Owning It: The Worst-Case Scenario

by Rachel on December 22, 2010

Do you ever have those moments when take a step back, realize what you’ve just said or done, and all you can think is, Holy shit. I’m turning into my mother?

This doesn’t happen to me too often, but it happened to me Monday night, when I found myself imagining the absolute worst things ever happening to my boyfriend.

Sorry I’m not sorry — this behavior is clearly in my genes.

My mom is a bit of a Debbie Downer and immediately believes the worst-case scenario when the smallest thing goes wrong. I blame the late-night crime shows she’s always watching. I’ll walk into the kitchen at midnight and find her sitting there with a glass of milk and a few cookies while the serious, deep-voiced announcer says things like, “….Sandy had always told her friends and family that she feared one day Hank would kill her.”

Cue the ominous music.

“I think Hank did it,” I say to my mom. “Because everyone knows all men kill their wives. I actually don’t want to get married because I’ll just end up dead…according to TV shows, that’s what happens to every woman.”

Of course Hank did it — first he took out a $2 million insurance policy on Sandy, then he poisoned her using a drug he’d stolen from the lab where he worked.

When I flew down to Texas for the first time, I’m pretty sure she ran a background check on Eric. The second he gets a life insurance policy on me, she’s going to call the cops.

She can’t seem to get enough of these sick, sad shows. When she drove us back to the airport after our Halloween trip, she spent most of the trip telling us the stories she’d seen on “I Shouldn’t Be Alive.” I was horrified. If I watched shows like that on a regular basis, I’d never be able to sleep at night.

I try to explain that shows like this aren’t good for the psyche. These shows are why she is always concerned for my safety. If I have not updated my Facebook page or blog in a day, she simply assumes I’ve been abducted.

I’ve always judged her for this, but lately…well, OK, in the past month or so, I may have been dabbling in “Law & Order: SVU.” And by “dabbling,” I mean “discovered the entire eleventh season on Netflix and have been watching a few episodes every night, to the point where I’m now afraid to check my mail by myself.”

I have now become a special victim — a victim of a condition called “assuming everyone is probably just dead.”

[doink-doink]

Eric and I had been texting early in the day on Monday; he had been at a job site in the morning and the last I heard from him was around noon. I responded but didn’t hear back, which was fine — it wasn’t something that needed a response. Then I texted him something else unrelated later and still didn’t hear back. I assumed he was busy at work. Around 6:00 I texted him to see if he wanted to come over for dinner. Hm…still no response. I wasn’t too concerned.

But then I went and watched another goddamn episode of “SVU” and it was the season finale, so you know everyone was getting shot. As soon as it was over, I decided something could be seriously wrong. It was 8:00, so at that point, I could pretty much assume that he’d left the office, or at least checked his phone at some point. Even if he was working out or something, he would have texted me when he read the dinner text.

I called him. No answer.

Now, before you think I’m some way-too-clingy biatch, let me just say that Eric and I text a lot and we’re both really plugged in. We rarely miss calls from each other and always respond to texts promptly. If I do miss a call from him, he’s kind of like, “What the hell?” — the implication being that we’re always near our phones. So eight hours without a text response or an e-mail was pretty unusual.

Just before I went to bed around 10:30, I remembered that he sometimes plays poker on Monday nights. That made perfect sense! The last time I didn’t hear from him for several hours was also a Monday — turned out, he was playing poker and called me on his way home. I left my phone on, figuring he’d call or text me when he got home.

[doink-doink]

I woke up at 2:45 in the morning and didn’t have a text or a missed call from him. I called him again. Still no answer.

It was then I totally freaked out.

Within minutes, the 20 recent episodes of Law & Order led me to come up with several extremely possible scenarios.

  • He had lost his phone
  • His phone had been stolen
  • His car had been broken into
  • He had gotten a DUI and didn’t know my number by heart so I couldn’t be his one phone call (I briefly imagined him asking the police if he had a computer where he could just Facebook me)
  • His apartment had been broken into and he had been there and so the intruder shot him — and without a phone, he couldn’t call for help
  • He had died of natural causes in his apartment
  • He was breaking up with me
  • He had been kidnapped
  • He had been mugged
  • There had been an attempted mugging but then they just went ahead and kidnapped him
  • He had been in a car accident
  • He had a gambling addiction so he had bet his phone in the poker game and then lost it
  • The poker game had gotten heated and someone had pulled a gun
  • His office had been taken hostage by a former employee who was going postal

That last one was when I was like, Holy shit…that is TOTALLY WHAT MY MOTHER WOULD ASSUME.

So, naturally, I did what my mom would do — I got online at 4 AM to look for car accidents, break-ins, and hostage situations.

