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Pop Goes My Sanity

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Tomorrow will be a great day!

Nah-nah…no work for this girl! I’ll be spending my time spiral cutting my cheesy brats like a BOSS instead!

For one, I will not be woken up by my annoying work-day alarm but probably by the shrieks of my hungry children as they attempt to wrestle the remote control away from each other. As frustrating as their vocal cacophony can be, I will still be lulled into a peaceful state since I know that I won’t need to rush off to work that day. Woo hoo!

It’s true. I have joined the grumbling work-week masses and have offered up my complaint of having the 4th fall on the most odious day of the week, smack dab on a Wednesday. But I am also trying to remind myself that working two days, then getting a break will be a good thing. It’s not like the 4th of July is a typically raucous holiday for me, anyway.

Fireworks are probably one of things that adds a lot of rambunctiousness to the holiday, but I have yet to live anywhere where they are legally acceptable. Sure, you’ll hear people down the street lighting off squealing bottle rockets and whatever those ones are called where they just go “POP-POP-POP!” times a hundred. For some reason those types of fireworks only seem to operate after the hours 1 and 2 AM.

Honestly, I’m not really a fan of fireworks. I remember my grandparents bringing me a box of sparklers one time, but I remember feeling like such a sneaky lawbreaker, that I’m not sure I fully enjoyed their fiery effects.

When I spent my summers in the outskirts of Seattle, fireworks were not only legal, they seemed to be encouraged as fodder for the truly patriotic. I remember when the camp set up a giant homemade bunch of fireworks and one of them went shrieking sideways into the seating area around the grassy pit (a.k.a. “The Soccer Bowl”). There was a moment when we waited for the smoke to clear and I held my breath to see if the bench-full of family campers had survived the mishap. Seconds later they all popped up and waved to tell us that they, indeed, still had all their eyelids and fingers in tact, and the show went on.

The next Northwest summer I had, I opted to spend the holiday in Canada. Although it was strange to have my nation’s birthday off their radars, I was thankful that I wasn’t witnessing and harrowing amateur firework displays. Way too stressful for me.

When I was a kid, sometimes we’d go to the fairgrounds to see a real fireworks show. I was so excited to go, but since I also had a fear of loud/sudden noises, I always watched the show with my ears plugged. Even when my best friend took me to a ritzy golf club outside of Burbank for her grandparents’ infamous firework show that was more amazing than anything I had seen at the ‘ol local fairgrounds, I was still the kid, nay, the HIGH SCHOOLER, who was sitting in the cool green grass with her ears plugged.

Try looking cool as a high school kid who’s watching fireworks with her ears plugged. Not going to happen…

I think my sensitivity to loud sudden noises also contributes to my current aversion to balloons. Ugh…I hate them.

Seriously, if you have them at your child’s birthday party, you can guarantee that we will be one of the first families to leave. No joke. As soon as I walk in a see balloons, my blood pressure increases ten-fold and I begin frantically searching my mind for an excuse to get the FRICK out of there.

Once I went to a child’s birthday party when I was pregnant with my son. There were sweet little children toddling around with GIANT balloons in their clutches and I was sure that my water was going to break with each accidental balloon explosion.

It was torture, and if I hadn’t already been in the bathroom so many times (being 9 months pregnant, it was kind of my number one talent at the time), I would have barricaded myself in the bathtub, plugged my ears and sang, “I’ve Got Peace Like a River”. But unfortunately, I also had a conflicting fear that if I chose to stay in there too long people would assume I was, you know…doing THAT other thing I refuse to do in public situations, and so I had two debilitating fears to occupy my mind, all the while smiling and trying to balance my piece of cake while warbling ‘Happy Birthday to Youuuuu’ in my normal off-key way.

Yep. I HATE balloons…we are invited to a kid-birthday party this weekend and my first thoughts are, “Gee, it will be nice to see my friends again.” and “Dear Lord, please help them not to have any balloons or I may lose it this time.”

I know balloons look festive and that children love them. I get it. But when they POP!, I can physically feel my heart cramp up and fight to regulate itself again for the next 10 minutes.

Normal adults hear a balloon pop an then say something like, “Wooo!” or “Uh oh…”. I am the adult who could be surrounded by little kids with innocent expressions and tender little ears that hear all, yet if there is a balloon that pops within my range of hearing, I will most likely utter a profanity so laced with inappropriate malice, that it would melt the freckles off the wee ones.

My children may one day write their own blog post where they mourn the loss of their childhood because I forbade them from ever getting a latex balloon. One time I broke down and let the friendly Trader Joe’s worker give them a balloon on our way out of the store. The whole drive home was spent with white knuckles on the steering wheel and a constant pitch of terror in my voice as I shouted:

“Don’t BITE the balloon!!!”
“Don’t rub your hands on the balloon and make it make that NOISE!!”
“Don’t let the balloon float up front and touch ME!”

You get the picture…when my kids get home with their rubbery demons, I make them keep them in their own rooms and completely forbid them from making an appearance in our common family areas and certainly not anywhere near a room where a malicious ceiling fan incident could push me over the edge towards a complete and utter break down.

BOO-loons (as I refer to them internally) are only given the green ‘no-freak-out’ light if they are constructed out of Mylar. {SIGH….} Just picturing those types of balloons has helped my nerves calm themselves as I type this blog post. Mylar…Mylar…you magnificent product.

I’m not really sure if or when I’ll ever grow out of my fear of loud and sudden noises, or if it will be one of those things I’ll just always add to my “List of Quirks”. Either way, I think I may always be drawn to ‘firework prohibited’ areas to live in or choose the seats that are WAAAAYYYYY far away from the launch point to avoid any huge BOOMS.

Also, I always carry ear plugs in my purse, so if you see me at your kid’s party and I look like I’m ignoring you, I’m probably wearing them and/or am highly medicated to keep the scary-balloon edge off.

Happy 4th, everyone!

About Jenny Z

I love to overuse italics, misplaced hyphens and internal dialogue when I write about my usual favorite topic, myself.

2 responses »

  1. I hate fire works too! It upsets all the animals and I don’t like that at all.


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