An Incident Involving My Purse, My Car, and My Face.

For my seventeenth birthday, I was “gifted” the family car.  My mother, no longer having suitable use of her legs, could not operate a motor vehicle.  My older brother lived away at school and did not possess a driver’s license.  I, however, had both working legs AND a license, therefore becoming the sole driver of the automobile.

Some would argue that my getting the car was an act of favoritism on the part of my mother.  Other more rational people would see the logic in not giving the car to the oldest sibling who, as a freshman living on campus, was not permitted to have one by order of the university.  And there was the small matter of his not having a valid driver’s license.  But more to the point, someone needed to run the family errands so I agreed to take them on and in return I demanded permission to use the car any time I pleased.

One particularly scorching August afternoon, I was tasked with acquiring Diet Sprite, the latest flavor of Snackwell’s cookies, and various other essentials.  Irritated by my mother’s request, I just wanted to complete my chore and get on with my day.

In and out of the store in a jiffy, I silently congratulated myself on such a speedy trip.

As I drove home, I reached over to the passenger seat to grab my cigarettes from my bag.  The seat was empty.  Darting my eyes between the road and the seat, I realized my purse was missing. I quickly headed back to the store.

I sped into the lot to discover the cart was exactly where I had left it.  I threw the car in park and jumped out only to find the cart empty.  Turning back to the car, I checked the passenger to seat to make sure my purse hadn’t just fallen.  I searched, but to no avail.  I couldn’t breathe, my stomach churned and the tears started flowing. Sweat was pouring off of me, partially from the blistering sun, partially from my panic.

It occurred to me that I should go into the store to see if the purse had been turned in. I slammed the door extra hard in frustration.  Unfortunately, I failed to remove my face from the car before doing so, thus slamming the car door directly into the side of my head.

I could feel my face swelling.  There was blood.  My hair stuck to my brow and tears stained my shirt.  I was a sweaty, woozy mess.  Still stunned, I closed the door, gently this time, and wobbled into the store.

Turns out someone found the purse in the cart and brought it to customer service where it was waiting for me. A store employee questioned me about my current state, concerned I had perhaps been attacked.  I mumbled something incoherent, took my purse, and left.

When I returned home, my mother took one look at me and said, “Did you remember my cookies?”


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57 Responses to “An Incident Involving My Purse, My Car, and My Face.”

  1. Oh, mothers. OH. MOTHERS. I love this and have had my own crazy moments like this. I recently slammed a car door into my own leg, which is not so bad as a face. It was a little more odd that I did it while not being in the car at any point–just standing outside, closing a door and somehow jammed my leg into it. Sweet! I loved this story and your telling of it.

  2. ouch is right. what a picture of young stressed out beaten up freaked out you. did you remember the cookies?

  3. Oh, that moment of panic when you can’t find your purse. What woman hasn’t felt that? Great job capturing it.

    Sorry the story ended so painfully for you. Ouch!

    • I lose my purse (or something that is supposed to be in it) all the time. I’m pretty good about not freaking out anymore. Sort of.

      I try to remember to fully exit the car before closing the doors these days.

  4. Stacie says:

    Seriously? The cookies? Oh man….I’m sorry you didn’t get some TLC instead. I can’t imagine asking about cookies if one of my sons came into the house bloody.

  5. Robbie K says:

    I can totally picture the annoyance & frustration of a teenager just wanting to get on with her day.

  6. Linda Roy says:

    Ha! Never mind the blood, the swelling, the tear stained cheeks. Where are my cookies? 😉 What a day.

  7. Erica M says:

    I think I treat my children just like that. Never mind your probs, little people. Where the eff is my sandwich?

    • :) Nathan gets hurt constantly (seriously, several times an hour, it’s amazing really) and I find myself just telling him he’s fine without even really finding out what happened sometimes. I can see getting distracted by cookies. Just not Snackwell’s. Those were gross. Maybe a McFlurry.

  8. Ugh you definitely deserved a little love and sympathy after that experience. There is little worse than that moment you realize that you purse is missing. You captured it so well.

