Category Archives: News

Drama

“She’s a pastor’s wife, she shouldn’t lie.”

Apparently, that’s what the lawyer for the insurance company of the guy who hit me said to the lawyer representing us. I heard it yesterday and I still can’t decide what to feel. Amused? After all, it’s ridiculous on so many levels. Sad? Is this really what our legal system is reduced to? Angry? Ok, so you can tell me I’m wrong, but calling me a liar when you don’t even know me seems a little out there. Bemused? As Dave said, “Ok, so our legal system is corrupt and I should have expected that. But it’s such a stupid lie. Couldn’t they come up with one that fit the facts?”

I also thought up some comebacks (I didn’t say they were good, but I DID consider suggesting them to the lawyer):

“She’s a pastor’s wife, so you should listen to her.”

“Actually, she’s not a pastor’s wife, but she pretends to be so the church people don’t get upset.”

“Shhh…she’s in the witness protection program. Actually, she doesn’t believe in God at all.”

Or, to use the same logic they’re using:

“She’s a pastor’s wife, so she must be telling the truth.”

Ok, so can anyone think of one better?

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The point of Frustration Onset…

…was last night. I don’t even know what to say, except this is what happened and please pray.

Dave met with his lawyer-friend about my accident. But before I talk about that, I need to say that, though I’ve had my police report for several weeks, I didn’t read it until last night, because I knew from my conversation with the officer that it was just going to make me angry, and I figured I’d wait to see what the lawyer thought before I read it. I guess I wanted an “end perspective” to read it through.

So you can imagine my surprise when I found out that the officer found me responsible for the accident. Yup, me. I did some research this morning and it looks like that’s one of the calls he could have made. From what I read of the CA Vehicle Code (fun times, let me tell you), he could have put the blame on the man who hit me. I’m not sure why he put it on me, though I got the sense that he didn’t like me and thought I wanted the man who hit me put in jail (which I repeatedly told him was NOT what I wanted). I don’t want to read too much into it, but my sense from talking to him on the phone several weeks back was that he wanted to make it so that I could not get even my expenses reimbursed. He didn’t do that, but more on that later. It seems sketchy that he “blamed” me but didn’t cite me for anything–I don’t know if you can do that in California, though I know you can’t in Colorado (an officer has to issue a citation to put fault on one party).

So I finally read the police report. Turns out, there are inaccuracies all over the place, including some basic things like what my injuries were and where my bike (which he looked at!) was damaged. He also told my story using words that I said, but that I didn’t say in the particular context he used them or that I said in conjunction with something else but that part didn’t make it in. I feel like one of those people who is quoted out of context in the newspapers and is made out to say something totally different than what they intended. He didn’t even talk to all the witnesses whose contact information he had access to.

I’m so frustrated. There aren’t words for how frustrated I feel. I felt like he wasn’t listening to me when we talked to him, and this confirms that. And yet he’s the one who is supposed to listen, the state’s representative to keep me safe and make sure the truth comes out. I’m not naive–I don’t think that these people don’t get jaded or have their own worldviews or that there’s no interpretation in their work. But that doesn’t make it right. I don’t say this lightly, or because I’m angry, but I feel like the truth was hidden and twisted so that Dave and I and my story look bad. And I didn’t do anything to deserve that. I told my story straight, from the moment he walked into my home. I didn’t embellish or make my injuries or damage out to be more than they were. I said, from the first time I told the story, that it was one of those things that was completely an accident, not blaming the man who hit me like I could have. I was careful to tell the truth, and I think I succeeded in that.

The good news in this mess is that Dave’s friend is going to take our case even though there’s not a lot of money in it, because he knows Dave. The fact that the report is inaccurate is in our favor, as is the fact that the officer didn’t talk to one of the witnesses. It’s also important that the truck was moving when he hit me and that that was the impact that dislocated my shoulder (not my impact with the ground). Once it’s all worked out, and we’ve paid the lawyer and taxes, we should be able to recoup our medical expenses and fix my bike or buy another one. That’s all I’ve wanted from the beginning, so that’s good.

But this doesn’t make me happy. Part of it is knowing that, had the officer interpreted events differently (technically, because the man who hit me left without giving me his information, which he’s supposed to do even if we don’t call the police, it could be interpreted as something a lot more serious on his part, even if not determined a hit-and-run), Dave and I might be in a place to pay off my student loan entirely or open a Roth IRA or go to New Zealand or something like that. But that’s all extra. A bigger, more important part of it is that things were not handled right. I was not heard, and I was treated like I was trying to deceive. He didn’t even bother to get the details that he saw with his own eyes down correctly!

Part of me wants to give him grace–he’s human, maybe he missed something, maybe he forgot, maybe his preconceived notions of what people who look like me try to do influenced his decisions. But part of me wants justice. It seems like part of his job to get the details, to set aside his personal preconceived ideas when he’s working, to learn to hear the people he talks to. And he didn’t do that for me.

