Last week, I was recognized at work. This was announced in front of the whole floor. Everyone. I had to walk up from my desk to get the invitation and certificate. I hate public accolades. And because I’m super introvert chick, of course my ears and cheeks turned as red as the poisoned apple from Snow White. Damn physical betrayal. I’m trying to pretend I’m cool and my body stabs me in my own back and shows every one how terrified I really am on a daily basis.
How could it get any better?
Dinner with the boss.
Wait. What? Can I bring my husband? No. Is anyone else on the team going to be there? No. Is it in a place I know? No.
Holy shit. I’m gonna die.
I have parking lot phobia. It’s stupid. I know. The one and only accident I have ever been in was in a parking lot. I backed into someone’s car. I cried ugly fat tears. I puked. I ran into the store asking whose cat it was. The lady was super nice. She saw my two kids in the truck and my distraught, hysterical self. We exchanged insurance info. Everything was fine. But since then, it’s been like 5 years, I am afraid of parking lots. I park away from other cars. I never back in or park where I need to back up.
This greatly affects my life more than you could know. Just like last night.
I had to go to a parking lot I had never been in. I didn’t know how to get into it and what the lot looked like. My anxiety was so bad my husband had to drive me. Again.
He dropped me off and I walked in. The hostess guided me to the table. Assigned seats. Awesome.
Ok. The lady next to me was nice. The ladies across from me where talkative. One was super excited about her chicken Alfredo. I hope everyone can live life with the same excitement as this woman waiting for chicken Alfredo. Then I looked to see who was sitting at the right of me. The head of the table.
The boss?!?!??! Are you kidding me? Why couldn’t chicken Alfredo lady sit here? She’s done this nine times now. Why would you sit train wreck mom next to the freaking boss?!?!?
I had to text my husband.
Finally, food came. Chicken Alfredo lady was so happy. Her face was a mix of satisfaction and elation. I happily set to my steak and mashed potatoes.
And then it happened. My fork squeaked and I flung a green bean across the table. For reals? Am I 5? I half expected to get the same look from people i got from my grandmother when that would happen. No one blinked. No one flinched. No one smacked me upside my head.
The meal continued. After the plates were cleared we had to go up and get a picture with the boss after he read a thing about us and why we were nominated for this. One by one he read, they got up, shook his hand, got a picture sat down. And then I realized i was last.
Really? As he read the heat rose again. Ears and cheeks blazing like a redneck bonfire in the boondocks. I smiled awkwardly and shame walked back to my seat.
We also got cool backpacks.
At the end, I stood outside waiting for my husband. My trainer and only other person I knew was there and he stood with me, waiting in the cold. There are good guys out there. I don’t know if he has a girlfriend but this guy would be a prize for someone. His mama raised him well. My husband came. I got home and went to the bathroom. And then I saw it.
That’s right. I had a spot on my jeans. I walked in front of everyone with blood on my jeans.
I plopped on the couch and snuggled my puppy.
Because puppy therapy is real.
Moral of the story? Anxiety is an asshole. No one noticed my squeaky fork, green bean flying, or spotted pants. They saw free dinner and a few hours away from work and family. I was so wrapped up in my own fear and head that I couldn’t enjoy it. But puppies make everything better.
So there’s that.