I’m opening the doors and dragging The Freakout from the closet into the light of day, with the hope that it has some vampirish qualities and will shrivel into dust from the violence of the UV rays hitting its cruel skin.
You used to struggle with The Freakout when you started high school, and everyone was figuring out where they fit in for the new regime. Perhaps you moved a lot when you were a kid and The Freakout came into effect whenever you landed in a new locale. Or maybe you experienced some sort of non-norm event, and The Freakout kept you company when in the presence of wholesome, normal kids next door. It rears its ugly head in a million different situations, and it can never be fully eradicated.
The Freakout usually occurs in new situations. Its ability to cause emotional chaos and turmoil increases exponentially when all humans involved are also in the same new situation. Take, for example, one high school which houses kids from seven different middle schools (or you and 20-30 other people moving to a new town simultaneously). Enter The Freakout.
Here’s how it goes down:
- You meet someone new. (“New” is anyone you haven’t known for years/your whole life. Where Full Freakout exists, “new” usually = “everyone.”)
- You interact with someone new. This might include talking, dining, or a wild night at the bar with shots named after inanimate objects and karaoke and someone on top of a table.
- You go home, usually to the only person(s) in your life who isn’t new.
- You start to (ready for it?) freak out about what parts (usually all) of your interaction were offensive to the new people.
- If you go Full Freakout, you get back in touch with new people to apologize awkwardly and profusely. Usually the new person is surprised or confused about the apology, which only increases Full Freakout mode.
- Return to step 2; repeat.
I’ll note here that Full Freakout is a flash in the pan. It’s impossible to sustain for very long. However, the after-shocks of The Freakout can last for months or even years.
Doctors have yet to find a cure for The Freakout. Some experimental procedures are being conducted in Holland, which include electroshock, dark chocolate, and heavy doses of sweet wine. Until we know more, all we can do is be at the ready, and hope and pray that this beast lurks away from our hearths and homes, leaving us and our entire high school class alone.