When In Doubt, Please Don’t Call Me

I’m not good in emergency situations- I’m really not. I have no fight or flight instinct. My version of that is more like scream and stay. In dangerous scenarios, I’m someone who would be considered a liability rather than a benefit. If you’re knee-deep in metaphorical crap, I’m useless. You are better off digging yourself out than calling me because all I will do is panic-scream and randomly gesticulate at the wind. Yes, I make things exponentially worse and would greatly reduce your rate of survival.

To go with this endearing trait of mine, I also have the patience of a squirrel and a memory of a fly (assuming they have terrible memories). One time at band camp, I decided to boil a pot of water (for what reason, I can’t seem to recall). And because I didn’t want to just stand there waiting for the water to boil, I thought I would take a quick shower. After my invigorating shower that washed away all memory of what I was doing prior to my shower, I decided to diddle-daddle with this and that until I shockingly remembered that I had a pot of water on the stove on medium-high for about 15 minutes too long. I ran to the kitchen only to find an empty pot and a heck of a lot of smoke. I obviously did what anyone in my situation would have done- I panic-danced around the kitchen while freaking out and then dialed 9-1-1 my best friend for help. She didn’t pick up, so I did the only thing that made sense: I waited for the beep and left a frantic voice message. I’m pretty sure it was just me screaming into the phone, “Ohmagod. Ohhmahgod. OH.MAHH.GOD. OHH.MY.GAWDDD. Okay, call me back!”

I praise those who work as 9-1-1 operators because I couldn’t do it. My overall disposition is the opposite of ‘cool as a cucumber.’ I’m more along the lines of a scorching pot of hot oil- bubbles bursting at the surface. I’d be screaming along with the caller needing help, “Ahhhh! Seriously?!? OH MY GOD! Noooo!”

That’s why when my husband ran into the house last Wednesday shouting, “Hurry up, we need to drive your car to the dealership, your tire is deflating,” all I could do was panic-scream. You know, like the Macaulay Culkin scream in Home Alone. Or at least that’s what it felt like in my head.

It was Wednesday (my late shift day). I typically get up with Charlotte and get her ready for school, and my husband is the one who takes her to school while I finish getting ready for work. Once he’s back home, I jump in my car and drive downtown to work. So there I was enjoying a lovely, relaxing morning just taking my time getting my coffee ready for the road when in storms my husband in a fit of urgency. I barely had any time to understand what he was saying.

Him: “The tire! Let’s go! We need to drive to the dealership before it’s flat!”
Me: “What? Are you joking? What’s wrong with my tire?”
Him: “Let’s go, let’s go! There’s a nail in it and it’s deflating! There’s no time!”
Me: “Oh my God, I can hear the air seeping out of it! We gotta go!”

I was panic-stricken. I knew what to do but I also didn’t know what to do first. I was like a defective energizer bunny spinning every which way, rapidly dying of insufficient batteries. I was trying to understand the gravity of the situation while taking quick actions and making on-the-spot decisions. Every question I had was followed by random panic-screams.

Am I going to be late for work or should I not go at all?
Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone (1990)

Could I take the train in, was there still time to catch the last train?
Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone (1990)

Would I take my husband’s car, but then how would he pick up Charlotte since I don’t get home until 7?
Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone (1990)

Did I finish putting on my face and bra?!

Then while in my car backing out of my driveway, I realized in the pandemonium of it all that I forgot my phone on the kitchen counter with my cold coffee. I rolled down my window and yelled in the general direction of my husband in his own car, “FOLLOW DIRECTLY BEHIND ME, I HAVE NO PHONEEEE!” Gosh, our neighbours must’ve thought we were nuts.

When we finally got to the dealership and I pulled into the garage, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. My car had made it- the tire was intact and still relatively… deflated.

