fraidy cats

When I went into premature labor with my twins, I called Phil instead of my doctor. Phil told me to call the doctor, but I wasn’t sure what was happening and hated the idea of being that crazy annoying patient. I didn’t want to bother him. Tonight I’m home sick, but I encouraged Phil to go out, get some air, have some adult conversation. And could he take the kids to the Kids Club while he’s at it? So win, win. I wanted to spend the night blowing my nose, eating Thanksgiving leftovers, and compiling a December scrapbook. All was going along swimmingly until I ran out of tissues. I then had to pause the television. It was quiet. That’s when it happened. I began to hear noises.

These weren’t creaking sounds or howling winds. They were steps, someone walking on my back porch. I’d stopped to listen. My heart raced. I grabbed the phone only to realize, I don’t know Phil’s phone number–my main problem with speed dial, mind you. Oooh, I hear the noises now, too. It sounds like someone is now crawling under my house, ironically deciding where to place a coffee table, as if someone is moving furniture, but in a distant, dragging, way. And then it stops. Holy crap, how do I not know his phone number?! I shoot up and dart to the center of the house with the house phone. I have to run back to the sofa for my cell phone to look up Phil’s number. “So, having fun? Still out?”
“Yeah, why?”
“Oh, oh nothing. I’m sure I’m just crazy. I kinda hear noises. Maybe someone’s just stealing our outdoor living room set. Don’t worry. I turned on every light in the house.”

I wonder if not calling 911 is at all like not calling your OBGYN thinking you might or might not be in labor. I guess it would only count if someone was in fact on my back porch or rearranging my dining room furniture. As it is, it sounds like they’re just playing marbles (how does one play marbles, by the way?). This house feels a lot safer with a man and two more fraidy cat babies in it. I’m just thankful our house has an alarm system–one more person I can always freak out to before making any 911 calls. Maybe it’s just a ghost.


Update: Furniture is all there, and I’m alive. Psycho, but alive.



  1. Oh – I hear you! When I first moved in to this big house with my babies 9 years ago, post-divorce – I was alone for the first time in my life, having lived with my parents, and then my husband.

    God – every sound, every noise used to freak me out. And then a very public kidnapping from a good neighborhood in our town. And the immediate installation of the alarm system.

    And 9 years of dealing with it…I know that the milkman comes between 3:45 and 4:10 on Mondays, the garbage truck arrives between 5:25 and 5:35 on Wednesdays, the snowplows start at 3:30 or 4:30 am depending on the amount of snow. Okay, it's true, I don't sleep worth shit.

    One time, about 3 years ago, the darlings were with their dad, and I heard a door slam at about 2:00. SLAM. I awoke, heart pounding, freaked out, and I baricaded my bedroom door and waited.

    And I heard every creepy sound.

    And I imagined every awful scenario.

    And I was pissed off that I'd watched every Lifetime for Women movie that entire weekend.

    So I called the police.

    And as I was on the phone with the dispatcher, I heard the policemen walking around the house – peering into my backyard, the shed, and soon they came to knock on the front door. Mr. 12 year old officer and 14 year old officer came in…and the mortification of a) being such a chicken shit that I called them in the first place and b) the fact that my laundry room looked like a bomb went off on it, and they opened every closet door and looked under every bed (I still cringe when I think of it) and c) that I wasn't in my most perfect negligee with hair done and lipstick done (as in the movies)…
    well, I've learned to buck up.

    But I know what it's like. And I'm sending courage and strength from here.

  2. I have a very old house and squirrels get into the eaves and apparently roll bowling balls around in there. Also, when I am home alone I hear vampires scratching on my bedroom window screen, kind of like in The Lost Boys. I'm always too afraid to check and see if Keifer is hovering out there or not.

  3. My little brother used to hear scratching noises under the roof above his bed. It took us a few months to find out that there really was a family of bats living there – completely harmless. Poor kid must have been freaked out for a while though, he swore he could hear them gnawing through the ceiling to get him :)

  4. A couple weeks ago I was (as the movie title goes) home alone. I decided to take a shower (wrong move). I flicked off the main foyer light, went upstairs, did the deed. As I was drying myself I heard very distinct voices downstairs. Not like, "oh that kind of sounds like something" but actual talking. "Did someone come home?" I thought to myself. I didn't hear anyone come in, but that doesn't mean anything, given the shower. I stepped out of the bedroom and the foyer light was on. "Hmmm… I swear I turned that off."

    I quick walk around the house revealed nothing. Therefore, I have now proved that ghosts do exist. I haven't heard anything since, so I can only assume they're at your place now. Thank you for taking them off my hands.

  5. I totally understand. A few weeks after I moved into my two-story house I saw a man parked in a truck outside and went a little nuts. I watched him through the blinds from an upstairs window for about an hour. Peek, swear. Peek, swear. I drove myself crazy with fear. I was convinced he was going to kill me but I felt silly calling the police because really, he was just sitting there. In the end, he drove away without incident and in three years I have never seen the truck again. The poor guy was probably just smoking a joint or something and here I'd had him pegged as a serial killer.

    We shouldn't hesitate, though, to call someone for help or advice. It's what they DO.

  6. the idea of a ghost would be much more exciting! although i never took you for the paranormal type…i do love hearing real ghost stories…got any of those up your sleeve?

