We lost power last night. Stoic and Basement Dweller had gone out to relive their high school glory days while I stayed home with Evil Genius and Basement Dweller’s kids, Jolly Giant and Jolly Smalls. Future Cult Leader is gone for a week, and it’s a good thing because there’s no way I would have handled last night had she been home.
It was about 8:45. The Jollies and I had just sat down to watch 30 minutes of Toy Story 3 before I sent them to bed and started my stay-at-home-mom style debauchery: sitting down with a bitch beer and my laptop to lose a few brain cells, courtesy of the internet. My plans were screwed, because the power surged and everything went down. It surged again, then everything shut down again. The Jollies and I just sat there, stunned, when there was one last mini surge that turned some lights on and shut them off again. Cue my fear of the dark and fear of wandering mass murderers.
Yes. I’m a grown ass adult and I’m afraid of the dark. Not so much the dark, but the vulnerability of being in the dark. I’m fine as long as there is someone with me because, you know, safety in numbers and all that. But I was alone with 3 kids. Two of them weren’t mine and while they are essentially family members, being responsible for someone else’s child is still a little nerve wracking. Oh, did I mention that Jolly Smalls has diabetes? I have the training and I’m experienced in caring for her and all, but being responsible for her for a big block of time like that had my anxiety stretching to take a power walk.
The power outage? Had it setting off for a rapid, butt shaking pace. With hand weights.
Candles and flashlights were gathered, and Facebook was texted to update my status. No better way to handle a power outage than talk to Facebook! While things were being gathered, my front door opened. My men weren’t due home for hours; who the fuck is walking into my house? I grabbed something heavy to throw at the intruder, but when I came around the corner it was just my mother, stopping by on her way home from the store.
My anxiety got ready for a light jog.
Once the Jollies went to bed and I had every single light source in the house collected and on, I concentrated on reporting the outage. Except? To report I had to have a phone number attached to the account, or an account number. None of our phone numbers worked. I texted Stoic to get the account number. He directed me to the filing cabinet in his office, where he had EVERY SINGLE BILL from the old house, but NOTHING from the new house. My man, he is fastidious, almost to the point of anal which is something I make fun of him for, but at that moment all I could think was, HE IS NOT NEARLY ANAL ENOUGH. But when I texted him about his lack of anal behavior, he told me the account number was the same. So, I called the power outage hotline again. That account has been closed.
My anxiety started jogging.
I went through the house to lock every single door to every single room that wasn’t being used, and closed every window so no serial rapists could get in and hurt me. Because a few panes of glass are going to protect me, amirite? Then I started searching Stoic’s office for something resembling a current power bill. Guys, the only stuff he had for the new house was irrelevant.
My anxiety decided it was going for a long distance run.
I grabbed my computer to check the power company’s website. Silly me! DSL isn’t going to work in a power outage! I called a friend to see what they could see online, and guess what? Same shit! I can’t find out anything concrete without that information! All she could tell me is that there are 2 outages in my area affecting X amount of customers with X number of people reporting.
My anxiety thought long distance sprinting was a fabulous idea.
I sat there, the occasional tear falling. I held a flashlight so I could read to distract my mind. Except, there’s NOTHING distracting about reading in COMPLETE AND TOTAL DARKNESS, save enough candles to set off a smoke detector in the adjoining kitchen and an LED flashlight mounted in my mouth. Then 2 things happened. I noticed a bunch of emergency lights across the river (anxiety hit an obstacle course at a record breaking pace). My mom fell asleep and started snoring. So the company I had to help me feel better? Was of no actual use.
My anxiety started a meth fueled frenzy, tap dancing in a car while going for a ride on the world’s fastest roller coaster.
I hate roller coasters.
So there I sat, cursing Stoic for not buying a generator when Basement Dweller and I told him to and for not having information available to me that might soothe my overactive imagination. I think if he had come in the door just then, I’d have punched him in the chest.