My husband drove us home and I ended up taking his car to work. Do you ever get so used to driving your own car that you feel like a new driver when you switch cars? That’s how I always feel in my husband’s 4-door-sedan compared to my SUV I’m so accustomed to driving. His car was so low to the pavement I felt like I was in a canoe rowing down the highway to work. I was a nervous wreck the whole way until I pulled into my parking spot safely and turned off the car. Later in the day, the dealership called to advise there was no damage to the car and they were able to patch the hole in the tire.

What about you? How do you handle emergency situations? Would people want you on their team?

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37 thoughts on “When In Doubt, Please Don’t Call Me

  1. Oh, I hear ya! I also hate being rushed over non-emergencies. Like when Sonya decides to run to catch the next tram, and I’m like, “Can’t we wait patiently for the next one? I can’t run!” Now for a legit emergency (more or less), uh… hmm… On time in around 2001 (it’s been a while), my two siblings were about to kill each other. Well, they were facing off and both acting hostile as though an attack was imminent. Both siblings have extremely well-developed muscles (unlike me). It’s really a funny story because my sister, then fourteen, had gone joy riding in my dad’s new car, and she wrecked it by going downhill, around a corner, over an icy road, at 3:00 in the morning, with no license. My dad, the “nice” parent, agreed not to let our mom, the “guilt trip” parent, know. It stayed a secret for a whole year! A year later, my brother casually told our mom about it on the phone, just for kicks. Hence the imminent violence. I’d been meditating, so I calmly dialed 911, and the cops came and broke them up. Under other, non-meditation circumstances, I have no clue what would’ve gone down! 😮 I’ve also called 911 when I feared my mom was having a seizure. Ugh.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh man lol your dad was so nice not to tell your mom! I hate being rushed too, so most often l make sure I leave enough time for me to get somewhere but I’m always down to the wire and then that stresses me out lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg I’m 💯 the same! I’m like a solid rock that people turn to for emotional support and strength. But omg if someone’s choking (one of my worst nightmare fears ever), the LAST thing I’d think to do would be to help. I’d run because I’m so scared. And I’d try to find someone else to help. It’s terrible! Is this something that can be fixed? I dunno. If you’ve been this way your whole life, and so have I, then maybe it’s just how we are?? Oy! Good post, so funny, entertaining, and true!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yea I know what you mean.. I freeze and all the things that I learned goes out the window! Lol when Charlotte was born I was so paranoid about her choking or bumping her head badly so I prepared for it in my head.. (Ok if this happens I do this, or that happens I do that.. We call there.. We make sure this).. Then on several scary occasions I just remember freezing or running round in circles being useless! Thank goodness my husband was there! Scary at the time but now kind of funny looking back! Hope I do better in future!, 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha I wish I had that instinct… I just know whatever that’s chasing me will eventually get me bc I’m so weak-willed so I’d rather not be surprised when “they” get me so I just don’t bother with “flight!” 😂🤣 and I ain’t a fighter lol

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  3. One of the quirky things about me is I can be unusually calm in a crisis and get all worked up over the stupidest things. My wife is more the type to freak out in panicky-type scenarios. I can be in the middle of a stressful situation and handle it with such calm. Then, I’ll go crazy over some trivial thing. (I don’t mean I take it out on my wife, but I can act like a bit of a kid.) “We’re out of peanut butter again? I’m going to the store right now.” (It’s 11:30 at night.)🤣 Even when I’m in the middle of it, the rational part of me has to tell myself, “Chill out, dude. It’s nothing.”

