Yesterday, I read this post on Buzzfeed, which so accurately described me that I had to share it on Facebook (also, it contains both Mr Darcy and minions, which is an automatic win).
It was reassuring to read the article in the first place, and realise I’m not the only person who thinks this sort of thing. And then when I shared the link, and several friends jumped in and confirmed they can relate to it as well, I felt so much better.
So I’ve decided to start a new weekly post called Wednesday Worries, in which I share one of the many (many, many) ridiculous things I worry about. The hope is that a) others will tell me they worry about this too, so I don’t feel like such a weirdo, and b) it might comfort any readers who thought they were the only one.
I actually quite like driving, and I love my car (his name is Pierre, and he’s blue – which is essentially all you need to know). Here he is.
I wouldn’t give up my car for anything; I enjoy the freedom of not having to rely on trains far too much. But I do find driving to be one of the most stressful things in the world, if I don’t know where I’m going in advance. Not because I’m afraid of accidents, or breaking down, or even getting lost – because that’s what I have Seamus the sat nav for, after all. No, my main concern is that I’m going to do something wrong – get caught speeding, for instance, or drive the wrong way down a one-way street.
I’m aware that this is ridiculous, for two reasons:
1. I’ve never done any of those things.
2. I’m perfectly capable of reading road signs, which are there to stop me doing those things. Anyway, I have to meticulously plan every route before I leave home, using Google Streetview, so I know exactly what to expect. And if I have to go off route for any reason, it throws me completely – not least because Seamus is usually screaming at me to go the way I can’t go. Last year, I spent a good hour trying to find my way out of Guildford on the way home from a wedding, because the main road I’d intended to take was shut, and the diversion signs were worse than useless. I eventually ended up in a multi-storey car park at midnight, and still have no idea how I got there.
And it doesn’t stop there; when I get home, I usually have to spend a bit of time thinking back over the journey in case I did anything wrong. Which is even more ridiculous, of course, since even if I did mess up, there’s not much to be done about it after the fact. I once spent several days waiting for a speeding fine, although I didn’t think I’d actually been speeding and hadn’t even seen a speed camera (it turns out that’s because there wasn’t one).
Having said all that, I find driving on motorways, which a lot of other people hate, strangely relaxing. I suspect this is because there’s only so many ways you can mess up on a motorway and for the most part it’s just ‘keep driving straight’. On the other hand, the big roundabouts at motorway junctions absolutely petrify me; all that changing of lanes is the stuff of nightmares.
Please tell me I’m not the only person who finds driving to new places stressful?