    • I wish I didn’t need to cart so much crap around with me because then the chance I’d lose stuff would be much smaller. At least I hope it would be. My mother did offer some sympathy once I produced the cookies. :)

  9. My face had an encounter with the car door. I walked into an interview with a huge swollen knot under my eye that kept getting bigger. The people were very sympathetic. But then again I wasn’t tasked with getting the cookies. :)

    • When I was headed to an interview recently I was tempted to wrap myself in bubble wrap because I was so afraid I was going to fall or injure myself before even getting there. Luckily I only nearly choked to death during the interview. Hopefully you weren’t too badly hurt!

  10. Christie says:

    There was a time when I thought snack wells were essential. Your poor head! Not the first time asking your mom– wtf!

  11. Agh, I’ve done that before. Ouch, ouch, ouch! But I love your mother’s reaction, that’s classic.

  12. Cindy says:

    The break in my nose from last summer started to throb as I read this. Also, wanting snackwells.

  13. Ouch! I cringed just reading this. Hope your mom got her own cookies the next time!

    • I cringed a bit writing it! My mother wasn’t the getting things herself type and this was not the only time her love of packaged snack foods irritated me. But, you know, it makes a good story.

  14. Bee says:

    Omg. I gasped out loud when I read that part! Great storytelling, as usual, Michelle!

  15. Jester Queen says:

    Oh MAN!!! Your mom had FOCUS. [uh, that’s not a compliment]. My sister accidentally bashed me with a car door one time. THe goose egg was memorable.

  16. Marcy says:

    Loved how you told this story and the funny, although aggravating, ending.

  17. My face hurts just a little bit after reading this. Not so much a privilege of being that car, it seems.

  18. Patty says:

    This could be the story of my life, in some ways, it is! There is just something about mothers..and cookies!

  19. 50Peach says:

    Oh. my. gawd. I have professed my love for you and your amazing words far too many times. But this was awesome. Not the whole face smashing thing, of course. But how you told the story. Nice job!

  20. Oh Michelle! You poor lovey!
    I am so glad you found the purse, and that you survived the whole ordeal… even if it was barely. Ha ha.

    This was a great story! I loved the pacing, fast and fun and just like a 17 year old driving a car. :-)

  21. Adrienne says:

    I feel like this could have totally happened to me! Great story, perfect ending!

  22. I jumped out of my seat when I read about you smashing your face. Ouch! I’m always riveted by your writing and this time was no exception. I cringed at the ending, but realize how perfectly it fits your childhood. I’m sorry it fits so well.

  23. Sam Edge says:

    typical mom and funny story (except the face) hope you are better now.

  24. Kristin says:

    Man, your childhood gave you a lot of blog fodder, at least. Well-told story as always.

  25. Kianwi says:

    Gee, thanks for your concern, mom!

    What a trip! I forgot my purse at a store once and I remember the feeling of blind panic. I can see how your poor head was at risk!

    • I think that’s actually what I said to her too!
      I hate that feeling of losing important things. I wish I could say it was rare, but I’m always misplacing (or thinking I’m misplacing) something.

  26. Ann Bennett says:

    Moments like this make you a woman. Taking lumps of what life dishes out stink. I’m glad you got your purse. You and mom must be related. Lets not waste time lollygagging to distress, lets live in the present and discuss “my issues”. lol Take care.

  27. Vanessa D says:

    Slamming the car door into my own head is exactly something I would do. That and the pawing the passenger seat for my cigarettes – which sad to say I still do.

  28. Joe says:

    Kellie’s a bit mechanically challenged also and I usually have to explain how things work and read directions for her. Let me help you too. Here is the proper method for shutting a car door: Remove head, then close the door. Simple.

  29. Erin O says:

    It is surprisingly easy to shut one’s own head in a car door. I can’t believe there aren’t late-night TV lawyers urging us all to call 1-800-DOOR-HEAD or something for our piece of a settlement.

    My heart’s still racing a little right along with yours at the moment of “oh $#$& where the HELL is my PURSE?” Panic: nailed it.

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