I hope I don’t get slammed for making this comment, but…I hate the 4th of July.
This has nothing to do with my patriotism. For those of you reading my blog, you don’t have to suddenly be afraid that you’ve been caught up in some terrorist plot to take over the world by brainwashing unsuspecting widows. I love this country as much as the next guy. My dislike for the holiday is more basic than that.
I hate loud popping noises.
I’ve always been this way. I was the child cowering in the corner of the yard with my head between my knees and my hands over my ears. As an adult, I get THOROUGHLY annoyed when irresponsible teenagers (or my inebriated neighbors) keep the party going past 10:00 PM. Because all that means is that I have to keep my windows shut and roast inside my nice, insulated house to drown out the noise.
I’m starting to think that this problem has really held me back all my life.
I’ll never forget, as a child, joining the swim team where, little did I know, I would have to meet my fear head-on. This was back in the day when they didn’t have the nice, passive beeping noise to get the race started. Nope. It was a cap pistol. So every Saturday as the sun was coming up on a beautiful Colorado morning, I would get my little 7 year old bathing suit, get over to the pool, and freeze my 7 year old butt off at another swim meet.
Unfortunately, the sound of the cap pistol scared the crap out of me so much that I would constantly false-start, so I wouldn’t have to hear it.
This little issue forced my saintly mother to walk me halfway down the block, away from the pool until it was time for my race so I wouldn’t have a complete breakdown and end up in a mental institution by the age of 9.
Finally, the swim team coach pulled my mother aside and said, “Ma’am. She’s a great swimmer. But some things just aren’t worth it.”
To this day, I wonder if I could have made it into the Olympics if I had just been born about 10 years later when the beeper came along.
Birthday parties with balloons. BB guns at camp. Those cheap little poppers that spray pieces of paper everywhere. All enemies to my sensitive ears.
My husband was never allowed to own a gun, even though he had been an avid hunter growing up. I would like to say that it was because I don’t believe in guns and I was worried that it would be a safety issue. But it was really because I knew that if he owned one, some day he might use it. And it would be loud.
So you can imagine that if I hate popping noises and I don’t like listening to fireworks on the 4th, having to purchase them for my kids just really pisses me off. As I was (reluctantly) walking through a bumblebee colored tent from hell with my kids and a buddy the other day, waiting to throw my money away on items that I was just going to light on fire (c’mon…does that REALLY make sense), my friend turned to me and asked, “So how much do you want to spend?”
I glared at him and said, “Well, I hate these things and I’m one of the cheapest people you know. How much do you think?”
Shoot. I could've been buying a purse.
The only thing that makes me feel a little better about it is that my friend who went shopping with me later confessed that he has a fear of sparklers. He worries about kids burning themselves, having inappropriate swordfights, and accidentally stepping on the discarded metal. When I think about that…it brings a little smile to my face and I feel like I’m not so weird.
I mean…what kind of a freak is afraid of a sparkler?
© Catherine Tidd 2010