I have a confession to make. I am afraid to drive. Actually, that’s not quite right. I am not afraid to drive. I am afraid of merging. Terrified, actually. I will go out of my way to not merge. Because of the merging issue I refuse to drive on any of the major roads we live right by. I won’t go on 95 (then again, anyone who is sane will avoid that road), I won’t go on 495 (the road that rings Washington DC), I won’t go on 395 (the road that goes into DC). There are others but those are the three I live very close to. I also don’t like big trucks. They scare me, too, and a lot of them are on those *95 roads.
I think I burned out on driving years ago. When I was in nursing school, the semester after Jamie and I got married I had to drive all the way from our house to Greater Southeast Hospital in DC twice a week. A two hour drive each way with the trip in starting at 4 in the morning. Just going to class another 2 or 3 times a week was an hour each way. I drove way too much between our wedding and my graduation 11 months later. And now I hate to drive.
So I avoid driving when I can. Now, I don’t mind driving if it doesn’t involve merging. Like today Fritz and I will go to our monthly La Leche League meeting. I don’t mind driving there because I only have to drive on two roads and the intersection between the roads is a light. Ani’s dance class will be at a rec center that I can get to without merging. But the swimming lessons and Cameron’s science class are at a rec center that requires me to merge.
Now, granted, in the middle of the day merging isn’t nearly as terrifying as it is at rush hour times. Nevertheless, I am very pleased with myself for driving Wednesday and merging a few times and I never felt the least bit anxious. I even had to turn around a few times (VA roads are confusing… and I’d never been there before) which meant a couple extra times to merge and I was just fine. I’m not even worried about driving there next week (especially since it will be a shorter trip with fewer merges since I won’t get lost next time). I still hate merging and don’t like to drive, though. And I still won’t drive on those *95 roads.