Why is it when my husband goes away on business trips I become convinced that one of the following will definitely happen:
- The apartment will go up in flames while we’re sleeping. Probably because I forgot to check that the toaster was unplugged the usual 24 times.
- LJ, fur-child and I will all succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- A creepy, murderous crazy person will bust into our apartment through the roof door.
- Some insane person will swoop into LJ’s room in the middle of the night and whisk her off to some far-away land where she will fetch a hefty price on the black market.
The thing is, when my husband IS here and we experience the occasional middle of the night “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT NOISE?! OMGGOCHECK!!” freak out moments: I’m usually the one to go fight off the killer rapist in the kitchen with the pointy horn of LJ’s unicorn doll. I’m the crime fighting mama-bear. Pete usually stays in the bedroom “protecting the dog”. My lab, by the way, couldn’t care LESS if we were being robbed. While my bat ears hear every thump in the building, causing me to launch out of bed in supreme freak-out mode: Carson is all, “Huh? (Yawn)” as she resumes snoring and chasing dream squirrels.
I know I’m not alone in the irrational fears, though. All you need is a vivid imagination to freak yourself the f*ck OUT when you’re home alone. Case in point: my mother. 1993.
When I was a senior in high school, my parents hit a rough patch in their relationship, and for a very brief period of time my father was living in the next town. My sister, who was about 22 at the time, mom and I were trucking along in our usual routines, just sans a man in the house. Late one weekend night, when my friends pulled up to drop me off after a night of drinking wine coolers in various parking lots in town, I noticed the living room light was on and you could see the back of my mother’s head silhouetted in the window. When you’re a teenager that is never, EVER a good sign. I entered the house, walked up the stairs to the living room and found my mother AND sister both sitting on the couch looking panic-stricken at 1am. Cue 17-year-old (buzzed) heart beating out of my chest as I try to imagine what I did to deserve this insane intervention-like meeting. The following conversation (more or less) took place:
Mom: Tracy, sit down. We want to talk to you about something.
Me: ….Okay. (Shitting in my pants. Did she find my Parliaments? Fuck!)
Mom: Now I don’t want you to get upset….
Me: … Okay. (I’m. DEAD. My life is over.)
Mom: …but we’re a little afraid that someone may have tried to break into the house.
Me: Wait, Ice Cube?
Mom: OH MY GOD YOU KNOW HIM? Why would he put a picture through our mail slot?!
Me: Why would WHO put a picture through our mail slot? Ice Cube?
Mom: WHO IS HE?!?
Me: He’s a rapper!! Are you INSANE??!?
Mom: Are you sure? You mean it’s your picture?
Me: It probably fell out of my backpack or from one of my magazines or something. You mean you SERIOUSLY thought a robber would give you a PICTURE OF HIMSELF before he robbed you? You thought Ice Cube was some stalker that was trying to break into our stupid house? (Dying laughing at this point. Almost crying.)
Mom: (clearly embarrassed) Ok, that’s enough. I was afraid. Never mind. Now, go to bed!
Clearly overactive imaginations and the inclination to expect doom and horror around every corner run in my family.
Also, poor Ice Cube.
***P.S. In no way, shape or form is (or was) my mother racist. It bums me out that I even have to comment on that.***