Not ready to be old!

The other night I almost hit a pedestrian. If I don’t try to laugh about it {I know it’s not funny}, then I might cry because it made me feel so old. Let me explain.

I don’t normally drive on campus after 5pm. Last week I was having dinner with some students that I mentor, and afterwards, I drove them back to their dorms. This was around 9pm. I couldn’t believe how many students were out walking around and just how busy the campus seemed at such an hour. Kids these days!

Driving through the UT campus during the daylight hours is bad enough because the students seem to think that because they are pedestrians, they never have to look up before walking into the street. They just assume that all cars will stop for them. Which is true….if they see them!

So anyway, we arrive at a busy intersection, and I’m waiting to turn left at the light. I’ve drawn a picture to help you visualize the scene:

I’m in the little green car. My car is not actually green, but “off white” didn’t look as nice in my picture. The red and blue cars are coming toward me and I’m focused on them and waiting for an opening. Finally, there is a break in traffic and I make my move. Just as I get to the intersection, I see a flurry of legs running in front of my car like this:

I was so focused on watching the cars coming in my direction, that I never even saw the girl in the cross walk (who did in fact have the right of way). And let me tell you, she was not at all amused by my little mishap! She was standing right outside of my window, and this is what she looked like:

And yes, that’s exactly what she yelled at me as well. I was so taken aback because I literally had not seen her. “Where the heck did she come from?! Did you guys see her?” I asked the students in my car. They claimed it was definitely more her fault because she obviously saw me and all of a sudden just started running in front of my car. But I’m pretty sure they were just trying to make me feel better. And I also know that a police officer would disagree. I definitely would have been the one at fault.

My grandma doesn’t drive at night anymore, and for the first time I really understood why.  It was so dark, and it freaked me out that I couldn’t see all of the people walking all over the place. I seriously did not even see that girl until she was almost on my windshield! So for the rest of the way, I drove really slow. And I didn’t know that area of campus too well, so I also had to ask for directions. “Is this the right street? It’s just so dark, I can’t tell.”

Now I’m only seven or eight years older than these students, but that experience made me feel so much older than that! Between the almost hitting a girl, the slow driving, the having to ask for directions because “it’s too dark for me to see”, and the comments about “kids” being out so “late”, I really must have seemed like a little old lady to them. Fail.

So much for being a cool mentor….

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