Understanding Protection: A Mastered Skill, or Instinct?

Our little guys had their first 1 year birthday party. It was something my wife had been planning for 3 months.

Fellas, if you haven’t had a one year birthday party for your munchkins yet, be prepared to work an extra 20 hours a week to cover the costs of a thousand little trinkets like placeholders, decorations, chips, and balloons.

The party was a success, and I have to admit, I think all my wife’s planning paid off. I had a legitimate excuse to show off my masterful hamburger grilling skills and drink light beer on a hot day. So I certainly wasn’t complaining. Besides it being abnormally hot and still for June, I think everyone had a good time.

The problems came after the party.

Post-party, we had a house full of worthless trinkets and a truckload of various chips. No really. We had enough chips to fill the back of my truck.

“I have a big delivery… this the Zant Residence?”

I’ve found in situations like this, people are either 1.) a little bit “hoarder-ish” or 2.) compulsive declutter-ers. I tend to fall in the latter camp. I’m ready to throw practically anything away if it doesn’t serve a purpose within the next 2 weeks.

At the end of the party, I start popping balloons to get them out of my space. The last 2 balloons were helium “1” balloons. Before I pop them, I get some resistance from my wife and her dad. “Those are $10 balloons!”. See, they’re more in the “borderlinehoardercamp”.

Even though the $10 balloons didn’t serve a purpose anymore, I let them live longer — only to suffer a pitiful life of deflation and eventual collapsing. I guess they were sentimental to my wife.

Boy that came back to haunt me.

These 2 balloons sort of just hung around our house. During the record breaking June heat, we’ve got all ceiling fans and the A/C on, so these balloons sort of drift all over the house, like a ghost without a destination or purpose.

It was last night we went to bed. Before bed, Sarita asks if I locked the doors. “Yep”. Well..at least I thought I did…I wasn’t too worried about it. We live in a good neighborhood…I was too tired to get up and check…

My mind was in that grey space — not exactly awake, but not quite asleep either. I was rapidly approaching deep sleep, when 5 loud thuds at our back door startle me.

Someone was breaking in to our house. No doubt about it.

I sit up and yell with my loudest, adrenaline fueled roar, “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE”. My throat was the newfound home of my heart. The thuds at the back door continued at the back door at the same rhythm of my heart. I reached over to our nightstand, and pulled out my 1911 ready to defend my castle.

I had to get in the living room between the intruder and our boy’s room.

I might have looked like a madman. I was buck naked with a 1911 in both hands. The pistol had a full magazine. All I needed to do was pull the slide back and hope the notorious “racking the gun” sound would scare off the intruder. As willing as I was to protect my family, I didn’t want to shoot anyone.

But the intruder was already un-phased my my yell. He seemed determined to get in our house.

I peek my head from our laundry room into the living room toward the back door.

I can see the silhouette of a man at the door. The adrenaline was pumping before, but now it’s flooding me. My skin begins to numb on my face.

I guess I’m going to have to shoot someone.

But wait, he’s already in the house. I see his silhouette travel from the back door to the middle of the living room. Time to rack the pistol.

And then the intruder started headbutting the ceiling fan.

Stupid f*%#king balloon!

“I’m your worst nightmare, pal.”

The sound of my house being broke into was the balloon being sucked into the ceiling fan and being battered by it, eerily resembling the sound of our backdoor being kicked in.

The fan knocked the balloon to the back door before begin sucked back in. In the dark and without my contacts, it resembled a person at the window of our back door.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

Needless to say it was time for this balloon to finally die. I’m glad my vision isn’t THAT bad without contacts. Or that balloon might have died with .45 rounds in it. Instead, I gave it the destiny it deserved and punctured a whole in it — to never allow it to haunt us again.

I think Sarita thought I went mad. I felt kind of stupid, but I was glad my instincts were keenly ready to protect our house. Against balloons.

It’s funny, when you have kids how instincts shift from “defend myself” to “protect my family”. Because I truly thought my house was being broke into, at no moment did I skip a beat to protect our kids.

I read story in Realtor magazine about how a couple who bought a new construction house in Mississippi. They told their agent they would only purchase a home with a 1-2-10 year warranty, giving them protection from any builder’s fault.

They end up buying a house, as the listing agent assures the couple the house has a 1-2-10 warranty. The buyer’s agent took their word for it, and never asked for any documentation or proof.

When the house starts having electrical problems after closing, the buyers research the home warranty. After a little research and calling, they learn the house never even had a warranty. $18,000 later, the buyer’s agent is held liable for the damages from his lack of due diligence.

Call me a skeptic, but I would never take a salesman’s word for it. It’s kind of like asking a used car dealer if the previous owner was smoker, when the smell is pretty obvious. How’s he going to respond? “Oh, no sir, definitely not a smoker!” (Whatever gets the deal done , amiright?)

That’s why I think it’s paramount when looking for an agent to have someone willing and ready to put their clients first. Not an agent eager to just get paid off their clients.

If the buyer’s agent would have had that natural willingness to shield and support his clients, and ask for warranty documentation, it all could have been avoided.

I think the ability to protect is just instinctual. Ingrained. There’s so many stories of agents that dropped the ball for their clients, when a willingness and ability to protect their clients would have avoided massive headaches for everyone.

Not saying I’d run out buck naked and armed to protect my clients from hostile balloons…but you get the point.