I didn’t find anything, but I still didn’t feel better. I mean, the rational explanation was that he had lost his phone at the job site he’d been at around noon. But why hadn’t he e-mailed me to tell me that? I mean, when you lose an iPhone, you need to complain to someone. When he lost his iPhone over the summer during a drunken outing, he came in at 3 AM, fell directly on top of me (not in a sexual way, more like he just wanted to sleep on something soft), and whined, “Raaaachel…the bad man made me drink too much…I lost my phoooonneeeee.”

I certainly consider that complaining and I expect nothing less from future iPhone mishaps.

[doink-doink]

I checked Facebook, but he hadn’t updated his status since…November. I sent him an e-mail to his work e-mail and his personal e-mail.

I tossed and turned for the next five hours. I had one nightmare after another about all the horrible things that could be happening to him.

When my alarm went off, I still had nothing from him. I called him again. At this point, I was worried that the murderer was going to answer. Then I started to freak out that there might be semi-scandalous pictures of me on that phone, which the murderer now had access to. What if they texted me back pretending to be Eric to lure me into a situation where they could try to get a piece of that?

Ridiculous? Maybe. But, mom, can you agree that you would have thought the same thing?

I sat by my computer for the next 45 minutes. As 8:00 approached, I hoped Eric would be getting to work soon, but who even knew? Some days he goes in at 8:00, but if he had to go back to the job site, he might not get in until noon, at which point I would have already begun the laborious task of calling all 100 of the hospitals in the Houston area. And would anyone even go look for him if he didn’t show up for work? Was I listed as an emergency contact??? Does anyone even know I exist?????

[doink-doink]

7:58 A.M.

Mother. Fucker.

I nearly burst into tears. I was momentarily relieved that he was alive…and then I just wanted to kill him myself.

This morning, I’m owning the fact that “Law & Order: SVU” has made me overly concerned for others’ well-being.

I’m owning that I’m turning into my mother with my irrational fears and my tendency to assume the worst-case scenario.

I would be devastated if anything ever happened to the people I love most, so I’m owning the fact I will call 70 emergency rooms looking for you, even if I know on some level that you just flaked out and forgot your phone.

That’s just how I love.

Sorry. I’m. Not. Sorry.

{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Liz @ Blog is the New Black December 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

Hilarious- glad he’s alive. ;)

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2 Laura Georgina December 22, 2010 at 9:28 am

I love this! And I can totally relate; I started watching Law and Order SVU in a major way when I moved to Trinidad and it’s made me do crazy things. Once, when I was away and the man was still home in Trinidad, I called for like two hours and got no answer. Yeah, guess who called every police stati0n AND the national police station (none of which answered–go, Trinidad safety!) and every relative to get them to call him. I even called the embassy and the consulate with hopes of convincing them to go and check my house for a dead American and intruders (they didn’t answer either). Turns out the AC motor was being loud and he’d fallen asleep with his head right by it, out of hearing range from his cell and the house phone.

I would 1000% react the same way if it ever happened again. In such situations, I refuse to learn. Plus, Benson and Stabler always know better…

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3 Rachel December 22, 2010 at 9:30 am

omg. You’ve just justified my life.

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4 Elisabeth December 22, 2010 at 9:39 am

Yeah, so try having a cop for a husband. It brings the whole “worry” thing to an entirely new level.

He purposely calls or texts me about 46 times while he’s on duty because he knows that if he doesn’t, I get freaked out. Especially when we’re on the phone, I hear the dispatcher mumble something over the airwaves in his car, and he says “GOTTA GO!”, then all I hear is sirens and turmoil.

…and I don’t hear from him for 2 hours. It’s painful. I spend a lot of time distracting myself.

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5 Rachel December 22, 2010 at 9:57 am

Eric did a ride-along with his cop friend over Thanksgiving and I was a wreck. I don’t know how you stay sane…I would lose it!

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6 Alina @ Duty Free Foodie December 22, 2010 at 9:39 am

I loved this post! Mostly because this is totally how I get when I watch a lot of Law & Order. I get even worse after CSI, and I highly recommend you don’t go there. I haven’t had time to watch those shows lately though and as it happens I haven’t assumed the noises outside my house were caused by a serial killer once this week.

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7 Leah (Nutritionista) December 22, 2010 at 9:41 am

It should come as no surprise to you that I do the exact same thing. Without getting into too much detail, I once drove to my boyfriend’s house at 3 am for the same reasons you were freaking out. My man’s reason for not returning my calls/texts? “I fell asleep early.” OMG. H8 U. But on the plus side, that whole incident made me realize I was an actual psycho and needed to tone it down.

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8 Rachel December 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

I considered a 3 AM drive-by, but his apartment complex is gated so I wouldn’t have been able to get in. And if his car HAD been there, I wouldn’t have been satisfied…I still would have needed to break in and confirm he was alive.

