They say that after some time, people and their pets can start to resemble one another, or that people tend to gravitate towards pets with whom they share physical characteristics; you know, the tall, lithe woman strolling down the street with her graceful greyhound, or the portly, ornery-looking gentleman sitting on a park bench with his bulldog at his feet.
While I don’t think that there is much of a physical resemblance between Brody and myself or between Justin and Brody (aside from the long dancer’s legs that they both have), there is a definite character trait that Brody and I share: anxiety.
I have mentioned before that Brody is a bit of a nervous Nelly (read more his separation anxiety here) and I’m not proud to admit that I am too. On any given day, I am usually under the assumption that something horrific is waiting for me around every corner. When I was younger (and I use the term “younger” loosely here – it carried on through college) and my parents would leave for a weekend away, I would barricade myself into my room with my dresser to keep out all of the criminals who I assumed were staking out the house and just waiting for me to let my guard down.
Not today, criminals.
I always, always check the backseat to make sure there aren’t any hooligans waiting for me to get in my car. After a lapse of judgement led me to watch the movie Urban Legend, a whole new can of worms was opened when I saw that creepers could also hide under your car and strike while you were unlocking the door. Luckily, I had a Jeep Wrangler at the time and the warm summer months allowed me to keep the roof down, so I was able to run and jump in through the back of the car and speed off before the creeper waiting underneath could figure out what was what. Even today, it’s not uncommon for me to run from my car to the house if I’m arriving home after dark.
Take-home message: I’m not brave.
Unfortunately, Brody isn’t either. Generally, his anxiety kicks into high gear when Justin isn’t home. He spends a lot of his time patrolling the house and growling at sounds that I can’t hear, and I’m pretty sure he just sits on the bed and stares into the dark while I’m sleeping just to make sure all is well. The second Justin gets home, he goes back to his goofy self and runs around with dishtowels in his mouth. It would be sweet if his nervousness didn’t make me so nervous.
When Brody and I are left to our own devices, we feed off of each others anxiety, and it’s pathetic. It usually results in the two of us sitting on the edge of our seats, nerves frayed to within an inch of their lives, and jumping a mile at every sound. Someone down the street will shut their car door, Brody will leap off of the couch barking like a madman, and I’ll leap off of the couch and run after him telling him to stop, but not really meaning it since the barking might scare off any criminals. When Justin is home, we’re both fine. Neither one of us gets startled and we could sleep with the front door wide open for all we care, but when he’s gone – whew. It’s a madhouse. Now that’s not to say that I dislike being by myself, or that I fall to pieces if I have to spend the night alone. Not true. I merely have to adjust my way of thinking. It’s a lifestyle.
I picked Justin up at the airport last night from a 10-day road trip around the West Coast with his brother and a friend (more on that later). All-in-all, I would say that B and I did pretty well on our own. I think that we got into a groove and after a few days, we both relaxed a little and kept the freak-outs to a minimum. Sure, we were a little on edge, but overall I’m pretty proud of us. I even went into the basement while it was dark out (and everyone knows that the basement is prime spot #1 for creepers) and I think that Brody actually slept during the night.
But that’s not to say that we didn’t take precautions. I mean, I think that everyone would agree that we would have been fools not to have an arsenal next to the bed just in case a criminal should make the mistake of choosing our house to rob. So we did:
- A nine iron – Perfect for pushing intruders down the stairs from a distance.
- A frighteningly large survival knife – Thanks to Justin’s disaster preparedness backpack that he put together during the last hurricane. Perfect for…well…surviving.
- Bear mace – Thanks to a trip to Yosemite National Park that Justin took a few years back. On the off chance that the club and the knife don’t work, I’ll mace the whole house and Brody and I will blindly call 911 from the safety of the bedroom.
My hopes are that I would never have to use the arsenal, and that if I do all I would have to do is run into the hallway, brandishing my weapons, and any intruder would realize immediately that he had picked the wrong house to mess with. But B and I feel better knowing that they’re there.