Fender Bender by
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Danny‘s beloved 2004 T-bird,  slightly scratched 

Fender Bender

When my husband Danny turned 60 he bought himself a birthday present – a light green Ford Thunderbird convertible.  Needless to say he loved that car,  and although I’d always thought of cars as basic transportation,  I must confess I loved that T-bird too!

At first Danny was hesitant to let me get behind the wheel,  but we have a second car so in fact I don’t drive the T-bird very often.  But one recent, fateful day I had to transport some stuff across town and my car was in the shop so I took his.  Unfortunately on the way home I made a sharp – or rather a too sharp – right turn and side-swiped another car.

We both got out of our cars,  and as the other driver walked towards me I threw up my hands in supplication and wailed,  “My husband will kill me!”

The driver was a decent guy,  and after the police came and the paperwork was done,  I put him on the phone with Danny to play peacemaker,  but to no avail.

And although I reminded Danny that thankfully no one was hurt,  and it looked like all the car would need was a little body work,  he grumbled at me for days threatening never to let me drive his car again!

Then I reminded him of something that happened when we were first dating.  Danny didn’t have a car then and I did – a bright red Chevy Nova.  In those days the boy always took the girl home,  and so after taking me back to my folks’ house in the Bronx,  Danny made many late night trips on the subway back to Queens.

One night we made plans to see each other again the next day,  and I offered Danny my car for his ride home.  As he waved good-night and backed out of my parents’ driveway,  he side-swiped the fence.

I told him not to worry,  that thankfully no one was hurt, and it looked like all the car would need was a little body work.

“You are so sweet.”,  he told me at the time.

Funny, but forty years later when the car was his T-bird and the driver was his wife,  he didn’t think I was so sweet!

Danny and me and the red Chevy Nova,  1968

– Dana Susan Lehrman

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Tags: Automobiles, Accidents


  1. Suzy says:

    Thanks for this story, Dana, and welcome to Retrospect! Hope your husband saw the error of his ways eventually. I don’t know how long ago 60 was for him. Does he still have that T-bird?

  2. Laurie Levy says:

    This story resonated with me, Dana. While my husband rarely has an accident that leaves the slightest scratch on either of our cars, I have had my share of them. Yes, they are minor things that can be fixed or ignored, but somehow blame must be assigned. Should I be more careful? Of course. But it would be nice to hear that thankfully no one was hurt and it is easily fixable. Oh well. Welcome to Retrospect!

  3. Betsy Pfau says:

    Fun story, Dana, and all too familiar. Funny how husbands change after many years of marriage, particularly when it is THEIR beloved car at stake. Thanks for sharing and welcome to Retrospect. I hope you will be able to figure out how to put up that great old photo of you and Danny too!

  4. Marian says:

    Tit for tat, Dana, I think we all can relate to sideswiping or being sideswiped. Fortunately my experiences included less glamorous cars!

  5. HI Dana, and welcome. Even though I am a member in good standing of Red Sox Nation. I love these fickle-finger-of-fate stories. Must say I’m impressed about the longevity streaks of both car and husband. Probably best not to trade either one at this point.

  6. John Shutkin says:

    Welcome to Retro, Dana, and really a terrific story. And a cautionary tale as well, not only in the context of fender benders but, more broadly, in the context of, well, “Do unto others….” Maybe we rename it “The Golden Thunderbird Rule” (though I gather your husband’s is green). Anyhow, good for you — and him, eventually.

    And I am afraid I share Tom’s allegiance to Red Sox Nation, given my present residence. But, even when in CT or NY, I was a (hapless) Mets fan.

  7. I’m seeing this for the first time today, and what a marvelous introductory story to Retrospect, Dee! Your humor and personality come through loud and clear…you’re a natural writer! And I LOVE that photo…glad you were able to include it!!

    P.S. Not long ago I (accidentally) rolled my husband’s car ever-so-gently into the tow truck stopped in front of me at the end of an offramp in the rain (and yes, I was checking my phone now that I was off the freeway). No damage to the tow truck but very surprisingly a fair amount of damage to “our” front end. My tears told the story so I wasn’t berated, and I paid the deductible, but it’s funny how had it been my own car I would have just shrugged my shoulders, taken it to the body shop, and that would be that. It’s always worse when it’s someone else’s car.

  8. Khati Hendry says:

    Funny how the perspective changes when the shoe is on the other foot–er–the scratch is on the other car. It turns out that little bit of body work costs and arm and leg anymore. But as you say, the important thing is that no one got hurt. Thanks for reposting this, and for the great picture too.

  9. The picture at the bottom of the story is priceless! A well-told story. And I’m glad you didn’t stick the shiv in very far, to make your point. about what’s good for the gosling is good for the goose.

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