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9 Alli December 22, 2010 at 9:44 am

Ha! I spent last night watching SVU on Netflix Instant – 4 episodes in, I had pretty much lost all hope for humanity.

My mom is a terrible flier and last summer she had to fly between Boston and Seattle 2-3 times a month between May and August for her job. Before every single trip, honest to God, she would email me a PDF of her will and then text me all sorts of morbid stuff until literally right before she boarded – stuff like how she loves me, she hopes I remember her, what songs she wants played at her funeral (lots of Lifehouse, apparently). I love her, but jeeeeeeeeeeeez.

And then last night the bf left to fly home for Christmas (we’re doing the same thing you and Eric are) and I sent him half a dozen texts saying stuff like “I love you” and “Please call when you land so I know you didn’t crash and are still in one piece.” Sorry I’m not sorry, Mom?

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10 Rachel December 22, 2010 at 9:54 am

ahhh I get it. I am SO WITH YOU!

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11 Dori December 22, 2010 at 9:50 am

I would have been just as freaked out. I react the exact same way. Why didn’t he email you from his computer???

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12 Rachel December 22, 2010 at 9:54 am

GOOD QUESTION! That was his lesson learned for the day.

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13 Emily @ aladyinlove December 22, 2010 at 9:51 am

I discovered that Netflix had every single season of Law and Order:SUV about a month ago just when i was diving into handmade christmas projects. Needless to say that I have since worked my way backwards from season 11 and only have 10 more episodes of season 1 to go until I’ve seen the whole series. I’ve started to go mad as well. I read/memorize the license plates of men who check me out at gas stations, I make eye contact with everyone as to say “yeah, I CAN identify you in a line up,” I’ve diagnosed two of my friends with semi-anti-social behavior as victims of sexual abuse at the hands of a male relative, I’ve debated so many “only yes means yes” cases I can’t even count, I’ve exclaimed “that would NEVER hold up in court” several times while arguing with my boyfriend, I check the taillights of cars to make sure a child isn’t trying to punch his way through the reflectors and I constantly think about how I could kill someone with just my car key if I had to as I walk from my car to my house. Additionally, the associate pastor at my parents church is a dead ringer for Stabler.

Sorry I’m not sorry–except that… I am a little sorry/out of control. No big deal.

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14 erin December 22, 2010 at 10:09 am

omg i am the same way – i’m the worst case scenario… some of the stuff i come up with is pretty outlandish, that my husband (that is still weird to say) is like, are you for real?! I’m like hey, you really don’t want to know what goes on in my head. Needless to say – when he takes the car and goes out into DC, and I wake up in the middle of the night and he’s nowhere to be found, I FREAK out, and text him until he responds, fortunately he does reply most of the time, but until i get his reply, I have all these scenarios in my head, then i go shit, he has my car, what if he wrecked it and how the heck am i supposed to get to work. UGH.

nice to know other people are like me.

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15 ana December 22, 2010 at 10:10 am

Girl, that is not psycho. I’m soooo notoriously bad for freaking out when I can’t get a hold of someone. My boyfriend is in grad school, and his campus is in a really, really sketchy location, so I make him text me when he is on his way home. If I don’t hear from him, I call him every fifteen two minutes, until he picks up or gets home. It’s a good thing we have been together for seven years, because if I pulled that shit on someone I recently started dating, they would be like, OMG this bitch is crazy, why do I have seventeen missed calls from her? I do the same thing with my mom if I can’t get in touch with her. But, like, I have never even seen an episode of SVU, so I have no excuse.

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16 Angie December 22, 2010 at 10:11 am

SO with you…This has happened on a few occasions between my boyfriend and myself and every time it happens I’ve created the most ridiculous story ever (one time, it was that he was sticking up for his kind of uncool friend and then the bullies turned on him, beat him up and he was unconscious on a sidewalk…yeah.)

Truth is always “I was sleeping” or “I was too drunk to call” at which point I’m thinking I might be the bully and he still might end up unconscious on the sidewalk.

I also believe until we have kids, this is comparable to (ok, I’ve only seen it on tv, but still) the kids run away and then when they come back the parents are all, “Oh my gosh, I’m SO glad you’re okay” *hugs&kisses* immediately followed by, “What the hell did you think you were doing?!” *slap*

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17 ana December 22, 2010 at 10:13 am

whoops, the fifteen was supposed to be crossed out.

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18 Martha Lilian December 22, 2010 at 10:17 am

Oh man, thank you for justifying my crazy. I absolutely always imagine the worst case scenario and always have. Even when I was young and my parents would go out and leave me with the babysitter, I wouldn’t sleep until they got home and if they were running late, I would always assume that something terrible had happened and that I was now an orphan.

I seriously blame my mother. She is pretty much convinced that I am going to be kidnapped by sex traffickers any day now. I keep telling her I’m too old for their taste.

