So, I have my moments of paranoia that at time lead me to take unnecessary and sometimes dramatic precautions. In high school, I once arrived home to an empty house to discover the phone lines weren't working. Because sometimes in movies the bad guy cuts the phone lines so the victim cannot call for help, I grabbed a big kitchen knife and dramatically kicked open every door in the house. I'll admit, I took such dramatic actions half for the fun of it, the fun of pretending that I was in a spy movie or something. Sometimes I'll worry that a car is following mine when a car behind me begins making the same turns at me. I'll begin making unusual turns, until the car takes another route. Recently, some of my friends were followed home from a club, so this isn't something that's bad to be paranoid about! About a month ago, I arrived home late at night to find my cat acting strange, avoiding my bed, and I worried that some critter was in my room, under the bed. While 80% convinced that there were no strange animals in my room, I still slept on the living room couch that night. One of my roommates thought I was being ridiculous, but the other one told me that she sometimes thinks this house is haunted, and related some unusual experiences to me, that only increased my paranoia about what could be lurking in my room.
This afternoon, I found a strange package sitting on my kitchen counter. It was a bulging Hungry Jack pancake box wrapped in plastic packing tape, sent from a name I didn't recognize in North Carolina. If it had been sent in a normal parcel box, I probably would have just gone ahead and opened it, even though I didn't know what it was or who it was from. Somehow, the strange packaging just seemed shady to me. I squeezed it, and felt something hard and indistinguishable inside. I couldn't remember ordering anything recently, and it seemed logical that this was some online seller's address. Maybe someone I knew had sent me an early Christmas present. Still, I couldn't shake the feeling that something was fishy about this package.
I looked up the name on the package online, but found nothing substantial. Nothing that said, "Oh, I sent a package to Texas" or "I'm an online salesperson." I thought about calling the post office, "I received a suspicious package," but decided that was likely too dramatic. I imagined the possibility of a bomb inside. Though I assured myself that no one hated me enough nor was I important enough to be the target of an assassination plot, I couldn't get rid of the feeling that this package could be dangerous.
So I did the most logical thing I could think of in handing a potentially dangerous, mysterious package. I donned my bike helmet, grabbed a sharp kitchen knife, cracked open the door to the back porch, and began opening the package, with the door in between my body and head and the package, my hands, and knife. If there was an explosion, I would only lose my hands. The imagined explosion could blow the door down, but I was wearing a helmet and hopefully would not sustain a fatal injury. (Somebody who knows more about bombs than I do please tell me that this is not a ridiculous notion). Probably the most dangerous think about this scenario was the fact that I was using a knife while not looking at what I was doing!
I successfully opened the outer package, revealing another smaller package, wrapped equally tight in clear packing tape. This too seemed suspicious, so I quickly removed it, and dropped it on the other side of the door. At this point, I began imagining that this package held illegal drugs instead of explosives. There was something written on the package, that at first glance I thought had my name on it. I turned the package around, reading the sharpied text, "Kitty Ring Holder." Then I remember two weeks ago buying an antique silver cat-shaped ring holder on a whim from an etsy shop. I don't even wear rings, but I thought the thing would make a fun decoration. I removed my bike helmet, brought the package back into the kitchen, and quickly opened it to enjoy my purchase.
This is probably the type of story that I should just keep to myself to save my reputation, but I like laughing at myself and I don't mind friends laughing with me. For my friends reading this who run etsy shops, please label your packages as an etsy purchase. You never know what dramatic, paranoid young woman with an over-active imagination is going to be ordering from you!
I think I'll name him Billie Joe.