Serena Gaia

Make love the ecology of your life

What Happens in Connecticut When You Drive in the Snow?

Dear Earthlings,

This is not really an uplifting tale, and I feel you should hear it since it could happen to you.

The title is: “What Happens in Connecticut When You Drive in the Snow?”

The short story is: “you get hit in the back, you get fined by the police, your car gets totaled, and the other driver’s insurance denies all responsibility.”  Traveler’s, don’t ever get it!

At U Conn we have a provost, the first female provost here, who has written a book entitled Rude Democracy.  Even without reading, I can tell she got it right.  Thanks, Susan Herbst.  Some education, some courtesy!  How much more rude can a democracy be?

Curious about the long story?  

Here is is: “It’s snowing and I’m considering whether it is a good idea to go home.  Obama has just been reelected, it’s the 7th, early afternoon.  Perhaps I should overnight at the office, my heart tells me.  It looks nasty out there.  Not a time to be in the car by oneself.  

I look at a weather report with a colleague and it seems like there is some reprieve.  I decide to go.  “Toughen up, Serena,” says the other me, “get ready for the winter.”  Walk in the snow to the parking lot that seems really far away.  Finally get there.  Drive a bit.  Traffic is murder.  Everyone scrambling to get home fast.  I drive slowly, slowly to the point that the road is all clear ahead of me, while cars pile behind me as they try to beat the weather.

At some point I feel my car veer gently, very gently, a bit toward the right.  I’m sure this is normal in snow.  The road is very slippery with sleet.  Before I know it the car behind hits me.  My car sharply swerves to the right and turns around completely.  Then is hit again on the front wheel.  I feel my body bang under the blow.  And luckily don’t feel any external injuries.

The can behind me crosses to the other side of the road.  Mine ends up turned around on the curb on my side.

It’s cold.  It snows thick.  We wait for the police on the side of the road.  Traffic is heavy and it’s not safe to sit in the car.  It’s cold.  We call Triple A.

Finally the police arrives.  The other driver screams, “she lost control.”  I’m not sure why he does that but find out soon.  The police now blames me and gives me a ticket.  I explain he was tailing me, but the policeman won’t hear.  I end up with a ticket for “excessive speed for weather conditions.”  I’ve just paid it online.  Thanks, dear State of Connecticut, you make me feel welcome here!

Triple A comes and I get the car towed back to the office.  Happy I’m all in one piece.  A colleague has emailed to ask if I’m safely home, and I reply that I’m back at the office and explain why.

He offers to pick me up.  His family has a spare bedroom where I can sleep.

It turns out the first three days I’m a bit like a zombie sorting things out with insurances.  I, the naive from a tropical island where $ 3000 is the maximum liability for any accident, had only purchased liability, not collision, not rental, not comprehensive.  Ouch!

Naive me, I was not aware this would not only have an effect on the risk from damages to my car I might cause, but also on damages to my car others might cause, since my insurance won’t care to hold them accountable.  In the “rude democracy” system: they have no reason.

So I reflect, “what is it like to drive in Connecticut under severe weather conditions?”  Insurance is mandatory and the insured pay.  But are insurances ready to take responsibility?  There would have been no accident without the snow, that’s for sure.  Just for being on the road, I get both fined and hit.  What is the system telling me?  Is there a law that spells “stay home, you have no right to travel, the road is for others not you.”  And yet, diving is the only transport system.  Should I quit my job?  I’ve never cancelled a class in my entire career. 

Next day I find out the car is totaled.  I’m still a bit of a zombie.  We go look at the car, other possibilities.  Three days after the accident I finally feel like driving. 

I’ve been driving a rental since, hunting for a new car.  Today the other insurance denies my claim. 

So, the bottom line is, if I don’t go to court, the insurance wins.  Do I want to fight this?  Can I let it consume me?  Welcome to Connecticut, Serena.  The “rude democracy” is here to get you!

Consumer report spells that Traveler’s Insurance is not the thing to get.  Irresponsible is the least one can say about the behavior.

You can admire my car’s behind, the way their insured hit it.  Isn’t it cute?

You can also send me kudos for paying fines on time.  I came to U Conn on a research mission.  I came to study “Amorous Visions.”  But where are they?  When a democracy is rude, the vision blurs.  Everyone wants to be right at all times.  How ugly and irresponsible this is.  All energies are consumed in fighting opponents until there is nothing left to win.  There is no heart in this, and not much intelligence either.

Dear Earthlings,

It would be great to teach this rude democracy a lesson of kindness.  Then the “Amorous Visions” would become visible again.  Unfortunately, I don’t have much energy for that, and I’ve done it in the past when I did.  Any interest?  Let me know and I will assist you. Maybe when we manifest the energy of truth, the “Amorous Visions” will reappear. If you are a professional of justice we can educate the world about this, as we teach irresponsible insurers a good lesson too.  Please step in!

We deserve a system that’s based on justice, don’t we?  There is no point in winning when everybody wants to be right all the time.  Sounds like kids having a fit when parents intervene in their little disputes.  Can‘t we become a bit more mature?  Charles Eisenstein says this is the end of the growth period for the human species.  We can’t expand anymore, true.  So it’s also time to share.  Can we?  Perhaps, once more, education is the key.

Education is the heart of democracy, a gentle democracy, that is.  Education to love.  When are the “Amorous Visions” going to reappear?  Come back for more wonders.  And check out out vacation offerings.  
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, PhD
Gilf Gaia Extraordinaire
Author of Gaia, Eros, and many other books about love
Professor of Humanities
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez
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serenagaia • November 21, 2012

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