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19 Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle December 22, 2010 at 10:23 am

This right here, is EXACTLY why I don’t watch CSI anymore. Well, that and because Laurence Fishburn is just terrible as a TV actor, but I digress.

I once drove over an hour to a hotel my boyfriend was staying at for the weekend with some friends of his because he hadn’t answered his phone in several hours (same as you, we are both extremely connected, no response = you are dead or at least your fingers are dismembered so you can’t text) and it turns out he had just gotten drunk and his phone fell out of his pocket when he did the drunken stumble.

I swear I’m not crazy.

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20 Angela December 22, 2010 at 10:32 am

I love your type of dabbling – it’s the same kind I do, if dabbling means becoming obsessive about something. It does in my world.

I think you showed a lot of restraint. First of all, I would have driven all over the place looking for him. Second of all, I would be pissed that he hadn’t contacted me at least once to say, hey, I left my phone at the site and won’t have it back until tomorrow. He could have sent email or such.

Glad he’s okay. :D

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21 Stephanie @ LoveLaughterLight December 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

Yep…been there, done that! And those crime shows only exacerbate our imaginations! I really try hard to not go to my extreme anymore. I am successfully recovering.

doink doink

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22 Lauren at KeepItSweet December 22, 2010 at 10:42 am

omg, i would have been flipping out, too because, yes, i am turning into my mother (scary! and i am trying so hard not to in many aspects)… i have definitely had those freak-outs so i can totally relate to that panic!

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23 Jessica December 22, 2010 at 11:10 am

Yes! I think this is totally normal when we’re all so plugged in all the time. If I don’t see my husband post on his blog or answer a text or tweet for a few hours my mind starts racing, my heart pounds, my stomach gets upset, and I can’t think about anything else except “Is he dead?” Of course there’s always a simple explanation, but I go crazy with worry!

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24 Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter December 22, 2010 at 11:10 am

omigosh that has happened to me too, well its happened a lot. So I just assume their phone is dead, they are busy with something else and forget to check their phone, but mostly their phone is dead. And since I’m a college student, and most college students forget things like charging their phones once in a while, I’m getting used to it.

Haha. But the first couple of times it happened to me? Yeah, I was totally like you.

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25 ashleigh December 22, 2010 at 11:15 am

This story is hilarious and so well written! I’m sorry you had to go through all of that worry though. My mom and I are the exact same way. My mom tells me all of the time that she has to be put on medication because I don’t answer her phone calls. If I don’t answer on a Saturday she automatically thinks I am dead. Mind you., she never leaves voicemails so I mean I could have had my phone off or not had service. I’m kind of the same way though… being so connected all the time means that if someone doesn’t get back me soon I always assume something has happened!

Also, to be quite honest, every since I started living alone I don’t even allow myself to watch any Law and Orders or Criminal Minds- have you seen that show? It’s the scariest show on tv!

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26 Lindsay December 22, 2010 at 11:50 am

Oh man, I can’t even watch Criminal Minds anymore. I love it so much but I have nightmares for days!

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27 Paige December 22, 2010 at 11:33 am

I don’t know how it happened, but I recently discovered that I’m one of those worst-case-scenario worriers too. My boyfriend went out drinking one night and I texted him around 11pm to tell him I was going to bed and to ask when he was heading home. He texted back to say that he was about to leave and then he’d call me when he got home. An hour went by. No call. So I texted. No response. I wait a half hour and call. No response. At this point I’m 100% convinced that he’s dead on the side of the road somewhere. Or that he got picked up by some hot girl in the bar. (somehow, both of these scenarios were equally upsetting at the time).

When he finally called me at 1:30am to tell me that he’d gotten sidetracked chatting with his coworkers and hadn’t heard it phone, and was NOW really leaving, I basically lost it and was in tears shouting, “WHO STAYS OUT UNTIL 1:30 ON A TUESDAY NIGHT?! I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!” at him. He was totally bewildered and couldn’t understand why I was upset (his response was “I told you I’d call when I got home…”).

It was definitely one of my finer moments.

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28 Lindsay December 22, 2010 at 11:44 am

I am right there with you. Every time my husband goes out I immediately wake up at 2 when the bar closes and start imagining him in a ditch somewhere or in jail (which sadly has actually happened)! I, too, am a crime show junkie but I think that this kind of worry just comes from being a woman and loving so deeply that you are in constant fear of losing your one, especially if you have experienced that kind of loss before. I can say though that as a recent new mother I find that this worry has multiplied by 20,000, so at least you have that to look forward to. I am always worried that Haydyn is going to just stop breathing or we will be in a car accident and end up in some body of water or someone will car jack me and take her with the car or some other horrible thing. I think we are just programmed to worry like this. It is comforting though to know I am not the only one…at least we are all crazy together!