  7. When my roommate comes home to an empty house she always checks my bathtub to make sure there isn't a psycho killer behind the curtain. I'd be a liar if I said I didn't do similar things.

    And 3 teens' mom–my mother and I had the same experience. All the boys were out of the house for the weekend and we SWEAR we heard our back door trying to be opened. Cops came and we had to stand in the window as to identify ourselves and not get shot. I even held up the family dog to make sure we were all safe. They found nothing and that made me feel crazier. I didn't sleep for a second that night.

  8. @ mindy- I agree call the po po when in doubt. I have seen too many crime specials (when we visit Gran loves her 20/20/John Stossel shows..sigh)and noticed a dude in a car parked out in front of the duplex I lived in. This was before I was married- the roomie and I panicked and I decided to call the cops. Well it was a guy who had a retraining order against him and his ex lived in our duplex on the first floor. Apparently he was pretty scary and who knows if his being caught prevented him from snapping and hurting someone. Hell maybe it even prevented him from taking all of us out. Stranger things have happened. I say follow your instinct and you'll never be sorry but always be safe.

    As for the house, Steph- it looks new. However the land it is on is not. So the myth that new houses cannot have ghosts is not true.
    I think intruders are scarier than ghosts b/c they can actually hurt you. Ghosts just take getting used to. Someone mentioned apartments are less scary and I would disagree. I lived in one apartment in Boston that was spooky. I swore I heard dinner party type chatter and music and would go into the living room and nada. Roomie was at work and no one was home. I also heard knocking in the windows and my bedroom door and the handles on my dresser would move (no fan, ,nothing..) and stomping up and down the hall all night. Awesome. My favorite was the little 'taps' on the shoulder I would get (or first time guests) upon entering the living room area. Not such a big thing to me b/c it wasn't the first place I lived that had stuff going on and probably won't be the last. I lost some sleep at first but I've never been harmed.

    Anyway if you're scared, and I don't think you should be really- get a rabbi over there post haste. He can bless the place.

  9. This is exactly what freaks me out about living (or even staying) in a house. I am such a freak that I even check behind the shower curtain to make sure a murderer isn't hiding and waiting for me anywhere in my 700 sq. foot apartment.

  10. next time don't turn on all the lights in the house. "they" (because i think it is a they) can see your every move! turn on all the lights outside the house. set off your car alarm.

  11. As you now live in Tejas, you need to get you "a gun". You keep "the gun" under lock and key, and only get it out when you're by yourself and the kids can't play with it. You then sit there and be comforted by the cold steel of "the gun". And remember…if it's zombies, save the last two rounds for yourself.

  12. A little off topic, but I've noticed in a lot of your posts over the last couple of months that you have been sick a lot. What's up?

  13. I am a police dispatcher and belive me people call all the time for strange noises. It's ok, better safe than sorry. We don't mind, it's what we are here for, it's our job. And by the way I called for a cop at 3 in the morning thanksgiving night to kill a dangerous life threatening MOUSE!I'm not ashamed.

  14. Was it a coon? I had a raccoon fall through my bedroom ceiling once. Thankfully, I was out of town but it did $10,000 worth of damage. Plus is was super gross. I hope the noises were not raccoons and that this comment doesn't freak you out more.

  15. I don't believe in ghosts, but at 4:15 this morning I was awakened by the television in our TV room going on and off all by itself and playing an obscure channel we weren't watching when we went to bed five hours earlier. Even weirder, the cable box of the television in the bedroom right next door kept making funny sounds and flashing 8s before it too shut itself off. After several nerve-wracking rounds of this, I yanked out all four plugs. Didn't bother calling Verizon to complain — I would sound like a nut, right?

    Given a choice between bats and FiOS, I'd definitely take the bats.

  16. In the Guadalupe River Valley, sick = allergies, usually. Specifically, in December/January, the second year of your residence, juniper and cedar fever is the nasty allergen. It's a pestilence, and it arrived three weeks early this year. Bleh. We are in the Allergy Capital of The United States. Do not believe for a minute you are immune, even if you've never had an allergy before in your life.

    The noises are from critters, Barbara is correct. I hope. They crawl on the porch, the roof, into the garbage… the Hill Country is highly populated with all types of critters.

    However, don't hesitate to call the po-lice.

  17. A few nights before Halloween my husband was out, the kids were at a birthday party, and I was watching a crappy chick flick in my bathrobe and eating microwavable macaroni and cheese on the couch, all things that never, EVER happen in my life.

    The doorbell rang twice, about 10 minutes apart. Then someone banged on the door -bang, bang, bang! Too scared to answer it, I started freaking out. Got dressed (who wants to greet a home invader in her bathrobe?), and called — get this — my babysitter. Well, not MY babysitter, but my kids' babysitter, a college girl who lives next door. When I opened the door to let her in, I saw a basket of candy and Halloween knick-knacks on my doorstep. The culprit? One of my son's fourth-grade friends, who simply came over to "boo" us.

    He got points for persistence, while I got points for idiocy.

  18. Just a ghost? Seriously? Just a ghost?

    I'd have a heart attack if I had a ghost. Robbers: just take everything, I'm insured. Ghost: holy shit! I would probably die.

  19. Sometimes trees rub against the house in the wind and make the craziest noises too. Look around to see if any are really close to your house and may be stuck up against a gutter or something and then just trim away.

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