I don't like to be startled. Jack in the boxes (the toy, not the restaurant) are enough to give me a small heart attack. And do not even get me started on those little compressed refrigerator tubes of biscuit dough. F*** you, you open it. I am going to watch with my ears plugged.
The WORST thing in life for me is to have to be within visual and hearing distance of a child with a balloon. You know how they do, squeezing it and sucking on it and biting it until the poor balloon explodes and the child cries it's face off like it's been shot. Well the child could care less, but I feel as though I have been shot and then it takes an hour for my pulse to slow and to breathe normally again. The anxiety is terrible for me. Even if the balloon doesn't pop, I am so aware of the fact that it might that I drive myself to distraction.
Two years ago on my birthday my roommate thought she was being funny and blew up like 50 balloons (how long it took her I will never know) and FILLED my bathroom with them. When I got up to go to work the next morning I opened the door to my bathroom to find 50 manifestations of my biggest fear covering all the floor. I was late to work. It took me forever to pick up each balloon, one at a time, and carry it into the living room and set it gently down as to not pop it. Point 1 goes to roommate.
A couple of days ago I was on mission "Beg Forgiveness". One of my very close friends is a wee bit perturbed at me at the moment. Ok way more than a wee bit, as outlined in my last post. I thought to myself "People love balloons! Everyone but me anyway". So I went down to the flower shop and got 3 balloons. I was feeling pretty brave. I felt like I was confronting my fears, like when people scared of heights go skydiving. Have I mentioned I am also scared of heights? Anyway..... I practically swaggered back out to my car, I was so proud of myself. I placed the 3 balloons in the back seat and proceeded to head home. It was a stressful drive home to say the least. I kept catching glimpses of the offending balloons in my rearview mirror. I just knew that any second one of them would explode and my life would be over. I know, dramatic. Remember when I said it was a totally unnatural and irrational fear? Mmmmhmmm.
So as I am driving down the road, singing along to the radio and contemplating what step 2 of operation "Beg Forgiveness" should be, one of those ungrateful bastard balloons had the audacity to pop!!! Naturally I lost my mind.
I swear to you that I almost peed my pants. I shrieked at the top of my lungs and my car went careening towards the low center divider on the road. I managed to avoid serious damage by correcting back and the good news is that I don't think I bent the wheel when I bumped into it. The bad news is that the terror surely sucked 10 years off my lifespan. A very concerned and friendly driver took the time to flip me off on his way past me. Jerk. Like I'm not already traumatized enough.
I was no longer swaggering as I removed the two remaining balloons from my car when I got home. Luckily I managed the rest of the drive without incident. But I was then faced with the realization that those two balloons were going to be hanging out in my house until I could deliver them.... and delivering them meant getting back in the car with them. I could have cried. I almost did. I was very very tempted to call the florist and have them come pick up the balloons and deliver them for me. But I though better of it. This sort of operation is so important that it can only be carried out in person.
Thankfully those two balloons were on their best behavior the rest of the night and had the decency to not pop, not even when I used a black sharpy marker to write a personal, heartfelt "I am sorry I suck so much" on them. And the next day I put them back in my car and prepared to make my way across town. I was a wreck. I couldn't get there fast enough. All I could think of was how relieved I would be when they were out of my house and my car.
My friend seemed less than enthused with my peace offering. But I was happy to have them out of my possession. The drive home was blissfully uneventful.
Note to self- Take Valium before balloon handling. Your poor heart can't handle another episode like that.
Post Script to note- Don't be a dick to your friends and then you won't need to buy forgiveness balloons like an idiot.
Post Post Script- If you do screw up this badly ever again, maybe say you're sorry with a singing telegram. Or a stripper-gram.