An hour and a half after the lights went off in Georgia, my house being Georgia and the lights going off for only the literal reason and not the figurative one, power came back on. However, because my anxiety had been slammed into overdrive, I was still a bit of a train wreck. Or five. In fact, I turned on every single light on the ground floor, a light in the basement, and bedroom lights in my room on the third floor. My mom woke up when power returned and she said she had to go home or she’d fall asleep here. (Figure that one out.) I followed her around the house as she gathered her stuff up (to protect her?), then walked her outside and shined a light on her car (because a porch light wasn’t enough). I ran inside when I heard a car on the road and locked the front door against the boogeyman that was coming to get me. I grabbed myself a bitch beer, sat on the couch with my laptop and the TV on, and I didn’t really move from that spot until Stoic and Basement Dweller came home.
Since nothing about my behavior was rational, they didn’t do much more than laugh at me. Thanks, guys!
The Basement Dweller likes to earn his keep by doing yard work, because he is one of those crazy mother fuckers who relaxes by doing manual labor. Weirdo.
I’m outside hanging laundry because I’m a dirty crunchy little hippie, while Basement Dweller is riding around cutting the grass. No wait, I wasn’t hanging laundry. I was in the driveway with the basket of clothes, waiting for Basement Dweller to finish mowing the edges of the lower field. So I’m across the property from the mower and Basement Dweller hits a pile of rocks, probably left there by a bunch of (our) kids. The mower blades hit the pile and the rocks go FLYING everywhere.
That incident resulted in the following conversation. Monsieur Stoic is on the couch, I am in the kitchen washing my hands for lunch, and Basement Dweller has just come in from the yard.
Basement Dweller: “Ran over a pile of rocks while I was mowing.”
Stoic: “Ah ha. Where was that?”
Dweller: “On the other side of the driveway outside the lower field. Nailed the neighbor’s cars and everything.”
Me: “Yeah, got me in a leg a couple times, too. I have the bruises to prove it.”
Dweller: “Wait, it got you? All the way over there?”
Me: “Yeah. Shit was flying!”
Stoic: “What he’s not telling you, honey, is that I took out a contract on you. He’s supposed to carry it out.”
Me: “Welp, I guess he failed. Don’t pay him.”
Stoic: “Just because he missed doesn’t mean he’s supposed to stop trying.”
Dweller: “Yeah, I’ll have many other opportunities, believe me. I need the money.”
Me: “Well, you’d better dock his pay at the very least.”
Stoic: “Don’t worry, his salary will take a hit.”
Let me tell you about the time a spider brought me down.
Monsieur Stoic was on one of his baseball trips with his not-that-identical-anymore twin, which left me alone with the Terror Tag Team. Future Cult Leader was at school (yay, kindergarten!) so it was just Evil Genius and me. She was playing on the floor while I fed my addiction and attempted to read something with a higher reading level than Highlights Magazine. I saw something roll slowly across the (light colored) carpet out of the corner of my eye and looked up, expecting to see Evil Genius’s toy. Nope. It was a big fucking spider.
A BIG FUCKING SPIDER.
A REALLY BIG FUCKING SPIDER.
I had no time to think. This bastard was big enough to kill my 15 month old AND me and STILL go on a murderous spree. I grabbed a stool (which has a hollow bottom, by the way) and threw it over the spider. Then I grabbed Evil Genius and stood on the stool, because I wouldn’t put it past him to lift up that chair and come after us both. I sat there for a moment, wondering what my next move was. I wasn’t killing this spider, Basement Dweller (who was Upstairs Guest Room Dweller at the time) wouldn’t be home until MUCH later, and I was fairly sure that Cult Leader would take one look at the arachnid, look at me solemnly, tell me I had to be joking, and could she get her snack now?
My gaze fell on my phone.
My mother is a bad ass mofo when it comes to spiders. Does it have 8 legs? She’ll kill it then go smoke a cigarette. It ain’t no thing to her. So I did what any other rational human being would do.
I called my mommy to come save me.
