought everything started breaking when I turned 41, but I didn’t realize HOW RIGHT I was.

And with all that quickly and quietly off my chest, not even baring half of what’s on my mind, I’m going to bed. Sorry if this isn’t all that exciting, but when your life seems to be spinning like one of those dreamworld tokens in the movie “Inception”, it’s pretty hard to figure out how to explain it all in the span of one blog post – or explain it without collateral damage of spilling things that people may not want in public.

So off to bed I go. Nighty night.