No Food for Me, Please — I’ve Just Been in a Car Wreck

meowser-48.jpg posted by meowser

Today I did something I’ve never done before in my life. I crashed a Zipcar.

Yep. Six years — first with Flexcar, then with Zipcar after Zipcar ate Flexcar — and not so much as a scrape until now. (My last accident of any kind was in 2002, and both cars were barely nicked. I wouldn’t even have bothered to report my own damage if the other person hadn’t reported hers.) Pretty miraculous, especially considering that most people who have been in the car with me think I’m kinda the Terror of Colorado Boulevard. (Although that’s more out of ineptitude than recklessness — I won’t even fiddle with the radio with the car in motion, let alone do that plus pluck my eyebrow hairs, eat chicken parmesan with a knife and fork, and text five people simultaneously like so many people seem to be able to do every day of their lives without ever getting into a wreck.) I guess my luck was going to run out sometime.

Nobody was injured, nobody was totaled, nobody was drinking, neither of us even had a passenger. It was such a boring accident even the cops didn’t bother to come out, even though Zipcar duly made me call them to file a report. Basically, depending on how you looked at it, either someone clipped me on the driver’s side fender or I T-boned her while I was coming out of a parking space on a major street and she was about to make a right. I guess it’s up to the insurance compan(y)(ies) to decide which. *I* don’t even know, frankly, it all happened so fast, but I’m not going to be shocked out of my gourd if I’m found at fault, since I’m the one who did the T-boning. She got a dent, metal only, on the passenger side of her pickup, while I mauled my — or, I should say, Zipcar’s — fender of my/their Subaru Impreza wagon. (Nice little car, really. If I was ever going to buy one, I might consider that one. But first I’d have to decide if I’m ever going to drive again, which…well, ask me again in a week, okay?)

When I finally got home, with frozen cat food and Indian takeout and brain drugs in hand, I had a decision to make: Alcohol or Klonopin? I don’t use a whole lot of either one (as drinkie-poos and dextroamphetamine don’t exactly mix, I save the former for my weekly stimulant holidays), but I soon decided that while alcohol might be more fun, Klonopin was in my med stash exactly for situations like this. And when I say Klonopin, I mean like one-sixteenth of a Klonopin. One-eighth will put me to sleep. I am not kidding. I filled this scrip in August and have maybe used half the bottle, and might get around to using the rest before it expires. Benzos, like pretty much every depressant (alcohol included), render me almost entirely useless.

One thing I didn’t want to do a whole lot of? Was eat. Even with some very tasty chicken tikka masala in the house at dinnertime. Yeah, some fatty *I* am. Aren’t we all supposed to be Eating Our Feelings night and day? Not that I think it would be terrible if I did respond to stress that way; I can think of worse things to do after a car wreck than sticking your head into a vat of hot fudge. (Well, okay, room temperature fudge. Literally hot fudge might sting the scalp a little.) Some people go home after car wrecks and kick their pets around. Or scream at everybody in the house. Or deliberately break expensive appliances. Or even worse.

Not me. And I didn’t even want the fudge, or anything I else could swallow, for that matter. You know what I wanted? I wanted my yarn.

Yeah, I’ve got this crochet project that’s more ambitious than any I’ve ever done before, and it’s taking me twice as long as any other creature with opposable thumbs would take to complete it, because I keep messing up and having to frog my entire last row. Because I often crochet as a stress reducer, and as such I sometimes have attention farts. Which isn’t so bad if I’m making my usual endless series of granny squares, but this is a little more intricate than that. And I just got in a car wreck and I want to get back to where I was before I noticed my last goober and had to pull out a week’s worth of stitches, give me my damn yarnies! Let me make endless double-crochet stitches until I’m not agitated any more, and then maybe I can get some work done.

It’s interesting to think about this instinctive response to stress, because just last night I was thinking about the circles I used to run around with, the hyper-new-age 12-steppers who equate white sugar with crack cocaine. (In fairness, though, I’ve also known plenty of perfectly down-to-earth 12-steppers who have absolutely no truck with that sort of goofgassery.) I remember one woman we went out in a group with once being completely lethal to my boyfriend, which I didn’t find out about until he told me later, and I still don’t know — and won’t ever get to ask her — if it was because of my boyfriend, or because I, a fatass who dared to eat bread, made with white flour and everything, had the temerity to actually have a boyfriend, being a drug addict and all. I wondered what would happen if I ever met up with any of them again, if they’d note that I was fatter than ever and thus continuing to flick my chin at God by consuming carbs. How do I know I wouldn’t get and stay thin by cutting out all white flour and white sugar and white rice? Have I ever tried it? Well, no, because I’ve kind of gotten attached to the idea of not having to extract my poop out of my ass with a long tweezer. And also, because I like many foods made with those ingredients, and I don’t want to give them up unless medically required to do so. I personally think God (gods) can handle that about me.

But that belief can get a little lonely. I’m not sure most of them would buy the white sugar=crack equation if there weren’t safety in numbers. That’s where the fat=food addict=eating to quash feelings auto-assumption comes from too, you know. Numbers. Unless you were born a recalcitrant weirdo, like me, nobody really wants to be all that special, it’s too much work. You can and should stand out, but you’d better not stick out, and you’d also better know exactly where that line is. I think when I was younger, I did think of myself as a comfort eater. Why not? It’s easier that way. Everybody knows that people are more likely to break down and confess to anything if nobody believes them that they didn’t do it, right? Also, when you’ve declared yourself to have a strict calorie limit and YOU MUST NOT EXCEED THAT EVER PIGGY, caving in and eating anything that isn’t a celery-stick hologram is liable to make you label yourself “compulsive.” Well, of course I was. I kept doing it, restricting, expecting my appetite to somehow magically require only X many calories or X many points just because some piece of paper said so. It was like keeping myself up for 48 hours and locking myself in a room with a king-sized bed and then expecting not to go sleepy-bye just because I “shouldn’t.” So given all that, did I ever eat when I was upset or agitated? Maybe a few times. But not nearly as often as I was chastising myself for doing, and what “nervous nibbling” I did do, when I thought about it, really wasn’t a whole lot of food.