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29 Leah December 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Bwahahaha I love this and am totally the same way. A few weeks ago we had a really bad snow storm and my phone was about to die and I was freaking out that what if it died (power was out) and I couldn’t get ahold of my husband and he got into an accident or ended up in the Sound or god knows what else. Needless to say, my phone did not die and he made it home safely after 5 hours for a normally 20 minute commute but I almost made myself hurl I was so nervous.

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30 Ally December 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm

Oh man, this is me too. I grew up watching a ton of L&O (original, SVU AND Criminal Intent) and other crime shows, and I read a ton of horror/crime novels as well. So I’m pretty much paranoid of everything. I too have late night googled car accidents or murders when I can’t get ahold of someone. I carry my cell phone around the house with me (including the bathroom) because I want it with me if someone breaks in and I’m hiding and need to call the police. I sometimes even glance into the backseat before I get into my car at night. But, as much as it’s usually just silly worrying that much, there was something that happened in my life a few years ago where I’m pretty sure my “worst case scenario” mindset saved my life. Because sometimes crazy shit does happen, and if it does, it’s better to be ready for it.

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31 Angie December 22, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I did nearly the exact same thing about a week ago. I blame my police officer mother (and ncis and l&o:svu)

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32 Cyndie December 22, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Yeah, that’s me. Since the day Alex and I began our relationship, I slowly began morphing into my mother. Something I always told myself would never happen.

If Alex doesn’t reply after a text + a phone call I go bitchcakes.

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33 Tenecia December 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm

He he…bitchcakes….love it…

T.

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34 Tenecia December 22, 2010 at 12:41 pm

I am afraid of very little…with that being said, I CANNOT watch SVU (despite wanting Stabler to get all up in my business) or Criminal Minds! If I watch them, then I start imaging some wacko coming into my house to rape me and then asking me to make him waffles!! No thank you – I’ll pass!

T.

P.S. I realized I turned into my mother when I flipped out that my hubby had folded the top of the chip bag the wrong way….now that’s some scary shit! :)

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35 Robyn December 22, 2010 at 12:51 pm

I have SO been there!!! Not long after Alex and I started dating, he dropped his phone in the sink while he was shaving (I don’t know . . . I don’t get it . . . I’ve decided not to ask), and so it was waterlogged and temporarily dead, but he didn’t think to tell me that . . . it just didn’t cross his mind. But this happened on Friday and Thursday night we’d had a disagreement and I thought maybe he wanted to not talk for a day or so, even though we were all lovey-dovey and had resolved the issue the night before. Whatever. I didn’t sweat it. So on Saturday, he didn’t reply to any of my texts, didn’t answer my calls (not a surprise — to this day, he doesn’t always pick up), didn’t call me back, no emails . . . Nothing. To recap, this is two full days without a word from him. I was a little anxious. On Sunday, I finally broke down and called his roommate (who hates me) worried that something had happened — I am a die-hard SVU and Criminal Minds fan, so I totally understand the mind warp that comes from too much, too soon. I had visions of him on the side of a mountain impaled on his ski pole. The worst part was that he was five hours away from me — no way I could just swing by and see if he was okay (but I was contemplating it, five hour drive and all). Anyway, his roommate picked up and told me that he was fine and I could hear Alex in the background. He called me later that night and apologized and since then he’s gotten better about the communication when his phone is lost/dead or whatever else comes up that means he can’t call me. But damn if that wasn’t a 3-day heart attack that didn’t need to happen.

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36 Rachel December 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Yup….I get it. I so get it.

Also, putting your phone on the sink while you are shaving just seems like a terrible idea!

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37 Robyn December 22, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Right?! I was like, “Are you freaking KIDDING me?! All this panic, this angst . . . because you put your phone on the counter?!” I was pretty ticked, to say the least. Though I was definitely thankful he wasn’t on the side of a mountain impaled on one of his ski poles.

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38 Christie December 23, 2010 at 5:57 am

HA! I would have impaled his ass on the pole just for pissing me off lol I’m kidding, but don’t think I didn’t think it. Sorry I’m not sorry.

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39 Laura December 22, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I understand where you are coming from because I am the same way with my boyfriend. Most recently I had arrived at his place before he got home from the bar and was waiting for him. He called at 1:30 a.m. sounding sober and told me he was leaving and would be home soon. At 2 he is still not home and I am already freaking out but I tell myself oh it is fine he got sidetracked. Then at 2:30 a.m. I call him. No answer. I think ok maybe the music is loud in the car. At 2:45 I get a call from him that is background noise and then he hangs up without saying anything. A sane person would think he just butted dialed me from the car. I think he is kidnapped and he is trying to call for help, but he can’t or he got in held up while calling me and is now staring down the face of a gun. I then text his friends because I am that girl. No answer. I keep calling over and over for the next like hour with no luck and slowly I am becoming a crazy person with worry thinking of all the horrible things that could have happened. I get on map quest and try to figure out what roads he would have taken from the bar and just as I am about to start driving around looking for him, his friends bring him home and he is completely wasted. Turns out he was drunk when he called me to tell me he was coming home when they weren’t even leaving and then proceeded to puke and refuse to leave which is why he friends didn’t answer because they were dealing with his drunk ass. …. boys…

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40 Rachel December 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm

omg. I would have been so pissed!!

