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Thursday, December 22, 2011

An Alarming Experience at the Grocery Store

I #1 thing I love about this blog is that every second of the day I am thinking about what to write. Over the course of the day, as I am out in this wild world, I am thinking, "okay, is this blog worthy?" Of the experiences I had yesterday it was crystal clear as to what I should write about.

Perhaps it is the stress of having my book launch just four months away, but I have been having severe heart burn. The usual chewable tablets have done nothing, and let me say that if I eat or drink anything I get heart burn; even water! I know this is stress related because after the Emily disaster 8 years ago I had the same response. Anyway, I decided to go to the grocery store to buy something a little bit stronger and once again, as I walked about the store, I was in supreme positional warfare and my eyes never looked even on the horizon as I was always looking down at the ground.

Despite the ill-comfort I was rather efficient at finding what I was looking for, paying for it, and leaving. Of course, my life on the other side of the wall is never dull and as I was exiting the sliding doors an alarming thing happened, well, the alarms went off. I instantly froze as if my life depended on it because, in my mind, it did.

Even since I was 11 and and an event at a Walgreens happened I have had a fear of security exits. At that Walgreens I had walked into the store, got nothing, and while walking out of the store I somehow tripped the alarms. At that point in time I thought about every second I was in the store and if something accidentally fell into my pockets, Nothing did, but each and every time I exit a store I get the same fears. Those fears were once again realized yesterday.

A couple long, agonizing seconds passed and nothing happened. I was waiting for grocery police to pop out of a hidden door and take me down for theft. I feared that I picked up my item and didn't pay even though I looked down at my hand and saw the bag. Even though there was a bag I kept thinking the worst. Nothing made sense and I was over-processing everything.

There I remained, a deer in headlights, motionless fearing the end of the world as I knew it. Suddenly, a voice either from above or in front (I don't know where it came from as I was so startled) said, "Sir, you are okay." That was it. I remained there processing those words. I was waiting for direction, such as, "sir, put your hands up and come with us" but I just heard I was okay. "Okay at what?" was my first thought, but then after another few seconds I put the pieces together and realized that my life was not over and I quickly turned about and went to my car.

As I made the couple minute drive back to my sister's I was thinking that an event like this could and probably would startle anyone, but I think most people would not get into the over processing game as I do. Actually, I have seen it before but the times I've seen it people don't even stop because of the alarm. Of course, for the majority of others, an event like this is a one and done. For me, moving forward, the fear has been rekindled. Every exit now has become a possible awkward social scene and if I didn't look suspicious before I most certainly will now as I fear the alarms.

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