I don’t know if it’s my intense need to be in constant control or a sensory issue but loud noises have always bothered me. Even when I was a child I hated vacuums and that horrid game “Operation” - I would be in tears dreading that damn buzzer. So it stands to reason that fireworks are not my favorite thing. Luckily my Dad is "Captain Safety" and fireworks were not a big part of my life as a kid. As I grow older my distaste for fireworks has only increased. You can find me and the dog cowering under the bed on the 4th.
It probably doesn’t help that every time I’m around them something bad happens. I have almost blown off my toe with a Black Cat firecracker and I removed the whole top layer of skin on my thumb lighting a sparkler. A sparkler y’all! The thing they give to toddlers. I was a 30-year-old Mom and I disfigured a much-needed digit with a sparkler. Not a proud moment.
"You see, fireworks make sure I feel their wrath even if it takes almost two decades to get there."
Oddly enough one of my best examples has to be my engagement to my first husband. He took me to the levee in New Orleans during the fireworks display. This should have been a sign of how much he didn’t know who I was or care. As the horrific explosions are going off one after another he gets down on one knee to propose. I couldn’t even concentrate on the question I just wanted the pain to stop. Before I knew it my sensory overloaded brain made my mouth say, "Yes" hoping this meant we could escape the bombs of torture. You see, fireworks make sure I feel their wrath even if it takes almost two decades to get there. Should I have seen my marriage starting at one of my most hated activities as a sign? Yes, but as all my friends know all red flags look like pale pink to me. I have bad decision color blindness.
Just to make sure y’all understand how much fireworks and I don’t get along, here is a final example. A couple years ago my friend Kelly invited the family to a 4th of July trip to her camp in Toledo Bend. A couple of days with friends at a beautiful lake? I’m in! As is customary the fireworks tradition is brought up as an activity for the evening's festivities. I told her that I hate them and gave her the back story to amplify my distaste. Later that night we are all sitting around the bonfire and out they come. I proceed to back up. I didn’t want to be a party pooper but I sure as hell was getting out of the line of fire. Kelly explains to everyone why I have retreated into the tree line. Giggles follow, along with the looks of “Okay crazy lady”.
"...they will find me and seek to destroy me."
The men starting bringing out the fireworks one after the other. I back up farther and farther but I didn’t want to leave altogether and be “that person” so I just tried to make myself small and hide behind the folding chairs. As the first bottle rocket gets lit I can feel that ominous cloud forming. Sure enough, the thing goes off and a ball of fire shoots directly in my direction. To be clear, I was not in the sky but firmly on the ground, yet here it comes. Out of a dozen people I became its target. It was like it had a laser pointer aimed at my face. The others looked in awe as it headed straight for me. I immediately started backing up on all fours trying to escape the fiery ball that is hell-bent on my destruction. It lands right between my legs in the exact place I was sitting. Ahh! Yes, they got a good laugh out of it. To this day Kelly will vouch for the fact that my fear of fireworks is warranted and even in a densely wooded area they will find me and seek to destroy me.