Thursday, May 12, 2011

Irrational (non) fear.

I think we can probably all agree that the world we live in is a pretty scary place. Between all the wars and global warming and junk in our food and Autism and tsunamis and roofs flying off of planes (not to mention the motherfucking snakes on the motherfucking planes!), we just can't catch a break.

That is, if we allow ourselves to give a rat's ass.

Which I? Do not. I just can't be bothered. For one, The Secret pretty well convinced me that I have the power to destroy the world if I let myself to go there. If I ever start to get scared about something my mind immediately flashes to that scene in the movie where that guy is all worried about leaving his bike so he locks it up only to discover 10 minutes later that it's been stolen. His fault! If he had just been like, "Whatever, man. I've harnessed the power of the universe to watch my bike. Locks are for haters," he would have been golden. (That was the takeaway there, right?)

So my official stance on fear is whatevs. At least for the things I can't control.

Like the recent storms that ripped through the South leaving catastrophic damage in their wake. We watched some of the local coverage on TV not because we necessarily felt we needed the information, but because Liam loves the News 2 Stormtracker even more than he loves commercials and infomercials (he's obsessed with EZ Cracker, Gyrobowl and severe weather!). It honestly didn't even dawn on me to shut the windows until one of our neighbors posted on Facebook that she and the kids were headed down to their cement storm bunker.

Because if a tornado is going to hit my house, what the hell is being scared of it going to do? Sure, it could prompt me to run my kids down to the basement or climb into the bathtub like a bunch of sardines but it's a TORNADO. I don't think you can outsmart something like that.

(Okay, I totally lied - tornadoes are terrifying! I just did a Google image search for an applicable photo to post here and had to rock in the the fetal position with my hands over my ears for like 10 minutes to recover. head is back in the sand. Phew!)

It's like living where we live. Sure it can be scary to read about all the crime and break-ins and muggings on the listserv. So that's why I don't read the listserv. (I read the regular listserv, just not the crime listserv. Yes, we have one just for crime.) I did for a while there but it made me so freaked out I couldn't sleep at night. So I stopped. It's a survival tactic, really. I mean, my husband travels some for work. If I can't be home alone at night without being afraid, what? Is he supposed to quit his job or something? That's crazy. So I just pretend there's nothing to be afraid of and go on about my life. Sometimes it's hard to stay blissfully ignorant - like when you're woken up at midnight from the sound of a helicopter circling overhead and searching for something with their spot light - but being scared when something is actually happening seems totally acceptable.

I just can't let myself get scared that something bad might happen. Imagine if every time I heard a helicopter I got nervous. Like last Friday around lunchtime when there was one flying all around our neighborhood. Should I have freaked out? Dropped everything and called for reinforcements? It was the the middle of the day for godsakes! Who gets scared in broad day light?

A couple hours later when I noticed I missed a text from a friend a few streets over - "Police are saying stay inside with the doors locked!" - I wondered momentarily if I should be more cautious about things like this. But we were totally fine. Even though the entire time the helicopter was overhead I was sitting in the hall with the front door WIDE open, watching the baby roll around while Liam and his friend played the "inside/outside" game that involved pretending I wasn't home and going out on the front porch all by themselves.

And yet, we survived!

So when that whole terrorist take down situation quickly prompted some people to fear retaliation, I was not one of them. Even when my husband was packing for New York the very next day I didn't make the connection that this was a situation I should be scared of. "But it's like the ground zero of ground zero," he said. "Meh," I said supportively. "You'll be fine."

And thank Secret he was!

So what about the cicada invasion that's due to hit Nashville any minute now. Am I scared of that?!? Grossed out, definitely, but not scared. For one, bajillions of big ass bugs all crawling out of the ground at once to swarm, mate and die is about as abstract and hard for me to imagine as a wind so strong it could take down my house. (Even though Google has plenty of proof...lalala, I can't hear you!) I'm not necessarily excited about it. Definitely not looking up cicada stir fry recipes like my neighbor down the street. But I'm pretty sure it won't be that bad. And once it's over, we'll be able to say WE WERE THERE!

But there is one thing I'm kind of afraid of. Really afraid of, actually. Kindergarten. I'm scared shitless of my baby starting school. There are a bunch of sentimental reasons that I don't want to get into right now (i.e. MY BABY STARTING SCHOOL), but what really has my panties in a bunch is thinking about having to be somewhere at 8 in the morning. FIVE DAYS A WEEK. I mean, isn't that considered torture or something? Do you have any idea how hard it is to get out the door on time with a slow moving five year old and a baby? And that's not even taking my lazy ass into account.

I don't think I've looked presentable at preschool drop off EVER but yesterday was an all-time low. First I almost walked out the door for Liam's class field trip without washing my face or putting on makeup. (Don't you love that the thought of showering didn't even enter the equation?) I had Finn on my hip and my diaper bag slung over my shoulder and all of Liam's stuff and Liam and my keys and my sunglasses and our picnic and I was about to walk out the door when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought, "Who the hell is that? She looks busted!" Not that a clean face and a little mascara is going to rewrite history or anything but it certainly makes going out in public seem slightly more acceptable.

But that's so not the worst part.

Later that day on the way to karate (on the way as in I had already left the house and was in the car), I happened to pull down the rear view mirror to see what I was working with and noticed that the entire tip of my nose was bright orange. Evidently I had gotten a little cheese sauce on there while tasting Liam's macaroni and cheese. With the wooden serving spoon. I was this close to taking my poor kid to karate like that. So getting dressed and out the door BEFORE 8 am FIVE DAYS A WEEK is pretty much the scariest thing I can imagine.

If you can't find me come August 15th, I'll be in the cement bunker down the street eating mac and cheese with the big spoon.

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