I do know myself fairly well, and part of that means that I know what bugs me, and injustice is something that makes me angrier than just about anything else. I know that life is not fair, because evil is in the world, and I’ve thought a lot about why God allowed evil and what that means for us, and I know that it means we will sometimes have to bear the weight of burden and blame that are not ours. But that doesn’t make it right. That doesn’t mean that evil and injustice are the ways God intended our world to function. And so they make me angry.

I think that part of having eternity in our hearts, part of having the image of God in us even though we’re fallen means that we see how things should be, the world we should live in, even though that’s not reality. Part of living successfully on this earth means accepting reality in spite of what we see, but that’s not where I’m going here. In my experience, different people see different aspects of what should be more clearly than others. What I see, and always have seen, clear as day, is that injustice is wrong. When my mom told me, “But Sarah, life’s not fair!” I would say (starting at a very young age), “But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be!” So this is especially hard for me. I see reality but I also see Reality and this particular juxtaposition is very painful for me.

So please pray for us in this. I’m not sure how far to take this, beyond the lawyer’s involvement with the insurance company. I’ve investigated various ways to issue a complaint against the officer, and I’m trying to decide if that is worth pursuing and which way and how far. Pray that Dave and I would have wisdom in this, and that justice would be done. I don’t want more than is my due, but I do want that, if at all possible. I don’t feel God calling me to absorb this blow, so I think pursuing justice is right, but pray that I would hear his voice in this mess.

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Filed under Becoming, News

A lot has happened

Since my last post, so much has happened. I have a new job. Starting at some as-yet-to-be-determined time, I will be the Secretary for the Intentional Character Development program. Things are a little up in the air as far as when I’ll actually start and what the program will look like and what I’ll actually be doing there eventually, but it seemed like a good move for me. It sounds like I’ll end up doing something that’s a lot more along the lines of what I’m directly interested in, what I’ve studied, and what I care about.

Mom and Dad came out for the long weekend. We had a lot of fun, in spite of the fact that it was over 100 degrees every day. We went to an International Festival in Orange. It was awesome and would have been even more awesome if we could have stood to be outside for longer than an hour, and if we were hungry for the awesome international food they were offering. But the huge IHOP-esque breakfast we had at this amazing little hole-in-the-wall restaurant pretty much made that not an option. It wasn’t a total bust–they had a vendor selling jewelry made out of magnets. I can wear it as a necklace, a bracelet, an anklet, a belt, a hairband. It’s easier to explain when you can see it.

Once we felt sufficiently like the fried food we were wandering past, we decided to go to the beach. Venice beach, to be more specific. Not the place in LA where most people would take their parents, but, well, we were up for a little excitement and a lot of cool air. So we went. We even weathered the parking. And it was so totally worth it. The beach was not nearly as wall-to-wall with people as we thought it would be, the water was just cool enough to be refreshing and warm enough to be comfortable, and the crazy people were out in force on the boardwalk. It got pictures of some of them. Good, crazy pictures. And a toe ring that goes all the way around. I’ve been looking for one forever.

Other than that, the most exciting thing we did was get ice cream at RiteAid and Keen’s at REI. We’re party animals, us Pletcher/Winfreys.

In other news, the ants have broken the truce. Yes, we have a truce. They don’t invade in large numbers and I don’t decimate the small numbers of their population that do wander in. It’s gone quite well, actually. Until they showed up in large numbers yesterday evening in our bathroom. So we’ll see. This may mean war.

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Yada yada

Update on the rant: Dave has an old friend who is a personal injury attorney and also a Christian (not two things I would have thought could go together well, but who knows…), and he’s willing to help us out if things get rough. Mostly, I don’t care if I get anything…I just don’t like being treated like I’m an idiot…particularly when that involves telling me that I said things that I didn’t say. I’m really not one to call “discrimination!” but I’m not sure the officer treated Dave the same way he treated me last week and I don’t think he would have spoken to him the way he spoke to me. There are times when being blonde, looking younger than you are, and being female are NOT helpful qualities.

In better, more positive, exciting, and happy news, I did something bold and scary today. I submitted a piece of writing to a publication where I’d love to see it. I don’t know if it will be something they’re looking for, but it’s something I’m proud to have written. We’ll see. Actually, I have more confidence in the piece than in the publication, so if it doesn’t get published there I’ll fiddle with it and submit it somewhere else. It’s still scary, though, particularly because rejected submissions have led me to choose to stop writing before. Granted, I was something like 10 at the time and had other confidence-killing things going on, so it might be different now.

Since we’re talking about my writing, I had a piece published by The Dollar Stretcher a couple weeks ago. I forgot about it because it was accepted so long ago. I didn’t get paid for it–they wanted it for their e-newsletter and not the printed version, which is where they pay–but it was cool. The whole newsletter got picked up by the Oswego Daily News (wherever that is!), so it actually got published on their site, too. That counts, right? So I guess I’m technically “published” now. I had thought that moment might come with a few more fireworks. Well, if blogging counts then I guess I’ve been published for a long time…with even fewer fireworks.

