I Wasn’t Drunk Driving. I Was Spider Driving.

I don’t know how long the spider had been living in my car, but he chose the moment when I was halfway through downtown and dodging construction cones to show up on my dashboard to say hey.

I screamed, not because I was scared of the spider but because things aren’t usually SCUTTLING ALONG MY DASHBOARD. It startled me, and it was headed right for my steering wheel.

Women driving a car

I jerked the wheel (to maneuver around the spider inside my car, which made sense at the time). Unsurprisingly, it did nothing except make me say, “Eeeep!” and then dodge the other way to stay in my lane. The spider, unfazed by this, kept inching toward me.

For whatever reason, this didn’t strike me as a nice spider. It was nothing like Winston, the giant spider who lives in my garage. I say good morning to him every morning. It was also nothing like Ned, the stink bug who lives on the lampshade by my bed.

Actually – time out – “lives” is a stretch. Ned is more, well, dead. But he died perfectly perched on my lampshade, and his tiny exoskeleton is a reminder to enjoy the little things in life, like the friendly bug who wishes you sweet dreams every time you turn off your lamp.

At this point you may be thinking, “No way. This chick does not actually wish a dead bug good night every night.” But if you saw Ned, you’d understand why I couldn’t just throw him away.

Well, come to think of it, you might not. But that doesn’t matter.

Back to the point – the car spider was nothing like Winston or Ned. It was more akin to Elsie, my cat who tries to suck out your soul with her eyes. Spidey stopped perfectly centered with the steering wheel and glared at me. Glared. And spiders have eight eyes or whatever, so that was a lot of glare. I was in an invertebrate stare down.

Turns out I had less of a backbone than the spider (which is saying a lot), because I broke the stare down first. If you recall, I was DRIVING. So I had to look out my window to, you know, not crash into stuff. But I wanted to keep an eye on the bugger, so I looked up and down and up and down to try to minimize the time that I didn’t have a visual on the predator.

Unfortunately, I hit one tricky curve, paid full attention to the road, and then when I looked back…no Spidey.

NO. SPIDEY.

It’s not like he got off at his stop and was trotting down the road. Nope. Spidey was hunting me from somewhere in my car, and now I didn’t even see him. Sniper Spidey.

So then I was looking all over the place and also driving, which was probably quite unsafe when I think about it.

When I finally found him again, he was halfway down the dashboard on the passenger side. I wanted to let go of the wheel and smash him, but I’d already been driving like a texting teenager. So I did a look-front-look-sideways combination all the way home. He started crawling toward me again, like, “Na-na-na-boo-boo. I know you can’t take your hands off that wheel.”

But then – fatal error – he didn’t see me put the car in park once I got to my driveway.

I’ll spare you the gory details, but Spidey ended. And I got home safely. So all’s well that ends well, and I didn’t have to explain to any cops why I was driving crazy.

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Hang Up on Your Brain

Someone leaked my phone number to a world of telemarketers. In all honesty it was probably me, because I have the technological capabilities of a dumber-than-average goldfish. I’m sure I put my number on some form somewhere that said in small print, “Yes, I would like everyone who would like to sell anything on earth to contact me.”

But this is OKAY, friends, because I am developing an important skill: hanging up on people.

Not in a rude way, of course. Just something like, “I’m not interested…no, thank you for your time, but I’m still not interested… Actually, this isn’t a great time for me… Well, um, I’d prefer you don’t call back later, because I still won’t be interested then… Okay but really I have to go so I hope you have a great day but please don’t call this number again bye!”

CLICK

Now I’m going to make a metaphor out of telemarketers (never thought you’d see that, did you?). Brace yourself. *cracks my knuckles*

phone

All people, but especially mentally ill people, need to get a lot better at hanging up on our brains. Because I don’t know about you, but my brain tries to sell me an awful lot of crap that I don’t need. Too often, I keep listening way past the part where I should hang up on it.

Example:

Ring ring!

Me: Yes, hello?

Brain: Hi. I’m calling to inform you that you’re basically worthless.

Me: Oh, that’s kind of harsh. Are you sure I’m not worth anything?

Brain: Yep. Definitely sure. You’re a waste of the earth’s oxygen. 

Me: But wait, I thought maybe I was helpful to my family that one time when-

Brain: Nope, not helpful. They’d probably be better off without you.

Me: Now hold on…they say they love me!

Brain: They’re just saying that. They probably feel bad for you because you’re such a frickin nutter.

And then this internal conversation keeps going on, when really it should have gone like this:

Ring ring!

Me: Hello?

Brain: Hi. I’m calling to inform you that you’re basically worthless.

Me: Sorry, not interested.

CLICK

I’ve been trying this recently, and it’s been surprisingly helpful. I know the negative tracks that my brain likes to follow, and when I feel myself getting sucked into one of those familiar spirals, I’ve been literally thinking, “CLICK.” Then I immediately have an alternative track that I start thinking about or busy myself doing something else so that my annoying telemarketer brain can’t keep trying to convince me of things that are unhealthy.

That might be super weird, but hey – my blog, my rules. It’s been working for me, so I thought I’d share it in case it could help any of you.

What negative messages is your brain trying to sell you? You know the ones – the ones that start as a niggling thought in the back of your mind and end with you on the couch eating ice cream straight out of the carton while you binge watch a show you don’t even like. THOSE ones. Start hanging up on them as soon as they start.

CLICK.