Friday, April 16, 2010

A Story for Christine

{And anyone else who shares our particular brand of burglar-anxiety}

I met my dear friend, Christine, in Heidelberg, Germany. She and my other dear friend, Emily, were instantly welcoming to me and made me feel comfortable enough that we were talking in-depth about boys within the first two minutes.

Christine and I share a trait that has thankfully only bonded us over the years, and most especially through those first crucial years of our friendship.

We are worry-warts. Nervous Nellies. Whatever you want to call it, we worry. We wonder. We become anxious. And at our worst, paranoid.

When our powers of paranoia were combined, we were an unholy force to be reckoned with.

"What if someone attacked us?"
"You could scream as loud as possible while I go for the groin."
"Yeah, and I can stomp on the top of his foot with the heel of my high-heeled shoe while you bring your elbow down on his nose."
"Wait. Do you wear high heels?"
"No....oh, no. I need to go buy some high heels!"
"You can borrow mine. We'll both wear a pair of mine EVERY time we go out alone together, okay?"
"They'd be messing with the wrong girls."

Thankfully, if one of us was calm while the other was in the throes of anxiety, one could calm the other down, usually. I don't know what happened when both of us were truly afraid-for-our-lives anxious. I don't know that that ever happened, thankfully. Can you imagine? Oh, the horror....

Anyway, with lives that lightly parallel one another {we are both moms, both of us have two boys, both of us have super-cool kick-butt husbands.... :) }, we share at least one common fear {please don't ask me to make a complete list} : That someone will break into our home.

We cope in similar ways--that is, with copious amounts of delicious desserts while watching girly TV shows until we simply can't hold our eyelids open.

But I'm sure Christine has never done this, and would laugh until tears rolled down her cheeks if this had happened to me with her along for the ride (I must admit I my plans of defense. And it was usually just hilarious.)

One windy stormy night, when Phill was far away in San Antonio doing Army things, the children lay sleeping peacefully in their beds. I had just finished cleaning the house in an attempt to calm my jumpy nerves, and was about to relax on the couch with a load of laundry to fold.

Then I heard it.

Thump. Thump. THUMP.

It sounded very close from where I stood in the pantry--close enough to be in the garage, which is connected to the pantry.

I stood there, shaking all over, trying to think what it could be. (Well, trying not to jump to conclusions.)

An animal that got stuck in my garage?
Something that fell off a shelf?
And then of course, I couldn't help it--
Someone trying to open the side door?

Thump. Thump THUMP THUMP.

It was very loud that time, and then I was terrified.

Someone trying to lift up the garage door?!
How stupid! But of course that's what it is! OF COURSE SOMEONE IS TRYING TO GET INTO MY HOUSE FROM THE GARAGE! They must KNOW that I'm home! Alone! AND paranoid!

So what did I do? I stood there in the pantry, opened the door to the garage, and shouted into the nothingness, "I HAVE A GUN!"

I know. I'm laughing too, now.

Then I went into the kitchen and methodically opened the knife drawer, took out the largest, sharpest knife we have, and walked back to the pantry, standing there, shaking, and telling myself that I was being ridiculous. And also mentally checking that my cell phone was within reach, then actually going and picking it up.


I dialed 9-1 on my phone and held it in the other hand. (You know, the one NOT with the kitchen knife in it.)


And then I got mad. Just plain angry. How dare someone try to get in my house? How DARE they? So I walked around to my front door, fully intending to go OUTSIDE to the garage door and chase off whoever was DARING to try to break into my house. (Wow. Fear really makes me logical, doesn't it?!)

I got to the front door and had my cell-phone-hand on the handle when I glimpsed out the window (which is to the side of the door). I saw the trees blowing in the wind....the wind....and it dawned on me, with almost hysterical relief, that as this wind blew, I heard the thumping.

The thumping of the garage door, being violently shaken by--no, not a violent burglar rapist--but by the wind.

The wind.

I was going to call 9-1-1 and report the wind, and maybe kill it in self-defense, too.

*This is certainly not to make light of anxiety, and certainly not meant to say that we ought not be aware and alert. I do believe it is good to have a certain level of awareness, and to be on guard at all times. However, I do try not to live in paranoia, and unless you have plans for pressing charges against the wind, I don't recommend it. :)

**And just for the record....any burglar guys out there....I am well-rehearsed. You'd be messing with the wrong girl. Heels on.


Anonymous said...

LOL! That is an awesome story. I was really into it like, who is it going to be? Maybe its phill? and then...The wind! LOL!

Christine said...

Okay I'm crying I'm laughing so hard, not because it sounds ridiculous but because I would have done the exact same thing. :) We really are hatched from the same egg aren't we? We had a very similar situation where I woke Brian up in the middle of the night b/c I was sure I heard someone breaking in, turned out after he investigated, it was our ice maker....yeah Brian doesn't want to buy a gun, he's too scared I'll accidentally shoot him. We really should live closer to one another. :)

Kelly said...

hahahhahahahahahahahahah.....(sigh) hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah...Rae, you are too cute. We should have had slumber parties when Phill was out of town (and I lived in St. G). I didn't know you were THAT anxious. :)

Marie Photographie said...

Oh, that is too funny!! I can totally picture you yelling "I have a gun!" haha

And Christine comment makes this post all the funnier to me!

carajean said...

Hahahaha. This is funny story to HEAR but definitely not to experience.

Anna said...

That is hilarious...I can totally seeing you doing that, along with Christine. Way to be on your guard. Glad it was just the wind! :)

Heidi said...

You are making me grateful that my husband's work doesn't require him to be away, except for 3 nights when he flew to LA for interviews and I was in Texas (and didn't have kids yet.) Because I would be exactly the same way, probably much worse. I have no clue how I managed to live alone in college & grad school!

Shayanne Snodgress said...

LOL! I agree with Kelly, But if you ever want me to come sleep over! I'm totally up for that!!! :) I love you !!

Michael and Bonnie said...

You crack me up.

Qait said...



I felt all yucky-ew thinking of that familiar feeling: when I get startled into a burst of fright-induced adrenaline, I feel shot full of prickles. As if all my pores are sticking little radar things out (ew). I hate that feeling!
I've told you, right?, that I talk to myself in the car if I'm driving alone in the dark...the backseat always looks too dark to me. I brag about how I'm actually a really good shot (did you know that?) and how my papa's an expert marksman. Really, I get within an inch of my target or closer every time. I'm totally telling the truth.

I even kind of like the smell of gunpowder. >:]

kate said...

I really had no idea how much we are alike until I have been reading your blog. I too am a paranoia, nervous nellie all of those awful things. I fear about everything. I love this post it reminds me of when I had the similar thing happen, a raccoon got in my garage while Mike was gone and I thought it too was a burglar. Then I found out that I too was wrong. How crazy. I do think you are much stronger though and can deal with these things better than I.