Driven insane

Anyone who has known me more than a few days knows that I have two irrational but very strong fears:

  1. Sandwiches
  2. Driving in strange places

I don’t even know what to tell you about the sandwiches situation– they just freak me the fuck out. I just feel like with bread and meat and cheese and vegetables and some sort of slimy mayonnaise situation, there is WAY too much going on, and my fight or flight reflex kicks in and suddenly I’m karate-chopping sandwiches out of people’s hands and then running to the bathroom so I can lock myself in a stall and eat the small baggie full of nuts that I brought to sustain me if sandwiches were the only lunch option. (I have literally done this last part when on a business trip. I brought nuts from home, to a meeting a thousand miles from my house, just in case there were sandwiches. And you know what? I still count that as one of my most savvy business moves to date.)

The driving issue at least makes a little more sense– but only a little. I used to be terrified that I would get lost, and would somehow never find my way back to my destination, and would just have to start a new life in whatever place I found myself, but the invention of the GPS put a stop to that, for the most part. There are still those ominous moments when my British butler-voiced GPS stammers “RECALCULATING… RECALCULATING…” for far longer than one would expect him to need to figure out how to get back to the road I just turned off. Or, even worse, when he just gives up and shouts “MAKE A U-TURN!”, as if the route I have chosen is so bad that I just need to turn around and go straight back where I came from, because I am a menace and must be kept off the road at all costs.

I am also deeply afraid of encountering construction, as I inevitably always do the exact wrong thing. I once drove THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF AN ACTIVE CONSTRUCTION SITE on the freeway for several miles, just because it was dark out and kind of rainy and I was zoned out and probably really into my mix CD and was just following the guy in front of me, which was bad, because he turned out to be a dump truck. Needless to say, this was very harrowing, and now even the hint of an orange barrel gives me agita.

So I was pretty proud of myself this morning, when, faced with massive traffic jams on both of the major freeways I could have taken to work, I threw caution to the wind and became that asshole that zooms up the right berm to take the first available exit (I am also extremely freaked out by traffic jams, because once I was trapped for several hours behind an overturned cement truck and I came about three minutes from having to sacrifice my purse as an ad-hoc diaper).

I took back roads the rest of the way, and miraculously, I didn’t die. I was probably freaking out the people in the other cars when they saw the look of grim intensity on my face, like I was racing a tanker containing a bomb to the center of the city, but I made it. And I only picked out a couple of houses that I might want to squat in when I inevitably failed to find my way to my office, that’s how confident I was.

Thank God I didn’t encounter a sandwich truck on the drive. I don’t think I could have survived it.

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