So, head’s up – this is probably going to be super random and somewhat ranty, so please don’t feel obligated to read.
I’m having a bad week anxiety-wise.
Back in August I got a ticket for running a stop sign. It was a new stop sign in an area I know well, but I didn’t see it or even realize they’d put one up. Nor did I see the cop who was waiting for people like me. But I ran it so I paid the ticket. Later, I got a letter saying that I could avoid the 3 points on my license and the $500 – $800 increase on my insurance if I took a “driver’s responsibility” class online. So, I found an accredited class…and kept putting it off.
I’m on the computer all day for work and the last thing I wanted to do was read through four hours of material that was sure to be packed with gruesome statistics that I’d never remember and then take a test about them. But, it beat people-ing in an actual class where I’d have to sit with a bunch of strangers for 4+ hours. I finally took the class yesterday, because the deadline to take it is on Friday.
After hours of watching actual footage of fatal accidents thanks to dash cam availability, and their horrific, bloody aftermaths, I had a tension headache from clenching my teeth and the idea of getting into a car literally turns my stomach. I mean, I know that these are being used as teachable moments. And I know that I’m beyond lucky that nothing happened to me or Jess when I missed that stop sign. But seeing the actual last moments of actual peoples’ lives, played over and over at actual speed and slo-mo and seeing footage of dead teenagers hanging out of cars was/is honestly more than I can take. I just hope that the family and friends of the people killed in those accidents never have to take one of these classes and be subjected to those videos.
Then there are the free floating oubliettes of anxiety I keep finding myself in, like midterm elections and the drain our country’s currently swirling around, my daughter flying in a few weeks, our family’s current lack of health insurance, issues I’m worried about in the lives of friends and family that aren’t mine to discuss.
At about 2:30 in the morning when I was wide awake, unable to sleep, I remembered some anxiety breathing gifs I’d seen on tumblr forever ago, and they helped, so I’m going to share a few here.
I’m also going to save these on my phone, so I have them whenever I need them.
And I did have a bit of brightness this week. Martin, one of my brothers, came over for supper Sunday night, so I could show him how bullet journaling and productivity apps work. The ADHD is strong in our family. 4 out of us 5 kids have it.
Anyway, we were talking, and I don’t remember how it came up, but we were discussing the different direct sales businesses his ex-wife had participated in. Anyone who’s related to someone who does direct sales knows that when they’re starting out, you’re gonna end up at one or more direct sales parties. One of those direct sales parties involves a product called MonaVie–some sort of health juice you were supposed to take a shot of every morning. There were a few different kinds, and they were supposedly good for different health issues.
My former SIL’s direct sales manager (or whatever you call them) was the one giving the presentation at this particular party. He struck me as the kind of guy who’d walk around the gym correcting people’s form even though he didn’t work there. We’ll call him GymDude.
At the party my mom and sister and I were at, we were already nearly two hours into it by the time he busted out the juice for us to taste. My eyes were practically rolling back in my head. I was bored, and I had shit to do. But that was nothing compared to how my sister, Cait, was feeling, however.
So, GymDude starts passing around tiny plastic taster glasses and the bottles of juice while he’s extolling the virtues of each ingredient. Basically, you poured the juice, tasted it, nodded politely at GymDude, and passed the bottle to your neighbor for them to do the same. So, we tasted the first juice hoping that the presentation was wrapping up and we could get the fuck out of there.
But nope, GymDude brought out a second bottle, and Cait, mostly inaudibly, muttered, “Fuck me.”
So we passed around another bottle and took a shot. I tasted pineapple in the second one, checked the ingredients, then whispered to Cait, “Don’t drink this one. It has pineapple in it.”
I’d apparently miscalculated how badly Cait wanted out of that party. Cait is allergic to pineapple. She refers to it as “death fruit”. It makes her mouth and tongue swell and bleed.
She filled her little taster cup to the brim, looked me dead in the eye, and downed the shot, swishing it around her mouth before she swallowed.
I’m sure my mouth was hanging open, and my eyes were about falling out of my head, when she turned to GymDude and said through swelling lips, “Oh my god! Was there pineapple juice in there? I’m allergic to pineapple!”
GymDude looked completely annoyed and then grossed out when Cait opened her mouth.
Then she looked at me and said, “I need you to take me home.”
And that point, she was kind of hard to understand, so I told everyone that I was taking her home so she could take allergy meds. The look our mom gave us on the way out was “traitors!”
Cait and I held our shit together until I’d pulled away from the house. She garbled out, “Took one for the team,” and then we died laughing. I actually had to pull the car over at a gas station because I was laughing too hard to drive safely.
Martin only just found out over supper, Sunday, 10ish years later, that Cait had done that on purpose. I haven’t seen him laugh that hard in a long time, but he said that next time, he gets to be the one to drive Cait away.
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