Anyone have Gandalf’s number?

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Fallout

*This is a rant. I don’t usually post rants, but I’m hoping that, just maybe, someone out there will know something that will help me. If you don’t want to read a rant or don’t like strong language, it’s ok if you excuse yourself. I won’t be offended.

There are good cops, and there are bad cops. Of that I’m sure. My question is, why do I always “get” to interact with the cops who are jerks? I know there are nice cops out there. One of my parents’ friends was with the Colorado Highway Patrol and he was one of the gentlest men I knew. And one of my friends just became an Orange County Sheriff and I don’t think he would ever treat people the way I’ve experienced the police.

From the officer who pulled me over for having a tail light out and then proceeded to harass me about going to a party (I wasn’t) while my best friend got sicker and sicker in the passenger seat (I was taking her home early) to the one who gave me not 1, not 2, but 4 lectures (and another one later, when I pointed out a mistake he had made on the ticket) because he thought I was trying to get out of a ticket when really I was crying because my grandfather had died, to the one I’ve been dealing with in this latest accident who seems to find the fact that I got hit by a truck as something barely worth his time and who insists that I want the guy who hit me to go to jail when all I really want is a new bike and to know my medical bills are covered, I really have run into the jerks of the policing world.

I would like to point out that it makes a hell of a lot of sense that I didn’t jump up from this accident screaming, “Call the police!” and that I just wanted to sit down and stop shaking before having to possibly deal with an officer. Seriously, am I supposed to want to talk to a jerk when I’m shuddering uncontrollably and just want to cry? I know, I can’t judge and entire profession by the examples I’ve run into. But with my luck, I’d have drawn the only officer in the world who thinks bicycles ought to be outlawed because they make the world more dangerous to cars!

Ok, calmer moment. But I’m still angry! Basically, because I wanted a chance to sit and figure out what I needed to do, the driver of the truck was justified in leaving. Apparently, I told him not to call the police. I don’t remember this. In fact, I don’t remember a whole lot about the accident at all. Why? Oh, right, because I had just been HIT BY A FUCKING TRUCK. Ah, well, there is that I suppose. WTF?!!?? And if I said that, what I meant was, “Don’t call them just yet. I need a few minutes to calm down, figure out how hurt I am, and think about what needs to be done.” But I couldn’t say that because, you know, the whole fucking truck thing again. Adrenalin? Bad for the higher brain function and the communication skills.

And, as someone else (who I really respect) pointed out, most responsible bystanders would just call the police, or 911, or somebody like that. They would think “Girl+truck+contact=bad=call police.” I know I can’t expect that, but what person who has just been hit by a truck is going to be able to think straight? No one I know, I don’t think. And it was my body that was hit, not my car. And I’ve never been hit before, on my body or my car. And I was injured. And I’m not superhuman. I don’t blame the people there, but I hope I would have seen the accident and called the police. I know I will in the future, even if I have to wait for the officer myself and say, “Yeah, they didn’t want to talk to you. They left.” And listen to another lecture. Because I know I would have to 😉

So if anyone knows what I should do from here to make sure my medical bills are covered and my bike is replaced, please let me know. Otherwise, just pray.

*Update:  I should rant at work more often.  Apparently, Anthony knows everything.  Or, at least, he used to be a chaplain for the Los Angeles Sheriff’s department.  Which means he knows who I should talk to and what I should say to actually sound intelligent.  All the same, maybe I’ll let Dave take Round 2.

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Feeling better

I wanted to update y’all:  I’m feeling better.  I actually went into work this morning, because I knew it would only be a half day.  At this point, I’m about to go home and it’s about time–I need to take a muscle relaxer.  I ache and hurt all over, but my shoulder feels better (more just sore and less weak and like it’s not entirely connected to my body, which was how I felt yesterday).

I also have the offer of what sounds like a great bike to borrow from an ISF gal who also does triathlons.  I need to talk to her, but it sounds like it could work out well.

It finally hit Dave and I last night that this could have been so much worse.  Even with the type of accident it was, there could have been another car coming when I fell into the road,  or he could have been gunning it to get ahead of some oncoming traffic, or…or…or.  I knew that all along but I finally had the time and a clear enough head for the emotional part to catch up.  I’m not sure what to do with it.  I don’t like living in what-if’s or there-could-have-beens.  At the same time, the truth seems to be that God was really watching out for me.  I don’t even quite know how I feel–just confused, right now.

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I feel like I got hit by a truck

And I probably feel that way because I did get hit by a truck.

Ok, no panicking.  I’m ok.  Dislocated shoulder (technically subluxed because it went back in on its own), cuts, bruises, terrible headache, but nothing needing serious medical attention.  And yes, I went to the dr. and had them check.

I’m sure there’s a much more clever way to write about this, but the muscle relaxers are taking a toll on my ability to string words together at all, much less in a clever manner.

Triathlon hopes possibly dashed–no bike and a shoulder that doesn’t want to move, let alone swim.  We’ll see.

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