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    35-year-old mother of two, wife of one, instructor at a university and free-lance writer, editor, researcher. I promise, I'm more fascinating than this "about me" and my favorites.

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Monday, March 07, 2005

Just like me

Brent was gone last week. And so many things waited for him to go before they went wrong. Our shower backed up (I could have lived my whole life without witnessing the 6-year build up of my hair in my shower drain), the new computer had an error message, the cable went out, the electricity went out. How did I manage to live on my own for six years before I met him?

I found out that I'm really not that crazy though. Last Wednesday, I fell asleep with the TV on. I woke up at 12:03 to static on the television. The irrational voice in my head said, "Hmm, I wonder if someone was trying to cut the electricity or the phone line and hit the cable instead." I resorted to old-fashioned TV watching until the cable came back about 20 minutes later. It took a little while, but I fell back asleep.

Then I woke up later. How much later I don't exactly know because the electricity was out! (I cannot remember the last time we lost electricity around here, it's NOT a common occurrence.) Suddenly I was sure that the irrational voice in my head was right. I picked up the phone and got a dial tone. (Phew!) I called utilities to see if it was just us or a big outage. While I was on hold for about 15 minutes I finally got up the courage to get out of bed and look outside. I could see large dark areas reaching up the hill outside the window. The rational voice said, "It's a major outage. Why else would you be on hold this long and see no lights outside." The irrational voice was not to be silenced, however. This voice said, "They went after a main line to turn off your electricity and make it look like a big outage." And then it said, "It might not be about you, but criminals probably sit waiting for major outages so they can break into homes while alarm systems are disabled." (That irrational voice has watched way too many cop dramas.)

The friendly utility dispatcher finally picked up and told me it was a BIG outage. I had a few questions. Like, how long has it been out? Since 2 a.m. To which I had to ask, "Umm, what time is it now?" I felt slightly reassured after this conversation, but it sure was nice to talk to someone on the phone when I was alone with two sleeping girls and no TV. I thought of calling my dad, it was 5 a.m. where he is, he would likely be awake -- but my cell phone was downstairs and I don't know his number without it and both the irrational and rational voices agreed, I was better off not going downstairs. I wanted to go back to sleep, but the irrational voice wasn't having any part of that. Finally, about 30 minutes later the power came back and so did Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien and my chance to salvage any sleep. (I fell asleep early that night, but Brent called at 11 p.m., it was a conspiracy against a good night's sleep.)

Normally I don't share the thoughts of the irrational voice with anyone. But this time, because I thought it was funny that perhaps I caused a major power outage with my irrational thoughts, I told a few friends about my evening.

Amazingly enough, every married woman I spoke had incredibly similar thoughts/feelings when their husbands were away. One friend said she was fine until it was time to crawl into bed. That's when the normal noises of the night suddenly seem so threatening. I thought I was just being a big baby. I told myself I was a wimp, worrying about staying alone with the girls for a week. It sure was comforting to know I'm not the only one.

posted by Laura at 5:33 PM |

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