I was in a bad car accident when I was 15. I was in the back seat, unbuckled, of a Colt, Jennifer's car that Eve and I carpooled in for school. The woman who hit us ran a stop light. I don't remember anything from the impact, just being cut out of the back window and put in a neck brace. I remember throwing up birthday cake in the emergency room. I had just turned 15 the night before.

Even though I sustained no severe damage in the wreck, it scared my parents so much that they would have preferred it if I never got my license. They all but refused to help me set up driver's ed and showed no interest in teaching me anything. So I waited until college. I was 19 and a junior before I was able to get organized enough to take it. Of course every kid in the class was 15 and a smartass and got out of making fun of me or bonding with me because I was a college student.

My parents waited until this time to drop another bomb on me. I found out that the two pieces of identification I needed (my SS card and birth certificate) did not have the same last name. Despite my mother's claims that Uhl was indeed my last name, the birth certificate listed me as Porter, her name from her first marriage. She was adamant about my license listing me with the last name of Uhl, so she dug up an alternate document that agreed with the SS Card. I still have yet to clear that little family secret up with her, but from consulting my older brother, it's pretty clear that I was born out of wedlock and that mom is just too embarrassed to admit it.

Thanks, lady who hit me, for whom I can now thank for lower back pain and minor occasional black outs. It's been real.