It's official. We've decided to return to Myrtle Beach again this year. I made the final payment today on a three bedroom oceanfront condo. We decided it was actually cheaper to go to the beach than visit nearby Hershey, PA, which was our original plan. While calculating all the admissions fees for a family of five at the various Hershey Attractions, I realized we would need close to $1,000. And that's just the parks, zoos, and attractions. That doesn't include the lodging and if we wanted to do other spontaneous things, like, oh...say, EAT. At Myrtle Beach, we pretty much just go to the beach every day all day and play in the sand, sun, and surf. Which conveniently enough is free.
Most of you are probably thinking "If this is punishment, bring it on!"
The beach itself is fantastic. I love the beach. Everything about the beach. I crave the beach all year long. I am a child of the water who had the misfortune to be born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, nowhere near the sea. The Mon is great and all, but for swimming? Well. Ick. And we're a little short on beach.
The trouble with being born in Southwestern Pennsylvania is that to reach the ocean, one must either drive very long distances or fly on an airplane. I am not fond of flying on airplanes. Nor is my wallet.
That leaves the Very. Long. Drive.
With three small children. That pee. A lot.
But beyond that, I suffer from panic attacks. I began having these panic attacks when I was about 24 years old right after I plowed my 1989 Pontiac Grand Am into the rear end of someone's Buick on Dravosburg Hill. It wasn't too hard to figure out the trigger for these panic attacks. Every time I traveled down Dravosburg Hill, I had a panic attack. The panic attacks bring on a feeling of not being able to breathe, my arms and legs and face begin to feel strangely numb as if they're being deprived of oxygen and I am certain I will pass out at any moment.
Now the typical advice for someone who suffers a panic attack is to let yourself experience it. Go through the entire panic attack and allow yourself to see that you do not, in fact, die.
The problem with this logic however, is that if I am driving a car at 65 MPH and I pass out, I will, in fact, DIE.
The Dravosburg Hill panic attacks eventually passed (good thing since my son attended Pre-School in Dravosburg three days a week) and I had been pretty much panic attack free until last year on the way to Myrtle Beach.
I had too much caffeine, had been driving way too long already, and as I approached a tunnel somewhere in Virginia, I pulled into the left lane to pass a slow eighteen-wheeler in front of me. I felt confident doing this as there was a big sign at the entrance to the tunnel stating "LEFT LANE NO TRUCKS" Whereupon another eighteen wheeler decided that didn't apply to him and he began to barrel down on my ass at 70 MPH.
I suddenly remembered all about panic attacks.
I got through the tunnel and immediately pulled over on the shoulder of the road much to the surprise of my husband who (quite rightly) pointed out what a stupid place I had chosen to pull over. I explained it was either pull over or pass out and die, and he wisely shut up and got in the driver's seat.
I could not drive the rest of the trip until we reached two lane roads.
Since then, any old highway can set me off. Driving 279 North, which is as familiar to me as the back of my hand, is now a serious challenge. I recently drove Jamie to a birthday party in Monroeville and the Squirrel Hill Tunnels, which are pretty darn tame, set me off so badly I had to fight not to pull over then and there and call Dave to come pick us up. I'm grateful I've managed to avoid the Liberty Tubes since I'm fairly certain the police get cranky when they have to rescue the crazy bitch that parks her car in the middle and refuses to move.
We're leaving June 19th so I think therapy is out of the question. Unless anyone knows of any super-charged ultra turbo head shrinker that can work miracles in 30 days or less (Hey if Domino's can do it 30 minutes or less......), I think I'm going to need to experience better living through chemistry.
Do they make tranquilizers that taste like M&M's?
Midtown up - Three Hipstamatic shots in one.
3 days ago