What the heck does that mean? Well, I imagine the worst outcome of every situation which means I will be pleasantly surprised with anything other than the worst outcome.
What is wrong with you, and how does one plan for the worst, you ask? Well, by imagining the worst possible situation - the death of someone you love for example - and then figuring out, step by step how you would handle it.
Yup. I do that. All the time.
I’ve killed off my mother, my husband, my brother millions of times. Sometimes a car will hit them. Sometimes it’s a heart attack or a random robbery gone bad. My husband gets it most often – not, as he would lead you to believe, because I’m mad at him but because I live with him and his death would affect me most. (And by most, mother and brother, I mean in the day-to-day stuff.) (And by "day-to-day stuff" husband, I mean you are everything to me.) (And by "everything" mother and brother - oh heck, let's just say I would be crushed if any of you died!)
ANYWAY, one of them dies – in my mind - and I have to figure out what I do next.
It’s a very macabre way to function, I know. But this, my dear people, is how I put myself to sleep at night.
I’ll lie there and stress about all the little things I can’t fix or need to fix or should fix and then I’ll stop and take a breath and wonder, right, if my husband was hit by a car on the way home from a gig, what would I do first? After confirming his death, calling his father, etc. etc. blah blah blah.
Well, I think, I make peanuts at work and live in a house that is in no shape to sell and I don’t have the abilities to fix it up myself – can you imagine me, accident prone me, trying to do electrical wiring? So, first step, after I’ve dealt with the funeral stuff, I’ll have to hire someone to do all that work, the wiring, the sheet rock, the kitchen etc. That takes cash. I have no easy cash so I’'ll have to sell his cars.
I should jump in here and say; my husband knows I do this to relax. He thinks it weird, and it took a few years to get him past the point he thought I was trying to actively wish him dead but, he knows. He also knows I’m selling his cars if he karks it. He’s more than pissed about my heartless solution to this imaginary situation because his cars are his babies. In our last house, he remodeled the garage so that there was nothing in it but a fancy floor and pretty lights to show off his cars. He was nice enough to let me park my car in the garage but it hurt. Anyway, it would kill him to have me sell his cars but he’d be dead so he can suck it.
With the cars sold, there should be enough money to finish the sections of the house that are currently the worst off – the kitchen with the oven that only cooks half of the food, the pastel pink master bath that’s slightly bigger than a foyer bathroom, the carpet that has millions of stains of questionable origin… but once the house is done, I can start to plan my life without him. But what would that be?
We moved to Nashville for his music. And for a chance to live our lives instead of work for our paychecks in an area no one can afford to really live. I love it here in Nashville. It’s got a pace and an energy that is so different from Silicon Valley. Folks are friendly and we have an owl family in our yard but husband is the only person I really know here, who really knows me. It would be hard to start over without him.
At this point in my ‘planning’, I usually drift off to sleep. I’m sure it’s my brain choosing not to move onto the next step, what I’d do here next. This is possibly because I can’t really contemplate life without husband. Or, for that matter, life without my mother or brother – even if I don’t see them or talk to them every day. I am truly a pessimistic optimist – I am imagining the worst and very happy with the best my life currently is. And yes, I know that might not be the exact definition of a pessimistic optimist but it sure is mine. And yes, I know my wonky childhood probably contributed to my bizarre night ritual of killing off a loved one before I sleep but it’s a therapy that works for me – and is a hell of a lot cheaper than pills or a therapist so…
If my husband weren’t sleeping next door, if he was lying there dead, what would I do first…?