No YOU Shut Up And Drive
Janis Hirsch illustration

The First Step Is Admitting You’re Powerless

Hello. My name is Janis and I’m a car-a-holic..

By Janis Hisrch

Know these warning signs!

eating in carIt’s not that I love cars that much. I mean, I really really like mine and would kill for one of those new Teslas and wouldn’t kick a Bentley out of bed but no, I’m not that kind of obsessed.

My problem – and yes, I’m here to admit that I have a problem – is that I spend way too much time behind the wheel. Certainly not compared to a long-haul trucker or one of those crazies who drive across Africa just for bragging rights, but for a middle-aged (be kind!) woman who no longer even drives carpool? It’s insane.

What are the warning signs of car-a-holism? Sadly, I know them all and as a public service, I have listed them below. If you check more than two, I’ll save you the folding chair next to mine in the church basement. Get there early before all the donuts are gone.


love my carYou get annoyed when you can’t find the cup holder on your desk chair.

You scream “Move your sagging ass, you old moron” at the person in the grocery store who leaves her cart for fifteen seconds so she can read the sodium content of the canned tomatoes instead of just grabbing whatever’s closest/cheapest/prettiest and sprinting on.

You become so aggravated because the guy at the front of the line appears to be ordering Starbucks for the very first time that you try to “honk” your purse at him.

You forget that you’re in a movie theater, fart and then giggle because it made a funny noise.

You’re out for a fancy brunch, drop a piece of muffin and think nothing of fishing it out of your bra, examining it, popping it into your mouth and then shaking yourself till your breasts are back home.

You’re in a crowded elevator when the Muzak cranks up “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion and you sing along. Loudly.

woman eating in carYou need a closer look to see if that’s lipstick on your teeth or your gums are bleeding so you pull down the vanity mirror only to realize that you’ve just yanked your medicine cabinet out of the wall.

You’re at a meeting when your underwear rides up even higher than it’s supposed to so you grab a handful and return it to its rightful place because no can see what you’re doing from the waist-down.

You’re sitting on your sofa slurping the last of your Dairy Queen Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard and when you’re sure you’ve made all gone, you just toss the cup over your shoulder and loosen your pants.

There is no difference between the contents of your junk drawer in the kitchen and your glove compartment, right down to the trussing twine, a set of keys you have never seen before in your life and every appointment reminder your dentist ever sent you.

You stand in front of the door to your house, pressing the button on your car key fob, fully expecting to hear the front door go “click”, unlocking it so that you may open it and go inside.

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4 Responses to “The First Step Is Admitting You’re Powerless”

  1. la roeder says:

    Excellent, and true, as always. Blessedly doesn’t describe me, as I usually just visit the garage once a month and start the car to keep the battery from dying (usually successfully). Haven’t seen one of your articles in a while—glad you’re back!

  2. Stephen Bonnell says:

    I would add to your spot-on observations:

    The panic and utterly helpless feeling when you get in your car, turn the ignition key and all you get is a sickening “click, click, click, click, click………” ad nauseum. The thoughts that go through your mind……”What do I do? Who do I call? I don’t know anything abut cars! Why does this always happen to me? Can I sell it if it doesn’t run? I hate this car! I love this car! Where is Worthing when I need him? Are any of my neighbors home? They’ll just laugh at me! I’m a sad excuse for a man! I want to die! ………..Oh! That’s right. I can just call AAA!”

  3. Marta says:

    You can’t wait to get stuck in traffic so you can keep listening to the latest Dan Brown novel on audio books.

  4. Tistie says:

    You mean I can’t just hit the fob to lock and open the door? I thought it’d been working great for me.

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