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41 Aj December 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

This is not crazy at all.

R has a bad habit of letting her phone die. Or leaving the house without her phone (WHAT? yes, I know, she’s practically a Luddite). Or not thinking that my text of “hey babe, just thinking of you” needs a confirmation that she is in fact still breathing independently of life support. And because she equally has a habit of leaving the house without her wallet (ok, by now you’re assuming I’m a pedophile because what grown woman leaves the house without her wallet and phone. I assure you, I’m no cradle robber and R is older than I am) IF something were to happen, no one would have any idea where she is and she would be buried in a mass grave identified only as Jane Doe and I would never recover, thinking she had left me for a younger woman. Obviously this is entirely possible.

Oh! And I love Mystery Diagnosis. Ever notice how all the illnesses are eventually diagnosed as Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. As a result, I spend time planning how I could prove that I’m not to blame if R suddenly and mysteriously falls ill.

Obviously, if you’re crazy, I’m totally batshit.

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42 Diane December 22, 2010 at 8:14 pm

I totally know someone like your girlfriend! My best friend/roommate in college would routinely leave without wallet and phone. Sometimes without keys to the house. She didn’t understand why I was always freaking out about her whereabouts. YOU WILL DIE AND NO ONE WILL KNOW.

Sigh. You have my sympathies.

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43 Emily @ Relishments December 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Been there, done that. It was especially bad when my now husband, then fiance and I lived 6 hours apart. If he didn’t answer the phone, I pretty much lost my mind. Living and working together is much, much better for my sanity.

It’s so nice to know I’m not alone.

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44 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write December 22, 2010 at 1:44 pm

We are so alike. This has happened to me many times with my husband. I usually DO burst into tears over it.

God, just wait until we have kids. Shudder.

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45 Laura December 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I have now become a special victim — a victim of a condition called “assuming everyone is probably just dead.”

I just burst into laughter at work! This is the best thing I’ve read all day!

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46 sarah December 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I seriously do the same thing. Granted, mine stems from the fact that I’ve been on the receiving end of one of those worse case scenario phone calls. It wasn’t about my SO, but it was about my brother. They are something no one should ever have to deal with. And I was already a victim of watching too many law and orders and really just the late night news. So even to this day my fiance and I have a text by 9am during the work week and we talk every night before bed regardless of how much time we spent together that day or how often we text/email. I totally get being connected and going eight hours is weird without a text.

The panicky feeling you get when your mind jumps to that really makes you aware of how much you care for the other person.

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47 Kendra December 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm

It would take both hands for me to count how many times this has happened to me and even more to count how many times I’ve been on the othe side of it. I used to be notoriously bad for just plain disconnecting and frolicking away. I didn’t like being constantly plugged in. Little did I know how many times my friends thought I might be dead or in a ditch.

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48 Kristina @ spabettie December 22, 2010 at 4:10 pm

you are so NOT over clingy.

I do exactly the same thing!! Jason and I generally talk at least once a day, and text several times… it takes me maybe an hour to start thinking something is wrong if I don’t hear from him / if he’s later than usual.

I have a WAY overactive imagination. I love your potential scenarios list. Many sound completely legit, that I have probably also thought.

:)

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49 Margot December 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Yeah, this is totally normal. Just imagine what my life was like when my boyfriend lived in London – I just had to wait around for him to get to a computer and email me. I think he was “probably dead” about every other week…

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50 Allison December 22, 2010 at 4:52 pm

I don’t even need to watch Law & Order or anything like to achieve unhealthy levels of paranoia — just a boyfriend who has horrible service (read: none, thanks AT&T) in his apartment and drives his motorcycle in the worst storm to hit SoCal in years.

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51 Emily Malone December 22, 2010 at 6:53 pm

I loooooove this post. I am totally 100% like this, if not worse. We watch all the scary crime shows – Criminal Minds being the worst one for me. After we watch it I go flying up the steps, and demand that Casey come after me turning off all the lights once I am safe in our 3rd floor bedroom. But if he doesn’t come quickly enough, of course I assume the crazy murdering robbers have come and killed him.

