I almost died about 17 times today at the hands of my fellow humans. Most of them had no idea that they’d just put my life at stake, a few realized it a few seconds later and felt bad, and a couple were completely aware and gave zero flips. Rude. As I lay my head on my pillow, grateful to have made it safely into my bed for another night of dreams nightmares about Chris Soules being gay, I feel compelled to point out ways that all of you can help extend the lives of those around you my life.

1. Don’t speed in parking lots

On almost a daily basis, my life is threatened by the people who use a parking garage as their NASCAR training track. I am just a poor little pedestrian soul trying to make it to the stairway without being sideswiped by someone who is late to work! Just because you’re making constant left turns does not mean your name is Arie Luyendyk Jr. [Arie is the only race-car driver whose name I know, only because he was a contestant on The Bachelorette. Also, I don’t even think he races cars…I believe he races karts. As in, he is a professional go-kart driver. As in, he is my soulmate.]

2. Check your blind spot

While we’re on the subject of using your motor vehicle as a weapon, please use your mirrors, eyes, and other tools that provide you the ability to see that there is not room for you in my lane.

3. Don’t make me laugh while I’m eating

Laughing involves exhaling in a forceful manner. And what goes out must come in. That’s wrong. It’s “what goes up must come down.” But you get the picture. My forceful exhales are followed by powerful inhales, which means that a piece of rice from my Chipotle burrito bowl will go flying down into my throat and block my windpipe. I appreciate your humor, but more so, I appreciate my life.

4. Announce yourself

Sneaking up on me while I’m gchatting so that I only notice you when it’s too late to click into a different screen gives me heart palpitations. If you don’t want to say “Hey, Shannon!”, then at least jingle your keys or give me some sort of notice that I need to snap out of my little world. Otherwise, there’s a good chance I’m going to jump out of my skin and possibly end up in the E.R.

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5. Tell me the subject of impending conversations

Speaking of heart palpitations, don’t ever tell me that “we need to talk,” then not clue me in on the subject. I will assume that you hate me, which will give me the nervous sweats until the time comes for our conversation, and by that point I will have lost 70% of my body’s water content and the ability to breathe normally.

6. Pick up your crap

Do not leave your weights on the ground at the gym. Do not leave your cardboard boxes on the sidewalk. Do not leave your shoes all over the place. (I’m actually making a self-note with that one.) I will trip over them. I will nearly face plant. I will fall and possibly land the wrong way and no longer be alive.

7. Don’t blow your cigarette smoke in my face

I won’t tell you to stop smoking because you already know that it makes you smell gross and will give you cancer and makes you look 20 years older than you are. Have fun with those things. However, just because you are down with liver cancer does not mean that I am down with liver cancer. Stop waving your cig around like it’s a magic wand and suffocating me with cloud puffs that smell like an industrial wasteland. Even if the second hand smoke doesn’t kill me, the incessant coughing that I’m trying to suppress in order to accommodate your feelings just might.

8. Force me to save your number in my phone

I don’t know if dying of embarrassment is a real thing, but I’ve really tested that theory lately. On Sunday, I had two unsaved numbers in my phone: 1) My friend Jen, 2) The hot guy I met at a bar on Saturday night. Sunday night, after dinner with Jen and 3 other girls, I tried to group text all of them a picture of my leg. You see, I’d gone horseback riding for the first time in nine years earlier that day, and had welts on my calves as a result. I also had razor burn, am currently whiter than provolone cheese, and angled my leg in a way that looked like I weigh 345 lbs. Anyway, the girls knew my legs hurt, so when I got home, I took the unflattering picture and sent it to them just to be funny/prove that I wasn’t just being dramatic. Along with the picture, the text said “Please ignore my white, spikey, meaty legs. Also, correct, I’m not wearing any pants.” Yes, I used the word “meaty.” GUESS WHO I SENT IT TO. You guessed correctly. The group text included the hot guy from the bar instead of Jen. I might not have physically died, but something inside me definitely died in that moment. Make me save your number. Please.

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9. Don’t walk with scissors

Safety 101. Just because you feel in control does not mean that I won’t round the corner in a spastic flurry and end up with a life-threatening puncture wound.

10. Share the sidewalk

About every other time I go on a run, a group of teenagers or tourists or some other annoying sect of the population decides they need to walk on the sidewalk in a kick line like they’re the freaking Rockettes. In order to get around them, I have to bound off the path and into the street. One of these days, it’s not going to end well.



If you can please respect my life by doing these things, I might make it to my 27th (gulp) birthday in June.