Last Saturday I looked at the front of my Mazda Tribute and saw the chrome trim on the hood missing. Completely torn off. “Ohmygosh! That looks terrible! Why would someone steal a part from my car?”
As I raced out the front door, my thoughts were running ahead of me. “This is what I get for parking on the street at Bob’s house. I should never, never park my car on the street. Horrible little vandals.” No doubt about it. The chrome piece was gone. Bits of it still hung to the little screws that had kept it in place.
It was after I had finished a cup of coffee that sanity began to return. Why would anyone want to steal that part? How would they have done it without breaking into my car? The nuts that hold the bolts in place are inside the hood.
Wait a minute.
The car wash! I’d filled up my car and run it through the automatic car wash last night on my way to the Restitution Center for the AA meeting. Sure enough, the power wash had washed my chrome trim off; the piece lay abandoned beside the vacuum cleaner.
No vandals. No trim thieves. This is where I have my problem. I immediately speed think a bad motive when there’s no motive at all. What kind of a jackass thinks someone tore a piece of chrome off their car? Who on earth thinks that someone would steal that particular piece of that particular car?
That would be me. Paranoid me. Webster Online defines paranoia as (1) psychotic disorder characterized by delusions of persecution, often strenuously defended with apparent logic and reason; or, (2) extreme irrational distrust of others.
I have repeatedly been certain that someone deleted my Excel spreadsheet or lost a computer file when I was the one who forgot to save my work. I’ve been determined that a gremlin has messed with computer settings when I’m the only one at home. How many times have I thought something had been thieved when I am the one who put it in an eclectic, obscure place?
Except for the computer gremlin which could turn out to exist, I’ve been proved wrong 99.76% of the time. I have a key holder by the door. Empty. The hangers for hats and dog leashes? The cute hummingbird hook on the door for my nightshirt? Empty and empty.
There are screwdrivers in my kitchen utensil drawer. The hammer’s in the warranty paperwork drawer. If they consistently stayed there, that would be fine. I will use the hammer today to hang some pictures and it may end up in the warranty drawer or with the kitchen utensils or some other place entirely different. Quién sabe?
A little paranoid? I can almost guarantee you that the first thought when I can’t find my hammer or screwdriver will be: “Who could have borrowed my tools without asking?” And I will have to have a mini-conference (with myself, of course) to determine that N-O-B-O-D-Y did.
I heard the latest NRA justification for supporting any living human rather than Obama and I laughed. At the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida, NRA’s president Wayne LaPierre said, “They’ll say gun owners — they’ll say they left them alone…In public, the president will remind us that he’s put off calls from his party to renew the old Clinton ban, that he hasn’t pushed for new gun control laws…The president will offer the Second Amendment lip service and hit the campaign trail saying he’s actually been good for the Second Amendment. But it’s a big fat stinking lie!…It’s all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country…Before the president was even sworn into office, they met and they hatched a conspiracy of public deception to try to guarantee his re-election in 2012.”
I see his logic. I don’t agree with it. I think it’s nuts. I think it’s so convolutedly crazy that it….might….work. Hmmmm.
As a conspiracy theory paranoid ranter myself, I am embarrassed for him. His diatribe is the kind that I usually just have when I’m alone in the bathtub. His remarks have played out all over the news media.
When my kids were younger, we played a game on road trips. We’d see someone at a Dairy Queen stop and make up a story about them. (“Maybe they dressed up for a funeral.”) “They could be going to a business meeting.” (“He’s alone. I bet he’s going to meet his girlfriend.”) “Girlfriend? He looks too old for a girlfriend.”
Harmless fantasy but when it has that under-current of paranoia, it is the stuff that TSA profilers use. I haven’t flown often since 9/11. That’s more because of circumstance than fear. The paranoia that cuts into my fantasy life on a daily basis went into overtime the last time I travelled by plane. I have great compassion for those security people, but they didn’t search everybody that I thought they should search. The secret profiler in my soul wanted to whisper to one of the guards: “You didn’t notice how guilty that guy looks? I think you should search him.”