My worst story was when he went to Lake Tahoe last year for a few days. While he was gone, my neighbor told me that his truck had been robbed the night before, which sent me on a total paranoid bender. I ended up going on some insane website like “find crimes in your neighborood” and literally stayed up until 4am reading every single crime report in my zip code, and assessing whether or not I was going to die that night.

He came home three days later and was told he was NEVER leaving me alone again.

:)

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52 Bridget@PavementandPlants December 22, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I once drunkenly locked myself in a closet because I was convinced that there were men in my apartment. I had watched CSI earlier that day. Those shows will eff you up

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53 Eirinn December 22, 2010 at 7:37 pm

This is hilarious. I feel way less crazy now because I have had the same freak out and then the same FUCK YOU moment.
My boyfriend and I used to go to the same college. One night I hadn’t heard from him (I always got a text when he got home at night) but this night nothing. Didn’t answer phone calls or anything. So I decided to have public safety let me into his room. He was alive and in bed. I felt like an idiot.
We’ve been together for 5 years and every once in a long while he wont call/text, and it still gives me anxiety. (only at night, because bad things only happen at night) dik.

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54 Chase [The Chase Project] December 22, 2010 at 8:07 pm

Oh Rachel, I do the exact same thing. It was worse with my ex because 9 times out of 10 if I didn’t hear from him, it was something serious (car was impounded, arrested for driving on a suspended license, or he was literally up to no good — which is why he is my ex… but I digress) and I would have to talk myself out of FREAKING OUT that he was dead in a ditch. It generally didn’t work and I’d be up all night in a hot panic.

But I think because there are a million computers and smartphones in this world — if you lose your phone and you talk to someone all day every day…. then you should borrow a friend’s phone to call them or text them to tell them that you lost your phone! That would be the obvious answer, I would think! You’re not alone =)

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55 Diane December 22, 2010 at 8:18 pm

This is me with my mom. The woman turns off her cell phone when she’s not actively making a call. There was a point when both my parents worked nights, commuting to Detroit when drunk drivers are out in full force.

One time, I almost shit my pants when I got a 4 a.m. phone call. It was my friend/next door neighbor, super drunk, wondering if I could let him in because he left a 20-pound bag of rice at our house and he needed to make curry RIGHTFUCKINGNOW.

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56 Ashley December 22, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Ahhhh I love this post, this is exactly how I react, exact I jump to the worst-case-scenarios right off the bat. It’s gotten really bad since my friend passed away from an aneurysm last year.

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57 Caitlin (EatFeats) December 23, 2010 at 12:22 am

Once I texted my boyfriend while he was at work, and he didn’t respond during lunch (which is when we normally talk). I was so worried that he had fallen fatally ill or died at his apartment and would not be discovered until his roommate returned from vacation. Turns out, he went out to eat with his coworkers. That is when I decided to stop texting him during work.

I also hate when people call past dark because I ALWAYS assume some tragic event has taken place.

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58 Rachel's Mom December 23, 2010 at 12:42 am

It was not unreasonable to think that the kidnapper/murderer was texting you, trying to coax you over. It’s true, I would think the same thing.

A few weeks ago the phone rang at midnight. I was here alone and Preston was sleeping. I thought, “Who the hell is calling me at midnight?!?!” I answered it and the person said, “Hi.” (Like they knew me.) Knowing that I did not know this person I said, “Who are you trying to reach?” She said, “I’m not trying to reach anyone. I am doing a survery.” Well no one does surveys in the middle of the night unless they are surveying if anyone is home, so I hung up and then assumed she was trying to see if someone was home so she and her evil crackhead boyfriend could come break into our house. I didn’t know if it was someone who WANTED there to be someone here so they could BTK us, or if they wanted to come ransack the house with no one home. I got so scared I turned on the porch light, kitchen light, living and family room lights, and the bathroom light, and slept with them on all night long!

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59 Sheena Olivia December 23, 2010 at 2:03 am

I’m the exact same way, especially when people in my life do something different than what I’m used to. Like when I’d go over to my parents house and they weren’t home when they usually are home… I mean, God Forbid they ever leave the house…. I start freaking out. I start assuming serial killers entered the house, kidnapped them and left them for dead. So then I start looking all over their house looking for them.. In the closets, bedrooms, under the bed. lol! I do the same thing as well when my friends/guy I may be dating doesn’t reply to texts after hours like in your story here. I start imagining the absolute worst too!!!

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60 Christie December 23, 2010 at 5:48 am

Oh I am certifiably batshit crazy. I get it from my mother.

