I’ll Take the Deluxe Triplecoat, Please.
Time for a confession. I have a good friend who tells me that I leave people with the impression that I have it together. I am about to blow that theory out of the water, pressure washer style. As it turns out, it takes quite a lot of work to perpetrate this fraud, as you are about to see.
The last few years have introduced me to the Albany area as I have had to travel there for conferences, etc. Though I have benefitted from my time there, I still cringe at the thought of driving in the downtown area. After all, I’m a small town girl and I haven’t parallel parked since I took my driver’s test when I was sixteen. Around these parts, there’s rarely an issue parking.
Usually, I stay at a hotel and take the shuttle into the downtown area, but this meeting was held at the Department of Education so it required me to drive (gasp!) downtown and find a parking spot. Anxiety began its slow and insidious invasion of my soul…
But I’m a planner, as everyone who knows me is aware. I have always believed that preparation is the medicine for anything you are nervous about. This began with my wardrobe choice. As any woman knows, there is a trick to looking put together without looking like you are trying to look put together. The worst thing is to look like you are trying too hard. It took me an hour and a half to select an outfit that filled the bill here. I went classic: Black pants and blazer, cream colored blouse, mother’s pearls.
As luck would have it, I had a hair appointment that morning, so my trusty hair dresser worked her magic on my thick and unruly mane. I don’t know how she does it and it is complete and utter fraud, but I don’t care. I felt good when I left the house.
I was ready. I had a collection of quarters in the event I had to use a parking meter (hopefully, there would be instructions). I had singles for the Thruway toll. I had a full tank of gas, the agenda copied, no fewer than 5 maps and sets of directions to my destination, and a GPS. I had the radio set on my favorite Pandora station. I remembered everything.
Everything, that is except rolling the car window up all the way as I idled into the car wash.
Yes, that happened.
Running through the car wash was an impulsive decision on my part, but I was so put together, I figured, why not? It was on the way. It would have been fine, I think, except the husband called me right as I was running my card through the machine. I must have been distracted telling him where the laundry detergent was and neglected to roll the window up completely. And I always laughed at those signs reminding you to do that….
And so, it was all washed away. My stylish hair and my dignity. I was just hanging up when a flood of soapy water engulfed me, drenching my suit, destroying my hair, washing away my foundation…I sat there in shock. In wet shock.
But as it turns out, it washed away my anxiety as well. I laughed for most of the two hour drive to the Capital. It was like something out of a sitcom and I was reminded of the one lesson I tend to forget. Most of the things we worry about never even materialize, for in fact I found my way with no difficulty and parked with no problem. I looked like a wet rat, but that’s beside the point. I had that car fresh smell…
No, the real events sneak up on you with the power of a high pressure washer. And there’s no point in worrying because you don’t see them coming.
And so my mom was right, as always. Worry doesn’t change tomorrow. It just ruins today.
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