How do you act in a crisis?
Most people respond differently to sudden threats or perceived threats. There's that "fight or flight" instinct. There are the people who run towards the danger, and those that run away.
Luckily for me, I don't face a lot of imminent threat anymore. My ex lives in a different state, I'm a compulsive door-locker, I know a decent amount of self-defense, and if all else fails? I'm really, really good at running in heels.
Sometimes, though, there are unexpected bumps in the night. Or, as the case was two nights ago, a loud crash at 2 AM.
There were three of us home: me, Mark, and the dog. And each of us responded in very drastically different ways.
First, there was Thunder, the ever-cowardly dog, who could be heard immediately after the crash running away. (Excellent in a crisis, that one.)
Second, there was me. I jerked awake immediately, senses on automatic alert for potential murderers breaking in. In my half-asleep state, I realized that the dog had most likely knocked something over. But, being me, I also knew full well that I wouldn't be going back to sleep until I made sure Mark and I weren't about to be murdered. Did I have a plan for what I would do if we were about to be murdered? No, but I'd at least like to know it was coming. I am, and always have been, a "I have to check it out" girl. I had childhood (and, okay, some adulthood) compulsions for looking in the basement and behind the shower curtain after getting home to make sure no one was hiding in there.
Then there was Mark. He didn't move when I jerked awake. I wasn't even certain he'd woken up. He had, apparently, already done the mental calculations of time elapsed during crash-vs-skittering dog toenails and come to the (admittedly correct) conclusion that Thunder had knocked something over and then run from the scene of the crime.
Well. I wasn't having any of that, and I obviously needed a backup noise investigator, so I made him come check it out with me. Sure enough, Thunder had caught his harness on a drawer in the bathroom, panicked, and yanked the entire drawer out, spilling the contents. With the 2 AM crisis averted, we went back to sleep, and I was ready to let that be the end of it.
Mark, however, was not.
Yesterday, I came home to find he had bought and set up a system so that we can turn the lights on and off through our phones. The previous night's experience with bumps in the night made him realize that there is currently at least one night a week where I'm home by myself with only a giant cowardly dog for backup.
With this new setup, I can make sure there are lights on when I come home alone from working late, and I can also turn all the lights on from the bedroom the next time there's a 2 AM crisis and my noise investigator isn't around. So far? I'm a pretty big fan. We've already been enjoying turning the lights on and off (particularly on each other) and setting different "scenes" for which lights come on when.
Even if my boyfriend isn't always the first out of bed to check out a noise, he's the first to care about me enough to make the life we have better, even if it takes time, effort, and money on his part. He's the first to think of a way to improve on a situation I was content to just deal with. And he's the first to worry about me and my safety and do all he can to look out for me even when he's not around.
I know that he has my back always, even in the middle of the night, and even when he's 100% certain that the bump in the night is the dog and definitely not a murderer.
Personally, that's the best response to a crisis that I could ever hope for.