The point is, when I quit dieting, that went away. Which is something I could have just said up top and saved you 1300-plus words to comb through. But writing’s another thing I do to relieve stress. And it must have worked, because now I’m hungry. But I just found myself saying, “Are you sure? Do you really need to eat?” Yeah…I kind of do.

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Posted in etc.. 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “No Food for Me, Please — I’ve Just Been in a Car Wreck”

  1. lowbudgetcyborg Says:

    I’m glad you’re ok! (and the other person too, of course)

    I also use knitting/crocheting for stress management, way more than food, and it seems reasonable that a lot of so-called “emotional eating” might just be “my stress level is preventing me from being able to pretend I’m not hungry when I am” eating.

  2. wellroundedtype2 Says:

    Thank God you are okay!!!!

    If you ever wonder if you “really” need to eat, you can call me, and the answer will always be “yes.”

    I have been thinking about you, so I’m glad you posted this, and there’s a whole lot you wrote in between the car crash and the quitting dieting that was both profound and entertaining.

    Really, really glad you are okay, and that writing helped, and that you got to have some chicken tikka masala.

  3. Constance Says:

    Sheesh, so glad to hear there weren’t any injuries. The lack of desire for food after this is completely understandable.

    I don’t drive, don’t have a license, though I finally took lessons at the ripe old age of 50. When I took the test I failed miserably which made me realize that, perhaps, driving wasn’t in the cards for me. My reflexes weren’t as good as they once were. And food was the last thing on my mind after that fail. What I wanted was a cigarette.

  4. Twistie Says:

    Thank goodness everyone’s okay!

    I second WellRoundedTypeII’s sentiment. Both about the eating and about the profundity and entertainment value of your essay.

    Oh, and BTW, when I’m stressed out there’s nothing I want more than my lace pillow so I can toss my bobbins around. It’s a very zen activity.

    Sometimes there’s nothing like manipulating thread to make it all better.

  5. Piffle Says:

    P.G. Wodehouse is my personal stress reducer. 🙂

  6. Twistie Says:

    You know, Piffle, I knew there was a reason I liked you. PG Wodehouse FTW!

  7. Entangled Says:

    I’m glad everyone is Ok. I started driving again a few months ago after a few years living in New York City and holy crap… kind of terrifying.

    I don’t stop eating if I’m depressed, but if I’m really acutely upset over something, that’s pretty much the only time my appetite disappears.

    I just have to point out this, though:
    How do I know I wouldn’t get and stay thin by cutting out all white flour and white sugar and white rice? Have I ever tried it? Well, no, because I’ve kind of gotten attached to the idea of not having to extract my poop out of my ass with a long tweezer.
    I DID try making sure every single starch I ate was whole grain. It hurt at first, but I assumed my body would adjust. It didn’t. I finally realized that 1) I had an eating disorder and 2) the only times my digestive system felt right were when I ate/drank things I felt really guilty about. Now I make sure I eat refined starch, too. It makes my tummy work better. Whenever I see people who are proselytizing the no-white starch lifestyle, I imagine they must be full of, well, poop.

  8. Rosa Says:

    Oh, Meowser, I’m glad it was mild and you’re OK.

    I got into an expensive accident (totalled my car & his) where nobody got much hurt a long time ago, and I was so wired up afterward I couldn’t eat or sleep for about 36 hours. Which turned out to be good – the giant bruises all along my legs and arms (from the airbag & the steering column, respectively) would have stiffened up and hurt if I’d actually, you know, lay down for more than an hour.

    I don’t know many comfort eaters – and they’re ALL THIN. If i only ate when I was unhappy, I’d be thin too – instead, I lose weight when I’m angry or stressed out, and gain it when I’m happy. I think that’s pretty typical – I know a lot of women who lose a lot of weight from divorce or the death of a loved one. And they get a lot of compliments, too 😦

  9. buttercup Says:

    Hooray for car accidents being minor, still scary though.

    You got up inside my brain again with the “I must be a compulsive eater because I can’t successfully restrict myself” thing. Once I quit dieting I could have what used to be “forbidden” or “bad” foods in the house and whattaya know, they usually stay there until hubs eats them. Except blue cheese, that bitch is mine. Anyway.
    You KNOW I understand the yarn thing. When I was at the big gathering last weekend and got stressed out all I could do was retreat to the crafting lounge and knit on my sock or spin on my drop spindle. Bliss and comfort.

  10. Kat Says:

    Hi Meowser, I was in a pretty bad accident on May 8th. A kid with no license pulled out in front of me and I had no chance to stop… was going 55mph. You can e-mail me if you want to see pics. I wasn’t hurt too badly but my friend in the passenger seat was.

  11. jaed Says:

    It says something extremely bad about me that my first thought on reading that you crashed a Zipcar wasn’t “Oh gosh, I hope she’s OK,” but “Hmmm, I wonder whether she crashed Ivory?”

    ;-0

  12. Meowser Says:

    Thanks, everyone. (Kat, I will be in touch with you.)

    And jaed…yes, it was Ivory!

  13. DaisyDeadhead Says:

    Glad you are well! (Believe me, I know from fender-benders.)


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