If you know me well, you have likely made the acquaintance of my dear, irrational friend, Scared of My Own Shadow. I can only describe her as paranoid. This is a girl who is absolutely certain that every bump in the night is going to end in death. She’s positive there’s a monster lurking in all closets, a troll in every corner, and one of those little creepy red-hat gnomes just under the dust ruffle lying in wait (dust ruffle, really?). She could add clowns to this equation, but that would just be outrageous. This elevated level of anxiety usually occurs at night. You know, when all the scary stuff happens. Redrum? No thanks. In fact, she’s becoming mildly terrified now as she types this. From behind the glow of her computer screen, she just whispered into the dark, “What was that noise?” to which Dave, without missing a beat, replied, “I just farted.” Excellent.
I used to think my good friend Scared of My Own Shadow was this ridiculously complicated enigma. You know, like an unintended consequence of some ill-fated childhood experience. But really, my childhood was filled with nothing but Rainbow Bright, hamsters, and soggy but very delicious nachos (Hi Mom!). Like it or not, I have accepted that this is just the way it’s going to be.
Hello. My name is Elizabeth. I’m afraid of the dark. And it’s a problem.
Enough with all this context already. Let’s fast forward to where things start to get interesting. Last night, after the snoring commenced (Dude, ever heard of a C-PAP?!), and my son was tucked in like a bean, rice, and cheese burrito, I dozed off dreaming of a Fleming’s bone-in ribeye, lobster mashed potatoes and chocolate covered everything (What? I’m on a diet!).
And then it happened.
Have you ever been, like, dead asleep when your subconscious mind is rudely awakened by one of your senses that is still on high alert just to keep an eye on things for you? You know, like when you’ve been asleep for three hours and you wake up to a spider that has been glaring at you from four and a half feet up the wall? Senses. I am pretty sure I was asleep but my sixth sense was all, “Someone’s in your room standing next to your bed. You are about to die!!” Uh, what! My eyes blinked open, and standing just next to my bed, looming in the complete darkness, was this tall ominous figure, hovering. Of course the snoring bear man next to me couldn’t hear my panic over his own sleep apnea induced issues.
Flight or flight. Every man for himself. Do or die. Sink or swim. I was not about to go down without a fight. I swung at his head. Missed. Dang it. I’m totally going down without a fight. I sprung out of bed and darted into the dark hallway, I assumed toward the gates of Gehenna, strategically avoiding all the Hot Wheel match box cars in my path, because I’m a domestic nighttime ninja. My mind was racing, my heart, pounding. This was the end. All my hopes and dreams were over. I’d never get to eat that secret stash of Cadbury eggs from Easter that were still in my sock drawer, oozing caramel at this very moment. I’d never have a chance to use that $25 Starbucks gift card that I “borrowed” from Dave’s wallet last week or make good on that no-diet binge day I’d been planning for months. I was going to be murdered by a…
Unexpectedly, the hallway light clicked on, Dave emerged from the room, holding a Mylar balloon that read, “Congratulations!” across it. Apparently, he rethought this whole sleep apnea charade and decided to come rescue me from this mess before I did something entirely drastic like run down the street wearing only one sock. I was like, “What is THAT?” And he was all, “Your son’s ‘congratulations’ balloon.” What we were congratulating him on, I had no idea, considering I counted exactly sixteen peas on the kitchen floor after dinner, and he pooped his pants. He’s only two, but still.
So, basically, I was going to be murdered by a balloon. Great.
Too exhausted to even feign embarrassment, I shuffled back to bed with my one sock. Dave just slow clapped. That was all he could do. Congratulations, I’m a jerk.
A mug shot of the alleged perpetrator was taken the next morning.
(Photo credit: my iphone gallery)