A Glass Half Empty

I won’t deny that I tend toward a ‘glass half empty’ sort of personality. And you have to admit, it’s a pretty compelling line of thinking. When you have a rock-bottom expectation of how things will turn out, you are often pleasantly surprised. Or at least not shocked and devastated.

So I immediately defaulted to this viewpoint when my husband called me at 12 am on a cool February 15 morning. He asked me to come to the boulevard about two blocks from our home in order to help him deal with a car accident. My first question was, naturally, “Are you OK?” And he was.

My second question was more to myself: “How much of an ordeal is this going to be on a scale of ‘Really Awful’ to ‘Financial Devastation.'”

You see? I didn’t even start the scale at “Everything is Going to Be OK.” Because that left a LOT of room for disappointment. And, to be fair, I have dealt with insurance companies here before. So I knew that ‘Everything is Going to Be OK’ was just a hill too far.

So I got to the accident site and saw that, indeed, my husband was physically fine. At that point, I could start breathing again, because he is my person in this life. I gave him a big hug and sent up a thank-you.

However, I also saw that things would not be okay for our Kia. And let me take this moment to tell you how much I loved (yes, past tense) my car. My daughter likes to tease me about my Kia Soul because apparently, Tik Tok has determined that Kia Souls aren’t cool. But nothing could be further from the truth. That car made me smile whenever I saw it. Roomy, easy to park, great on gas, always started in the morning.

She was in my favorite color too, one that was fancifully named Mysterious Blue by the dealership and re-named Misteryous Blue on our registration papers. She was the best car I ever had, which I told everyone who ever met me and which my children grew unbelievably tired of hearing.

So my glass-half-empty-brain kicked in out there on the dark boulevard, looking down at my beautiful, broken, Mysterious Blue car.

Of course, this is the one my husband took to work when he usually takes the older car (who had already lived a long, nineteen-year life).

Of course, he had to be innocently waiting at the light at the exact moment that the driver of a giant bus decided that red lights weren’t his color.

Of course, our insurance adjuster could find no evidence of the policy I had been paying faithfully for the last two years (the insurance company wrote down our serial number wrong in the computer, so they couldn’t find it until we’d spent about two hours on the phone the next day).

Lucky for me, my husband lives his life with a glass half full. This man (who was just in an accident, mind you) turned to me and said, “Wow, what a good thing that I chose to drive the Kia tonight! If I was driving our other car (a much smaller one), I would have really gotten hurt.”

The words “good thing” came out of this man’s mouth after a scary accident. He said this while standing beside the insurance adjuster, who was staring at us squinty-eyed, certain we didn’t have a policy. “Good thing” were his words at the beginning of a very long, frustrating journey.

Do you know what? He was correct. He NEVER drove that car to work. He always drove the small Atos, which would have most definitely been tossed like a tin can with that impact.

Good thing. Good thing he drove the Kia. Good thing we DID have insurance, despite the adjuster’s insistence to the contrary. Good thing he wasn’t in any way at fault. Good thing we were standing there, together, talking about what a crazy thing life is sometimes. Good thing we had one more day to face all of this together.

Turns out, “Everything is Going to Be OK” was the place to start. And it’s the place we ended up on, too. We lost our Kia, but we’ve got each other. And that is most definitely the most okay thing of all.


  • Leza Warkentin

    I have been living and teaching in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, since the turn of the century. I am a Canadian with a musician-Mexican husband and two Mexican-Canadian patas saladas who are growing up way too fast.

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