We are going camping this weekend. Which is great because I get to be with the people I love best far from chores, jobs, telemarketers, and other distractions. Yet at the same time, it is also slightly terrifying because of all the potentially life threatening scenes I keep picturing.
You see, I have an annoying talent of imagining the most improbable and worst case scenarios in everything I do. Some people have great singing voices or can draw. I can take an simple errand to the bank, and with my considerable mind powers, turn it into a hostage-crisis situation where I and my three children are held by gun wielding maniacs who have no value for human life. Which is why I usually use the drive-thru.
Another example is the retention pond at the front of my subdivision. Normal people look at it and imagine fishing with their children or feeding ducks. I picture myself skidding on ice and plummeting into the pond, trapped inside my car as it slowly fills up with water. Yeah, ducks are so much nicer.
So you can imagine my angst about camping. There could be killer bees, random rabid wild turkeys, West Nile mosquitoes or flash floods. Not to mention, I keep creating all sorts of The River Wild moments in my head (may I state here for the record that if bank robbers do force me and my family to raft them over the state border I sincerely hope they are as cute as Kevin Bacon.)
I think a lot of us do this ‘jump to the worst conclusion’ thing to a certain extent. When we hear those bumps in the middle of the night, we think ”Intruder!” first and “Stupid cat!” second. I just take that whole process about twenty-four steps too far. I think “Intruder who wants to murder my husband and I in our bed and then kidnap my darling children and sell them to infertile couples in Canada!” What can I say? It’s a gift.
Before you call 1-800-Find-Your-Friend-a-Psychiatrist let me reassure you, I realize none of these things are EVER going to happen. I still go to the bank, even inside on occasion. I drive past retention ponds daily (although in good weather I do like to roll down my window first.) Eventually I realize that loud noises in the night are most likely attributed to my obese and uncoordinated cats.
And this weekend, I am going camping.