Heres an example of how I was raised: I’m 16, learning to drive with a cell phone. I am at a friends house and left the phone in the car. I have 4 missed calls, 15 text messages and 4 voicemails that range from “hey its your mom call me back” to “ARE YOU F**KING INSANE ARE YOU GOING TO ANSWER YOUR GOD DAMN PHONE I SWEAR TO GOD YOU BETTER ANSWER YOUR F**KING PHONE YOU ARE SO GROUNDED LITTLE GIRL”

Now I am married, and I do the same shit to my husband. “Hey babe, its me. I need your advice for blah call me back love you bye” 15 minutes later follow up with 4 texts varying from “did you get my message? can you call me? hellooooo” followed by a voicemail of “JESUS CH**ST I DONT KNOW WHY YOU HAVE A FU**KING CELL PHONE YOU NEVER ANSWER THE DAMN THING YOU’RE LUCKY I DONT BEAT YOUR ASS WITH IT! …call me love you bye”

Once we had a snow storm (in the midwest! whoda thunk!?) and we were snowed in so we slept the day away and didn’t hear our phones ringing. My mom and my grandma concluded we were dead in a ditch somewhere and it was their fault. I had seriously 15 voicemails from each of them. They feed off each other’s irrational fears.

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61 Manon December 23, 2010 at 9:52 am

No big shocker, I’m bat shit crazy too. The time I freaked out the most was when my boyfriend who didn’t really drink (because he had severe moderation problems and would down 26 shots of jager and act like a maniac) went out with his “bad influence” friends, and needless to say, I was worried something bad would happen. He promised they were just going to hang out at the ring leader’s house and watch the game, so my worry subsided a LITTLE. He texted me throughout the night to ease my worry, then the texts stopped and I knew he was getting in trouble. Of course, I thought the worst….he’s such an ahole when he drinks his friends beat the shit out of him and left him for dead….or they dared him to take off his clothes and hump a snowman and he passed out stuck in a compromising position with Frosty…..so I tossed and turned until I was woken up by a call at 3 am….from POLK COUNTY JAIL. He had apparently gotten into an altercation with someone who was making fun of his beloved Dallas Cowboys (at a BAR, not his friends place obvs) and was arrested for public intox. For some stupid reason I didn’t leave him there, I went and got him, and then had to deal with him trying to jump out of the car the entire way home while he mumbled “I’m a loser, I don’t deserve you.” Couldn’t really disagree with that.

Thank you for helping me live that night again. I’m soooo sad i let that gem get away :)

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62 Rachael December 23, 2010 at 11:03 am

I am usually the one on the opposite end of this scenario. I’m like Kendra, I will unplug for hours (days?) and go “frolic away” without a care in the world. Clearly it drives my husband crazy, especially when he does exactly what you thought of doing, he facebooks me. Really now, if I’m near enough to my iphone to check facebook, then I probably have seen the 17 angry text messages and 12 voicemails all comprising of this: “Call me. NOW.”
Part of this is because I leave my phone of silent 24/7 … I don’t want to be bothered by my work or anyone else for that matter. For a reason.
I could care less if he doesn’t text me back … and we go days without phoning/texting each other when one of us is out of town. If this sounds odd, well it probably is, but we’re like the odd marriage. I like my independence so much and he knows that, so the clingy factor is removed from our life.

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63 the412view December 23, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Well, at least we know the craziness is still the same in the dating world!

This is all hilarious.

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64 Gaby December 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Don’t be sorry, I’m exactly like this in a relationship too. I’ve gotten sooooo angry at past boyfriends for this kind of thing! It’s just really inconsiderate of them and I know it’s just because it doesn’t even cross their little minds that you’re laying awake in a ball of nerves alternating between screaming and crying and arguing with yourself about how many times it’s appropriate to call or text within the hour. Yes, I go a bit crazy :X
Also, I’m a mini me of my mom sometimes. It’s weird. Not always a bad thing, I mean, I think she’s pretty awesome, but I also get most of my insanity from her too. I need to work on keeping the good things and not inheriting the crazy haha.

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65 Brittney December 27, 2010 at 10:39 am

My husband is a pilot and about once a year we have this problem when he loses or forgets his phone somewhere. I am calm for a while knowing that crap happens and that he might not be able to get in touch because he’s in the air or busy doing “pilot things”, but after a while I go into a panic wondering how the hell I’m ever going to find out if something is really wrong! I totally feel ya!

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66 Lisa December 28, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Our mothers must be related. My mom is the same way–she clearly suffers from crippling anxiety but was never diagnosed or treated and instead just passed it on to me. I have to catch myself sometimes when I get in the grips of “worst case scenario” mentality. It can be spiraling out of control if I don’t!

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67 Hannah May 23, 2012 at 2:22 pm

My cousin tore out a comic way back when he was in high school that ended with “you know you’ve turned into your parents when you assume people who are late are lying dead in a ditch”. So true. I’ve totally become that person. However, it’s because of my mom and her mom, not because of CSI or SVU (and OMG, just reading about it am I so glad I don’t watch it). My mom’s freaked out a few times at me like that, but I’ve done it to her now too! Haha. Must be something in the water…

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