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Thursday, December 27, 2007

~And A Happy New Year~

I gave my daughter the perfect shopping trip for Christmas: I took her and her best most favoritest most awesome friend to the mall. Kate had cash in hand, a watch on her wrist and a cellphone in her friend's pocket. Baby girl was beaming with joy when we left, and she happens to be a first rate shopper. She had fifty bucks and she brought home six shirts, a fleece vest and a pair of earrings.

This is a far cry from the Marilyn Monroe Fiasco and I am so glad that my daughter and I finally had a shopping trip that didn't end with one of us crying.

It could have begun with one of us crying because you see, tis the season for my driving phobia to check in. It has been snowing and blowing and the Idaho roads are exactly as bad as you would think Idaho roads would be. I ran off the road last week, but I did it ever-so-gracefully. And by ever-so-gracefully I would like for you to understand that I gave another driver a parade wave to let him know I was cool while I was sliding off the road.

My ever-so-graceful slide-off was just enough to remind me that driving is not my gig and death by highway is 100% possible.

Today when I jumped into the drivers seat with six kids I was {this} close to tears. I turned to the children and suggested that if they were smart they would hop out of the Durango and ride with the other parents. They chose to ride with me and I had no choice but to suck it up and drive to town.

When I was driving on the broken ice road I turned the radio up almost as loud as it would go--I did that because the shaking of the vehicle was causing me to hyperventilate and my eyes were starting to burn with tears. I kept checking my rear-view mirror to see the other parents behind me. The father is a professional driver and I considered that if he knew that I was white knuckled and red faced he would want me to pull over so that the children could get out of the vehicle and the proper people in white jackets could come for me.

And the Brina coughed. Gently. She coughed again. Ever so softly.

"Brina puked!" Ike screamed.

And then five other kids chimed in, "eww...argh...ooh..roll down the window, roll down the window...arghhh!"
And Brina apologized with a voice that sounded exactly like a twelve year old girl who has puked, "I'm sorry...I didn't know...I thought I could hold it..."

And the kids chimed up, "Ohhh! It's chunky...arghhh roll down the windows roll down the windows!"
And I replied, "It's okay Brina, we needed to hose the Durango anyway, did you know Martin brought home a dead deer in here? This truck smells like dirty socks, dead animal and Blue farts already."

The smell wasn't pleasant but my driving phobia was cured and this causes me to believe that I am a mentally unbalanced woman.

I used to love to drive. I used to drive just for the joy of driving--I drove with no destination in mind--just gas and cash and hours to kill. I went on road trips with my favorite people in which we filled the tank, drove til it was half full, and then turned around. I liked driving at night the best. I would turn up the radio and roll down the windows--before I was a mother driving was my most favorite thing to do.

I used to stand on the gas pedal of my TransAm when I was traveling from Boise to my parents house. I drove that car as if it were on rails. I climbed mountains and made hair-pins turns at the maximum speed I could generate. I didn't slow down for rain, or snow, or sleet, or ice. I liked whipping cookies and sliding sideways into parking spots and most of all I liked standing on the gas pedal when I was traveling through the Arco desert. I would bury the speedometer and watch the RPM gauge crawl higher and higher and I would wonder--how fast am I going if I am past 120 but the RPM gauge is still climbing?

And here I am thirteen years later; a woman who practically bursts into tears if I have to merge into traffic. I used to be cool and now I am a woman who views driving as a plague--unless someone pukes.

Because if someone pukes, then the anxiety is gone.

Dude, I need a pill that will turn me into the woman I was before I had kids. Do you know what that is called?


Anonymous said...

OMG, I'm not nearly the white knuckle driver you are but the beginning had me holding my breath! I tell my husband that in a previous life I must have died in a car accident from hydroplaning, rain on the road makes me very very nervous!! Glad you had the opportunity to rewrite the shopping memory!

heiresschild said...

i need to take your daughter shopping with me. she got a lot for her $50. did your driving make Briana puke?

Anonymous said...

sharlene, hydroplaning makes me light headed and the funny thing about being light headed is tht it is fun--if you wanted to be light headed. But it if sneaks up on you? Not so much.

heiress, she did a great job for the bucks didn't she? And as for my driving making Brina puke--haha! I didn't ask if it was my driving but I am pretty sure it was something else--like maybe a bug.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what the hell it's called but I have the same thing. No kidding. And I use to love to drive too. I use to drive to Vegas to see my parents, drive to Brianhead, Utah. Now, I can't even drive the freeways cuz it freaks me the hell out. I try to tell myself to buck up but so far not working so well. If you find a cure let me know, k?

Anonymous said...

The cure is very, very simple: Teach your child to drive. I had two accidents within 6 months of each other, totalling out 2 cars. Neither accident was my fault, neither was in circumstances i could have foreseen or done anything about. The result was 3 years of driving phobia, with me convinced that my former friend, the car, was going to kill me at any point.

The cure was quick - my daughter turned 15, and got her learner's permit, and I started teaching her to drive. She did fine, but she did not have any "talent" or previous experience, so it took a while for her to catch on, and the experience so terrified me, that my own driving has never given me a minutes worry since.