Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How to Put the Icing on the Cake of a Stressful Week

Feeling overworked? Dealing with a crisis on your campus? Feeling anger towards those whose mess you're having to clean up? Then I have an idea for how to make your emotions more balanced and complex:

Have a car crash.

By having a car crash, your resentment and anger towards other people will be suddenly tempered by self-blame. The self-blame will balance your anger towards others while also increasing your level of guilt. You will feel guilty because, of course, this is going to cost money and affect your insurance. And, also, you've just bashed into someone else's car.

Now, I should be clear. I'm not suggesting you do anything truly dangerous or injurious. After all, you, like me, often have small children in your car. And even if you're thinking, "Oh but if I get injured then I will be able to just rest at home for a while and avoid work," you need to think again. As well all know, car crash injuries, even minor ones, are the kind that creep up on you again 15 years later when you find out that your neck vertebrae are fused together. So, I have a suggestion for avoiding serious injury:

Crash into a parked car.

If you crash into a parked car, you minimize the risk of injury to self and others as long as you aren't going too fast. There are many opportunities for this kind of crash. For example, if your daughter's dance studio is like my daughter's, then, when you back out of your parking spot, you'll need to back right into a two lane road. If, while you are trying to make sure you get all the way into the far lane to make sure you're not facing oncoming traffic, and if it's really dark, then you might easily back right into a car that is parked parallel on the opposite side of the road. Also, if the far side of the road takes a dip, and you drive a mini-van, and it's dark, it will be almost impossible for you to see the parked car because your van's back end will be facing up hill and the other car will be totally below your line of vision, which makes this difficult to do on purpose but very easy to do by accident.

Of course, you don't have to do this at your daughter's dance studio. Any driveway that requires you to back into two lanes of traffic should be comparable. I would suggest, however, that you don't do it at a gym where big muscled guys might scream at you while your daughter waits in the car. The good thing about the dance studio, if you can arrange it as well as I did, is that the car might belong to a very nice woman who is attending a belly dancing class and who is dressed in full belly-dancing garb. So, rather than screaming and shaking a fist in your face, she will just smile sadly and jingle a little bit.

If you want to really add to the complexity and interest of your emotions, and if you want to raise the stakes financially, you could crash into a fancy car. You wouldn't want to crash into a Ferrari or brand new Porsche Boxter; that would be a bit too serious, but you might try something like a 40th Anniversary Edition of a Mustang GT that is painted with a special issue paint called "Crimson Red."

You might be thinking that, more than adding emotional complexity and balancing the directions of your anger, that such a car crash would put you straight over the edge. Well, to mitigate this eventuality, I would suggest that you do, indeed, have a child with you during this small crash. You will have to maintain a sense of calm in order to keep her from getting too upset. And then, afterwards, when you've finally caught up with your husband and son who are waiting for you at the fish and chips place, your daughter, as you're walking up to the restaurant might take your hand and say, "Mama, if you need money to pay for the crash, I can give you a dollar." And you will smile and say, "Thank you, Sweetie. That is very nice of you."

And then she will run into the restaurant shouting, "Daddy, guess WHAT?!?! We CRASHED!!!"

And when your husband looks at you, you will have nothing to do but just smile sheepishly, shrug, and nod.

And, then, my friends, work won't seem so bad anymore.

7 comments:

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

Oh, dear. So sorry. The belly-dance jinglies seem like the only redeeming feature here.

feMOMhist said...

oh sh1t but I gotta say it put my crappy day into perspective. Hoping the wheel turns for you tomorrow!

Fie upon this quiet life! said...

I hate that you had a car crash, but I love your rendition of it.

Amstr said...

I did that once backing out of our steep driveway. Such a bummer!

I hope the rest of the week gets magically better.

C. Troubadour said...

I'm with Fie. Also, the belly dancer sadly jingling made me guffaw. Inappropriate laughter? Yes, I'm guilty.

In total seriousness, though, that dance studio sounds like it has one heck of an exit option to the road :P

The Steel Magnolia said...

Oh, my. I'm so sorry, although I too love your storytelling. I command your days to get better right now!

Ink said...

How did I miss this post? Am so very sorry this happened...and hope everything is calm/fixed/good at this point!