overreact, I like to think I have good reason. Usually it’s fear for my life or the lives of people I love, listening to my intuition when it comes to honesty (which has literally never failed me, not once), or standing up for myself and/or others. All of which I think are solid reasons to be a little less than chill when it comes to my reactions.
Specific times in my life dubbed as overreacting, no matter how good I thought my reasoning was at the time:
- When I almost threw up watching our Best Man dangle his legs over the edge of the Cliffs of Moher.
- Why: He could’ve died.
- When I snapped at Aaron because he couldn’t pick a parking space, just kept driving in circles even though there were 150 open spots all around us.
- Why: We were already late.**
- When my ex-boyfriend told me his platonic girl-that-was-a-friend was no threat after I caught him in a lie about changing plans with me so he could go to a theme park with her.
- Why: She was definitely a threat, as seen by the fact that he got together with her one week after we broke up.
- When I threw a shoe at my brother in 8th grade for always getting me in trouble for things I didn’t do.
- Why: He needed to stop.**
- When I screamed upon seeing a spider-cricket hybrid (i.e. “cave cricket”) in the shower.
- Why: It could’ve attacked me with some creepy crawler disease.
- When I kept arguing with my mom that I wasn’t doing well in 5th grade math class because I couldn’t see the chalk board.
- Why: I actually couldn’t see it, because turns out I’m the first person in my family history without 20/20 vision, hence why my mother didn’t believe me for six months. In fact, my eyesight is so bad, it can’t even be put in 20/20 terms, because I can’t see 20 feet away from me to to begin with. My doctor said if we had to put it in those terms, it’d be like, 20/1000 or something. Basically, I can’t even see the giant red numbers on the clock next to my bed unless I get about 1 inch from its screen. (-5.25, for those of you who understand contact prescriptions.)
**Stars denote times where I probably shouldn’t have been as worked up as I was. As for the rest, I still stand by my reactions.
Well, this weekend, we got to add yet another “overreaction” to the list:
- When I slept in my dad’s car during a hurricane because the carbon monoxide alarm sounded in the house.
- Why: I thought I was going to die in my sleep.
I should mention that my dad told me the alarm had malfunctioned during storms before, so not to worry. El. Oh. El. You can’t tell me not to worry when a screaming loud carbon monoxide alarm goes off in the middle of the night when it’s pitch black and there’s no power because a huge hurricane happens to be pummeling through the neighborhood. And you especially can’t tell me not to panic when I Google to find that most carbon monoxide poisoning deaths happen due to generators, which come on as backup power sources. I read that as I listened to the generator fire up outside. I’M GOING TO DIE.
Naturally, I called my poor dad and stepmom at 5 in the morning, since I was house-sitting for them while they were out of town. He told me it’s no big deal, just head on back to bed. Did I listen to my very smart, very caring father who would never in a million years tell me to stay somewhere that wasn’t safe? Of course not. I threw on some pants, put on my wet sneakers, grabbed a pillow and a Buffalo Bills blanket, and headed outside into the raging storm. Step 1 when you’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide: Get fresh air. Our three dogs looked at me like I was crazy, which I was.
My thought process was this: I could sleep in the house and possibly die of carbon monoxide poisoning. Unlikely, but that would be a huge bummer if it actually happened. Or I could go sleep in my dad’s car, which would be uncomfortable, but definitely worth it on the off chance that the alarm wasn’t malfunctioning.
Considering half the trees in Virginia Beach fell over that night, I probably was more at risk of death in my dad’s car than I was inside with the threat of carbon monoxide, but hindsight is 20/20. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much in the car with 1,000,000 mph winds and rain rocking the whole thing. And also because the dogs somehow got into the pool area and started barking like maniacs. Life was so fun that morning!! But at least I didn’t die in my sleep, so that’s a win.
As soon as my parents got back in town, they pointed out that the alarm A) had a battery I could’ve removed instead of shoving the whole thing in the garage where I couldn’t hear it, and B) was only beeping because it was low on said battery, not because there was carbon monoxide in the house. What do ya know?!
I was going to let my silly reaction stay between my parents and me, but I can’t be the only one who goes to extreme measures when it’s unnecessary. So here I am on my blog, looking for reassurance that there are other people in this world who also react in a worst-case-scenario fashion. I mean, it would‘ve been necessary if there had been carbon monoxide, so I really don’t regret the whole thing. I’m sure everyone would’ve been really glad I slept in the car had our house been poisoned. But it wasn’t. So now I look like a wacko. Nothing new, tbh.
You should know that my parents were 0% surprised to hear that I slept in the car, given that 99% of the time they left me home alone as a teenager, I called them from under my bed, convinced there was an intruder in the house. It’s fine.
Reason #786 being a military wife with a husband who is gone half the year does not come naturally to me.
The moral to this story is that although overreacting should be kept to a minimum, especially about trivial things like a poorly cooked steak or a bad haircut, sometimes they’re not so bad. Reacting strongly could save your life from carbon monoxide poisoning, or keep you from staying in an unhealthy, disrespectful relationship. Reacting strongly could keep your friend from falling 700 feet to his death in Ireland, or get you the pair of glasses you so desperately need. It could even save you from a cave cricket crawling up your lady parts in the shower and laying eggs in your ovaries. Now, 85% of the time, the reaction was probably useless, but boy is it worth it that other 15% of the time. And I’m not willing to find out if spider-cricket eggs in my ovaries would be part of the 85%.
Despite my strong beliefs in the legitimacy of most of my antics, I do owe my family members, husband, and close friends a shout out for still loving me, even when I could maybe turn the panic down a notch. You guys are the best.