I am not a worrier.
In fact, my husband says I have no concept of the countless dangers that are lurking out there, just waiting for me. If only I knew, I could be prepared. He prepares me every time I leave the house.
And yet, despite all the warnings, I insist upon leaving the house.
And I am so careless, I actually walk and drive places without thinking about all the potential perils.
Until last night.
I had a very worrisome drive.
I was meeting friends for dinner in a city about 45 minutes away. I had never been to this restaurant before, wasn’t quite sure where it was, but I’ve been to that city several times. I actually worked there thirty years ago. I googled the address. Piece of cake.
(I also have GPS, but I don’t particularly like being ordered around by my car.)
I had no concerns, until I read Dor’s post at DoranRule, Someone left a box of tissues in the back seat of her car. Strange tissues. Weird tissues.
Who would do that? Where had those tissues come from?
I became a little nervous thinking about that little box of kleenex. Someone may put a box of kleenex in my car. This was just the kind of danger that my husband always warns me about.
And that started a chain of worries.
Traffic was heavy on the way to the restaurant. Bumper-to-bumper through Waterbury. Of course, it is always bumper-to-bumper through Waterbury. I never give it a thought. But last night I worried. I worried that if the traffic stayed this heavy, how would I change lanes when I got to my exit? If no one let me change lanes, I might have to drive to Massachusetts.
The traffic lightened up, and I changed lanes one mile before my exit. Phew! That was close!
On the next stretch of highway, I had a motorcyclist in front of me. If he hit a pothole, he could lose control. I could run him over. I passed him as soon as I could. But passing him worried me too. He could hit a pothole and lose control, and I could still run him over. He could slide under my car. He managed to keep the bike upright. Then he was behind me. What if I had to stop fast? Would he run into me? Would he end up in my back seat? I had no tissues for him.
I got to Middletown. And there was the restaurant. With no place to park. Oh wait, there was a parking space right nearby. I did a semi-U-turn and pulled into the spot. It was right in front of the police station. Parking for Police Vehicles Only. And I am sure they frown upon semi-U-turns, which I had no choice but to make another on the way out. I worried that I might not be able to use my credit card for bail.
Around the corner, there was a parking garage. Free after six. This is my lucky day. Why in the world was I worried? Oh yeah, because parking garages are inherently dangerous. But it was right next to the back of the police station. Certainly not the best location for a pervert. I parked and quickly walked to the restaurant.
I had a wonderful time. There are no better friends than old friends. I mentioned that I parked in the garage. They thought I was very brave, given that stalkers can hide under your car and slash your achilles tendon so you cannot run away. I am sure my husband called one of them to ask them to repeat that story.
Walking back to the car, there were cops everywhere. And the parking garage was well-lit. There was no one under my car. Unless… he was hanging on to the undercarriage. I unlocked the door a few feet away, so I could jump in. Of course, you are not supposed to unlock your car a few feet away; someone else could jump in too. But I managed to get in the car and re-lock the doors before the creep under the car could knife me in the heel. Another close call.
And there was no traffic on the way back. I flew home. I changed lanes in Waterbury at will. Well, perhaps not exactly at will. There was one car ahead of me going very slow, but I wanted that lane for the exit – 5 miles up. I stayed behind the slow guy, because what if I could not change lanes again? I might have to drive past the exit. I could end up in New York.
Heading north from Waterbury, there was even less traffic. Between Thomaston and Litchfield, there were no other cars at all. I had the road to myself. How marvelous! But what if – what if the road was closed, and I didn’t see the sign? What if I was about to drive off a cliff? That happens mostly in Road Runner cartoons. But it could happen.
I finally reached home. My husband was waiting up for me. Very worried.
“I’m fine,” I insisted. “I don’t know why you worry so much!”