She laughed when I told her of the pickle I was in, but agreed to come over right away. Ahhhh, but the door was locked. The door was ALWAYS locked, because at the time we lived in Suburban Hell where all the houses looked the same and all the women drove SUVs whether they needed to or not, and Stoic was paranoid that someone, out of ALL THE HOUSES ON THE BLOCK, would choose ours to break into. You know, because a dead bolt is going to stop them.
Solution? Grab one of Evil Genius’s heavier toys, stick it on top of the stool, run to unlock the door, then get back on the stool and wait.
Ten minutes later, my mother came sauntering in. She laughed at me, guys. SHE LAUGHED AT ME. This spider was big enough for the Smithsonian, how could she be laughing?
But she humored me. She took over stool duty while I grabbed the baby and ran upstairs to hide. She dutifully caught the spider and threw it outside so there were no yucky spider guts to clean up. She returned inside, and then this happened:
“I thought you said it was a big spider.”
“It was. Big fucker. Why?”
“Uh, because it was barely the size of a dime, you knucklehead.”
“Not a chance in hell. At least the size of a quarter.”
“I just caught it, I know how big it was.”
“IT WAS GINORMOUS AND IT WAS GOING TO KILL US BOTH.”
She managed to suppress a laugh, but smiled and nodded. Then she grabbed a cup of coffee and went outside to smoke.
All in a day’s work.
I live with 2 men.
While I am relatively lucky because Monsieur Stoic isn’t a blithering, dim witted slob, he does have his….quirks. Like his total lack of emotion. And his habit of forgetting that I am not his brother, we did not share a womb, and thus I cannot read his mind nor decode his mysterious half sentences into something coherent and cohesive. But also, some of his habits. Like
–his refusal to clean out the potty chair
–his refusal to flush the toilet at night or go back and flush it in the morning
–his well intentioned projects with poor follow through (you should see the crown molding…)
–he refuses to use the same towel twice
–he hates recycling.
We had a birthday party for Evil Genius and thus had guests over. Knowing that there were certain things people didn’t need to see, I more or less made the upstairs inaccessible by locking rooms I was embarrassed about. Like our bedroom. But then I had some family come who had never been to the house and I hadn’t seen in 16 years, so naturally I showed them around.
Now, it’s bad enough that I
–have habit of strewing clothes about in the bedroom
–forget to throw away my tissues when blowing my nose at night
–am really, really disorganized so the house often looks cluttered
But on top of that, I don’t spend all my time cleaning. I have things I’d rather do, like picking at my belly button or trying to get my eyeballs out of my head or pulling out my leg hair with a pair of tweezers. I know housework isn’t fun and it’s not like I never do it; it’s just that I’m not going to break myself trying to keep my house in museum condition when Future Cult Leader and Evil Genius can destroy a room in 30 seconds flat.
But all that pales in comparison in showing someone around and discovering after the tour is over that your husband left pee in the toilet half the night and all day.
There is a benefit to having 2 men in the house. It’s like having 2 husbands, except I only have to sleep with one and there’s only one anniversary to remember. If Monsieur Stoic can’t fix something, chances are the Basement Dweller can. If Stoic isn’t around to help with with Future Cult Leader and Evil Genius, then the Basement Dweller is usually on hand to help deal with my untamed miscreants. If Stoic is gone, I can usually count on the company of the Basement Dweller. If there’s a tool that we don’t have in the garage, Basement Dweller likely has it among his own collection of tools, which rivals Bob Villa’s collection in range and size. If Stoic hasn’t bothered to rinse out the milk jug, I can count on the Basement Dweller to do it for him.
The amount of shit I put up with from these guys is amazing. It’s like the middle school locker room all over again. These guy love to verbally double team me, to the point where I feel like it needs to get real up in here. One of these days, Basement Dweller is going to find sex toys that appear to be used on his pillow, and Monsieur Stoic can count on an endless spree of nipple flicking, which drives him up the wall.
Revenge, I will has it.