I’m not calm under pressure.
Having said that, I’m an excellent multi-tasker. I work from home, manage six freelance clients, take care of all the housework and errands, and raise my two and a half year old. I’m fine in stressful situations, but when it comes down to those panic-ridden, crazy situations, apparently, I’m pretty useless.
My husband first noticed this about me when we used to live in an apartment when we were in the process of finding a new home. I was cooking on the electric stove, and some grease got under my pan and flames started shooting out of the burner. I literally flipped out and was running around the house ready to grab photo albums and valuables and run out of the place. My husband, chuckling, oddly calm, grabbed a towel and swatted out the flames and turned off the burner. I felt like an idiot.
Why can’t my brain function during these times?
This is not a good trait, and one I’m working on, but a funny thing happened the other night, and it inspired this blog, and again, goes to show that my imagination must be pretty powerful to concoct some of the thoughts in my head.
I must tell you first about something in our house called a whole house fan. It’s on the ceiling of our hallway and it’s been on exactly once since we’ve lived here, when our real estate agent told us what is was. It basically sucks all the hot air out of your house in minutes. But it’s scary because carbon monoxide can leak out so you have to run it with windows open, and all these other rules, so we just leave it alone. I don’t even realize it’s there.
Well, the other night, my husband and I were having some stupid argument. The ones where you’re going to laugh five minutes later and it’s no big deal. He went back to the computer room to work on something, and I was out in the living room. He had left his jersey on the couch, so I got up and threw it down the hallway, towards the room, as a joke, and more-so a white flag to end the disagreement.
I went back to the couch and about 10 seconds later, I heard the loudest, most disturbing noise I’ve ever heard. I can only relate it to those sirens in the movies with the zombies or aliens, that low-pitched ominous sound. Also along with this sound, came a feeling like the whole house was shaking. I started screaming!! I ran into the hallway and all I could see was debris falling from the ceiling. These were my instant thoughts: 1. The house is caving in, we’re all going to die. 2. My husband is a super powered wizard and I finally made him mad enough that he evoked his powers of destruction on me. 3. Aliens/Zombies are attacking.
I’m dead serious. ALL of those things passed through my mind. I also couldn’t scream and when I tried to yell for my husband, my mouth froze on the left-hand side. I got like a 10 second episode of Bell’s Palsy and I could not talk right. I was crying hysterically, tears running down my face, screaming, running to find my son, and was shaking.
While I was doing all that jazz, my husband calmly walked out of the computer room, “assessed the situation” (If you’re a Sunny in Philly fan you’ll get that), realized that when I threw the jersey, I knocked the whole house fan dial to on and quickly shut if off. The debris that had come down was from when they put on our roof last year, it was shingles and dirt mainly.
He was laughing at me, my son wasn’t even upset, and I had to spend the next 15 minutes trying to calm myself down. I literally laugh out loud thinking about it now, but I was terrified.
I gotta work on this, guys. I thought your body and mind went into survival mode when this kind of stuff happened.
I can safely say, if there ever is a zombie apocalypse, and you see me coming towards you, you should run. I’m probably the first one they targeted and with my apparent lack of movement when I’m scared, I’m as good as dead. Sorry, undead.
I too am unlikely to survive a zombie apocalypse. I am legally blind without my glasses, take far too many meds, have a gimpy heart, and am medically disabled from injuries and illness suffered while in the Army.
Sorry to hear that, Allen. Thanks so much for reading! And thank you for your service to this great country of ours.
You are welcome. I try to keep my options open should the zombies rise.
Your post had me laughing so hard that I started crying. I loved it. I am the opposite myself. Turns out that I am more of a leader when emergency situations happen. But I hate leading people normally, happily following someone else’s lead. So, I think the best thing to do is know what you are capable of. Instead of focusing on the fact that you panic, try to think of what you can do.
I think that there is only one time I truly panicked. An ex-doctor tole me that I had cancer (I didn’t). But I have been through a lot of crisis situations. I know that everyone contributes in their own way. So if zombies come walking down the street, don’t worry about what they might do, focus on what you need to do. And your reaction to the fire was actually a smart one, though hysterically funny!
Thanks so much, Chrystina! Great advice and so glad I made you laugh. It means so much to me! I so appreciate you taking the time to comment. I look forward to checking out your blog!!