Gala Blocked*

I was supposed to go to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network gala tonight. I tend to be a chronic panic canceler, so even though I had a lot of my usual anxiety about attending, I was determined to go.

SPOILER ALERT: I didn’t make it and I’m pretty upset about it.

I knew I was going to be late because I had an appointment that ended at 6 and the gala started at 6. I figured that I would be in DC, parked, and up at the gala by 7 though. I was okay with that. Fashionably late and all that, right?

SPOILER ALERT: Uggggggghhhhhhhh!!!!!!

I was not in the best mood to start off with because the appointment was with our family therapist and we were talking about some stuff that is not that big of a deal but that was emotional. Then I ran into a tremendous amount of traffic and I got angrier and more frustrated every time the same guy running on the sidewalk passed my car.

Regardless, I was still moving forward and by about 6:50 or so, I started to get confident that I would be at the gala by 7:15 or so. There was a fire engine approaching behind me, so I pulled over to let it pass because I am a good citizen.

It then stopped DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ME, disgorged its firefighters, and stopped in the middle of the street. As the minutes passed, I started to consider parking and walking.

SPOILER ALERT: I was still too far away so I tweeted this picture instead to complain about what was keeping me from the gala. Note the parked cars on the right and the iron railing on the left.

SPOILER ALERT TO THE SPOILER ALERT: I wasn’t tweeting while driving. My car was actually in park at the time.


No escape.

You may notice that the GPS in the bottom right claims that I would arrive at 7:08. LIES. It had already told me that I was going to be there at 6:34. The closest I got to the gala location happened at 7:38.

Once the fire engine finally pulled away I tried to keep going to the gala. Normally I would have thrown in the towel, but I knew that I was headed to a kind room, so I keep trying. But then there was more traffic and then I missed a turn, which left me in more traffic, and I was getting closer and closer to a total meltdown, so finally, after the gala was already more than half over and I hadn’t even reached the location, let alone found a place to park, I took a sharp right, set my GPS for home, and bailed.

Basically what I did was take a two and a half hour, incredibly frustrating trip downtown and back without getting out of my car.

I kind of feel that I should have kept going and gone in. I know the good people in the room would have made me feel better, but I just couldn’t.

It was a really draining experience with the lesson that I should not be a good citizen ever again.

All of that is to say that I am really upset that I wasn’t able to go, and not in the mood to write a post (SPOILER ALERT: You actually did write a post, dumbass.) and I’m just going to give you links to other stuff I wrote.

If you’re in the mood for one of my PokitDok articles on autism, go check out After Your Child’s Autism Diagnosis.

If you’re in the mood for a White Knuckle Parenting column, read about my Clothes Conundrum and how my children are ridiculously hard to dress.

If you’re in the same mood as I am, go to bed and come back to check those links in the morning.

 * I’m not sure I used that correctly.

7 thoughts on “Gala Blocked*

  1. I am a panic canceller, too, and I applaud your effort to get there regardless. Sometimes the best choice is to recognize that you tried everything, it didn’t work out, your energy is depleted, and you’ve met your limit. Be kind to yourself.

  2. ” I tend to be a chronic panic canceler…” Thank God I’m not alone in this behavior! And now I can tell my husband it has a name.

  3. Well, in my case, there’s not much case for going once you work up all that anxiety from sitting in traffic, or rather, stopped in traffic. So I totally would have gone home too.

  4. The only thing I might have done differently is stopped for ice cream on the way home. Nothing worse than traffic. I’m impressed you even attempted DC. I would’ve made my husband drive.

  5. First of all, I’m sorry you missed the gala. It sounds like a nice event.

    The place that you got stuck behind the fire engine looks familiar. Is that the tunnel under the circle, to your left?

    Also, totally empathize with the ‘panic canceling’ notion. I usually do that when I don’t think I have the right outfit, which happens a lot. That’s a really bad reason to cancel, btw. Your reason was much more understandable, even if disappointing.

    Yesterday AM I went to a conference in Woodley Park. Almost panicked when I missed the entrance on Woodley – and you might know that there are NO normal city blocks in that area. So, after missing the turn, I thought for sure I’d be in Kalorama and never get back to my conference! Fortunately, a few random turns, and I found another entrance to the conference venue. Next time, I’d take metro… except that I’m afraid of the escalators at the closest station. :(

    Anyway, hope you have a nice Thanksgiving!

    Sorry for the long comment.

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