    My wife is the one with the nice car in the family (She’s got the BMW, and I’m happy driving the little economy car.) I know it’s her baby (You know how stupid that sounds as I’m writing this realizing her car is her baby and the husband, well he’s …) I wouldn’t say I panic when I’m driving it, but I will admit to a little bit of nervousness. I definitely don’t want to be the one who puts the first dent in it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I need some of your calmness lol that’s like my husband. He just stands the staring at me running in circles and at some point he will put his hand on my shoulder and tell me to chill lol…

      I’d love to see me through his eyes, it must be frustrating yet comical at the same time 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The pot on the stove story made me laugh! That’s totally something I would do – I may have forgotten things in the oven before. *facepalm*

    As far as emergency situations, I think I’m ok. Not amazing, not terrible, just middle-of-the-road ok. I tend to get more stressed and freaked out by worrying about bad things happening than when they actually happen. When I’m in an emergency situation, I go into “get through it and be strong for everyone else” mode. So I’m actually better in an actual emergency than I am either before or after they happen!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m good in emergencies, but afterward I’m a shaky mess for weeks. However, when I’m needed I can muster the strength and focus to be useful. Or at least useful enough. Glad you got your car repaired– and yes I feel like a new driver in another person’s car. Always… but I don’t panic. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s an amazing trait! We need more people like you! I think I would be guilty of the bystander phenomenon. Unless you told me what I needed to do in a situation, I just freeze! I don’t mean to but my body can’t process it quick enough… Something I gotta work on!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I like to think I stay calm, but fortunately I have not faced a serious emergency to see how I truly react. My sense is that I might tend to underplay the serious of the situation…

    We would make a good team 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Oh my God, laughing out loud! 🤣 I love “have I finished putting on my bra?!” 🤣
    I am also useless in emergencies but in my case it’s because I’m a freezer (!). Even when I am 100% aware of what I should be doing: calling the emergency services, getting a description of the criminal, or whatever, I literally can’t do it. I think screaming is more useful than NOTHING lol, at least someone would know something bad was happening in your case!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I once witnessed a mugging when I was leaving work. I was in my car so I stopped, blew on my horn and started flashing my lights to draw attention to it to others. It worked. Then the mugger came towards my car, I feared for my life, locked my doors but he was just getting in the ‘getaway’ car that I had pulled up beside.
    Once gone, I got out the car, called the police, stayed with the victim. Once I’d given my details and what I saw I drove home, and then collapsed in a pile on the sofa, the adrenaline surge was like nothing I’ve ever felt.
    I’d consider myself cool in a crisis, but it doesn’t come naturally, that is down to years of practice in a job where I am making split second decisions all day. Like all things, you can learn to keep calm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg that is a scary story and you did amazing! I’m not sure I would’ve stayed on scene.. I would honked then driven off! There were a couple times in my life when I look back on I’m pretty sure I would’ve been mugged or kidnapped had I not done one little thing (at a bank during closing hours, sitting at a red light at night with my windows open etc).. Scary stuff! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, my. Poor you! 😀

    I do a bit of panicking, but actually have much better instinct and reaction than what you’re describing! I guess we’ll tie you up and bring you along when the zombies start attacking everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m like many who commented here in that I “sweat the small stuff” and get more stressed out by the little things that happen in “everyday life.” For example, I panicked when preparing for a visit to my home by my own mother!

    On the other hand, and to more specifically answer your questions, I have a history of remaining calm and acting rationally in larger emergencies or, now that I think about it, situations with potential danger. I lost a tire on my vehicle while in a “caravan” of other cars filled with Girl Scouts. Mine carried my own daughter and 3 of her best friends. I heard later that the thing flew over the freeway divider and took the side mirror off a truck driving in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, I came to a stop in the fast lane of the freeway, calmly pulled out my cell phone and dialed 911. Right after that I went on to call the auto club for a tow and my husband to come and pick us up.

    I still bask in the glow of the troop’s leader comment about my composure in the situation. I also still remember that two of the kids were laughing and two were crying. My daughter and her best friend to this day were the two crying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww wow, I mean the most important thing in emergency situations is to keep your cool and you did that beautifully! I can’t say I’d be the same lol… The one crying and screaming would be me and one of the children would probably have to calm me down!

      I’m better in non-emergencies… Like looking at the bright side lol… Thanks so much for sharing 👍😊

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