What exactly is wrong with me?

Saturday did not exactly go as planned.

My plan was to attend my friend's 80s Prom Party in Seattle. I was psyched. Mostly, because I had the best outfit available. I mean, really, I do the 80s right. I would have thrived in a more "not matching" culture. The whole matchy thing, "does this go together", mmm...not me. I have literally no understanding of what goes and what doesn't and what's too much. Shelley has dressed me for years.

But the 80s? I could get on board with the whole "more is more" philosophy. Gloves (good). Bracelets (good). Faux-hawk (good). It all goes.

I was decked out.
I was ready to par-tay.
Because that dress, it's just such a holy pink nightmare. It makes living possible.

I was psyched. Chuck. Not so much. There was really nothing about this party that said "Oooh, Chuck, you'd have a blast, come with." I know my husband. Dressing him in 80s attire would not go very well, when (as you know) 2010 clothing is hard enough for him to grasp. Let's not confuse him.

So, I was set to go alone and meet my friend and her friends. Simple enough.

Dressed. Ready. Awesome.

And then: fail. Because I'm Susie and things are just a little more complicated for me.

See, about the time I saw the party venue in downtown Seattle, the "Sweet Mother, I'm Out of Suburbia" panic attacks started. Where am I? Why am I here? Where am I going to park? How am I going to park?

I understand that parallel parking is the natural option for most people who've been driving more than, oh, I don't know, 3 months. Not this girl. I liken parallel parking to me climbing Everest. It ain't gonna happen. In 11 years of driving, I've never successfully parallel parked. Unless you count parking 6 feet from the curb with my trunk in the arterial, in that case, I'm bomb.

There was some light sweating at this point as I saw all the cool Seattle people parallel parking like champs and waving the ease of it all in my face. If I try, it ends in embarrassment and a youtube video.

Ok. So I'll park in the nearest "lot". And hoof it in.
Or not, because the nearest lot was three city blocks up, around a corner, and sans a light. At twilight (giggle, sigh, Edward), no problem -- it was bright enough still for me to safely walk to the party. But leaving alone after midnight? No way. Me and my pink nightmare dress would be sitting ducks, I can feel it. Because I firmly believe that everyone is out to get me. I know this because Forensic Files, Dateline Investigates, and CSI: NY told me so.

I circled the block a few times. Sweating. Panicked breathing. Wondering how I got here. Why I was in Seattle? What was I thinking? Was I going to get murdered? Or worse, was the pink dress in danger? I tried playing Tony Robins with myself. You can do it. I tried everything:
I tried to get up my nerve to try a parallel like a normal person. I tried to justify the safety of a parking lot that was in a high traffic, very people friendly, totally fine part of Seattle. I tried to look for someone normal looking to just park for me (which I've done before), but normal+Seattle = nice dream.

I got honked at three times during my circling.
4 taxis and a bus tried to hit me (because those darn things do not understand that I need a 200 foot bubble around me at all times).
And I got cat called.


I turned my car around.
Called Chuck (he's never been less surprised).
And texted my friend that I wasn't fit for an evening out.

Because let's be honest.
I'm not a Saturday night out kind of person. I rarely leave the house after dark unless absolutely necessary because I'm that lazy. So, at what point would I have ever thought that going to Seattle, alone, at night, in a pink prom dress, would be a good idea.

Chuck would like it noted that he did offer to drive and pick me up. "Nope, I don't want to be that girl." Good call Suz. Because being the girl that CAN'T EVEN GET OUT OF HER CAR BECAUSE OF FEAR AND MISSES THE WHOLE PARTY is much better. I make good decisions.

So. Saturday night didn't actually go as planned.
But, it did go as would be expected once I returned home and declared sanctuary:
Sitting on the couch, eating an Otter Pop, watching a 3 hour documentary on the Monetary System.

In the prom dress, of course. I couldn't let it go to waste.


  1. Oh, that story makes me sad :-( . Did you really think that is was extremely likely that you'd be abducted in that huge pink dress? (As opposed to, say, if you had been wearing all black?)

    I am also prone to anxiety, but have found this essay to be helpful: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2010/05/worst-case_thin.html?nc=22#comment-436589 .

    In particular:

    "There's a certain blindness that comes from worst-case thinking. An extension of the precautionary principle, it involves imagining the worst possible outcome and then acting as if it were a certainty. It substitutes imagination for thinking, speculation for risk analysis, and fear for reason. It fosters powerlessness and vulnerability and magnifies social paralysis....

    ...Worst-case thinking means generally bad decision making for several reasons. First, it's only half of the cost-benefit equation. Every decision has costs and benefits, risks and rewards. By speculating about what can possibly go wrong, and then acting as if that is likely to happen, worst-case thinking focuses only on the extreme but improbable risks and does a poor job at assessing outcomes...."

    This blog http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/ also has a lot of helpful resources. It just makes me sad that you missed a party due to what *might* (statistically low probability) happen.

  2. Nah, it's cool.

    I'll be the first to admit that I've done this more than one time... since High School.

    I hate large crowds, I hate dealing with people I don't know, I hate going places I've never been in the dark.

    Parallel parking is evil!

  3. Rock out, sister.

    I think I wore that dress to homecoming. Or something scarily similar.

  4. Shiann in CheyenneJune 2, 2010 at 8:18 AM

    I only read the title of this post but its got me thinking...


Tell me about it. Oh and thanks for validating my life.

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