Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bridges and Overpasses and Freeway Interchanges, Oh My!

Before I tell you the sixth thing about me that you didn't know, I just wanted to reassure you all that yesterday's post was a complete and utter fabrication. It was a funny thing but after I posted, I received outraged telephone calls, letters, and e-mails. Social invitations were revoked. The truth of the matter is that I have never in my whole entire life ever passed gas. So you can all rest assured that I truly am the perfect being you all thought I was.

Okay, maybe I'm not quite perfect because I do have a peculiarity. A tiny little fear. Just a little niggling worry. Yep, I'm fibbing again--it's actually a huge terror. I'm really bothered (to put it mildly) about driving over bridges, BIG, tall overpasses, and some freeway interchanges. It's kind of a fear of heights in a way, except I can stand on the edge of something high up and not be bothered as long as there's some kind of barrier between me and a fall to my death. When I'm traveling over a bridge or some overpasses, I have a sensation that I'm not in control of the car and once it reaches the top, it will just take off like an airplane. Or the steering will fail and I'll plunge over the side. Or something.

It's really not reasonable, and I know that, but I can't talk myself out of it. I've wondered whether I'm anticipating a bridge or overpass ahead of time and getting myself worked up before hand, but there have been many times when I don't even think about it until I find myself in the middle of one and suddenly the panic sets in. I can even panic suddenly while driving across the same overpass I travel each day without a twinge of discomfort. And it seems the older I get, the worse it is--I never had this fear when I was young.

That photo at the top is the Coronado Bridge in San Diego. I was on it once, and my husband was driving. I had to keep my eyes closed the entire way. My family thinks it's funny; I think it's funny when I put laxatives in their food. Same result, pretty much.

Living in Sacramento isn't a great thing for someone who doesn't like bridges, since we're located at the confluence of two major rivers, the American and the Sacramento. Luckily (although many who live here feel otherwise), we don't have a whole lot of bridges across the rivers. There is one bridge on Interstate 80 that goes over the Sacramento River, and why they had to build that darn thing so high, like McDonald's golden arches, I have no idea. It's not like we get the Queen Mary passing under the dang thing!

I really thought I was alone in this weird fear, but I've seen several times recently where Judy has posted about the same fear, and many readers have commented that they share the feeling. Sometimes, it's just good to know you're not the only freak on the planet! Judy even takes people with her when she knows she has to travel over a particularly scary bridge. When I can, I take my husband. Today, I'm traveling up to Oroville to pick up my mom and bring her here for the Mother's Day weekend; my husband will stay home and do some things that need to get done around here. I have to cross a few bridges and overpasses, but none are too scary. I'll look forward to stopping in Marysville at Starbucks for my latte though--that's the half way point and I'll get a little rest from bridge-crossing!

Do any of you share this insanity? Leave me a comment if you do--misery loves company! And if you don't, do you want to come drive me around? Have a great Saturday and stay away from bridges!


DearGina said...

Yep... me me me.... A sacramento native myself.. and I have a healthy respect for WATER! lol

Anonymous said...

Kim you are not alone. I will go miles out of the way to keep from going over high bridges. The worst for me was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge when I lived in MD. I won't drive over it and I close my eyes when I ride over it. That darn thing is high and about 4 miles long. Lucky for me when I wanted to drive to Ocean City I could go another way. Took me longer, but that was okay. Another thing I hate to do is drive over mountains. always think I will fall off. LOL! I have terrible fear of height and falling. Strange phobias some of us have.

Have a great weekend with your Mom and keep your chin up.

Linda Z

Anonymous said...

Linda, isn't the only one that doesn't like the Cheaspeake Bay Bridge. I've had to drive it by myself. Only yesterday there was a horrible accident on it during rush hour. Clear on the top.I'm not really afraid just sort of squeamsy. Eileen

Su Bee said...

OMG - bridges are truly an invention of a) the Devil, or b) some moronic boys playing games. I was in the big Northridge earthquake in LA in 1971, and driving on the freeway when it happened. (first time driving on a freeway, I might add) The overpass 1/2 mile ahead of me FELL DOWN, and scarred me forever. I'm 128 years old now, and still get the vapors on bridges and high overpasses. And why the heck does the Sac river need those mile high bridges anyway?? That one on 80 is as bad as the Golden Gate!

Darlene said...

I have a tremendous fear of bridges! My knees go to Jello when I'm approaching one or on one. I thought I was going to have nervous breakdown when we crossed the Narrow's Bridge in Washington - it sways! :-O

Anonymous said...

Wow, I'm going to Sacramento and Reno via I-80 this Memorial Day weekend and assumed that I'd have to cross some 'Bridges over Troubled' Waters.

I'll just hold the steering wheel tight and hold my breath.

The bridges over Ocean Ports are normally the worst for me (I'm in transportation). I was in Hoston last summer and had to pass over a Port bridge. On the way back to the hotel, I went out of my way to avoid the bridge (10 miles) just to be confronted with another Port bridge an another highway. Oh, the humanity!!