I woke, like any other Monday, feeling kind of manic. The tips of my toes felt like tiny icicles, so I checked the clock to see what time it was, not wanting to get out of bed to check the thermostat, yet. But, wait, the LCD was dead. The moment was timeless because the power had been sucked out of my clock. No tiny, red lines to keep me on track.
Hubs stormed into the room and said, “Where’s the flashlight? The power is out.”
And, so my day began. One wrong turn after another, warped like the view through a porthole. I was powerless in a time without power.
For weeks, we kept receiving notices from the electric company claiming there would be an outage from 8 am-4 pm. Each time, I would prepare for a busy day with Babyface to stay away from the house. Each time, they would cancel. This was the one time that the notification wasn’t mailed to our house. Maybe they ran out of paper from all of the other “psyche” notices. I was far from prepared.
We were able to get Babyface ready for school and hubs had already taken a shower, so he was saved from stinking up his office. I, unfortunately, was not so lucky and ran out of hot water soon after I ventured in. My entire body was now slightly hued in blue. My color was more vibrant, but deadly.
Of course, this was the one night I forgot to charge my phone, so it was out of juice. No twitter. No email. I was like Laura Ingalls Wilder without Pa.
I sat around for three hours, doing whatever chores that didn’t require electricity. I emptied the dishwasher. I piled the mail neatly, but felt too fuzzy without coffee to open any of it. I relaxed, read and listened to the sound of silence, which was soothing for about 30 minutes. After that, it just made me feel deaf, so I took a nap and dreamt about zombies, which was appropriate because I was in full, skin costume from the cold.
I woke, put on my smelly clothes from the day before, since I was sans light and they were lying on the chair. I opened the fridge long enough to pack a lunch for Babyface and headed to Starbucks. They were out of anything tasty, so I settled for a simple piece of pound cake. Nutritious and healthy to charge me up for a wacky day in Johnny Depp’s shoes.
I picked up Babyface and headed for my parents for warm refuge, while we ate lunch. My father was in a mood and started up on me about how my daughter is smart and I shouldn’t redshirt her. I was PMSing or Premenopausaling, so this didn’t bode well. His judgment was like a gavel pounding on my head and led to some major crocodile tears. However innocent, it made my make-up run.
My vision was blurred by the well I was trying to hold back. My four-year-old had to comfort me, which was embarrassing. She is the sweetest little girl and she managed to turn my trip around, if even for a few minutes.
I headed upstairs to settle my soul down and regroup. It was just a bad morning, I thought. Couldn’t get worse, I thought.
As I was checking out my new jacket in the full-length mirror, I noticed a large piece of plastic on the back. It was a sensor. Bloomingdales had forgotten to remove the sensor! Again, reminding me that Black Friday is a dark, dark day. I would have to lug my daughter there and fight for a bigger discount for my pain and suffering (This is where the Indian, “bargain” part of me comes in handy).
But, wait, we had a park playdate with my girlfriends and their kids. I would have to wear the jacket to the park, like it was a new fashion statement. It would be the “shoplifting” fad of 2012.
The park was a nice break from my bad trip. Good girlfriends, good conversation, a few laughs and a couple of hours to regain my sanity. It was a distraction before I had to phone the electric company and find out the verdict of our power.
After the intermission, I did a drive by of the powerless crime scene. Still no power, just darkness. The sun was sliding away. I took mental shots at the workers, even though I knew they weren’t the prime suspects.
Babyface hadn’t peed in hours (she had guzzled two bottles of water at the park and they were sitting in and stretching out her bladder), so I decided to rush her in so she could release and then head to the shopping center to get rid of the sensor. She stepped into the dark house. She was hesitant. Then, she tried to flip on the light to the bathroom and let out a wail at the sound of the switch. “The light’s not working, Mommy! Why isn’t my light working? I can’t go potty! I need my light!” she screamed.
“Just try, sweetie. We’ll leave right after, I promise. Just try. I’m right here,” I said, pointing a flashlight at her privates and turning on the faucet as an instigator.
No such luck. More tears for the day. The roles of soothing were now reversed and the world had returned to it’s natural order. But, I was sh!t out of luck. No power and a baby with a full bladder. We were homeless and at the mercy of the electric company.
We drove to the shopping center in rush hour traffic. I couldn’t figure out how to enter the mall because there was some new construction, so I drove around 5 times until I could get in. I was like an American driver stuck in the roundabout in front of Big Ben, driving around and around and around. My daughter asking each time, “Are we going home? Are the lights back on?”
I called hubs, hoping for a reprieve. Hoping he could set my bad trip straight by coming home early. No suck luck. He had a meeting. He would do his best, which was nice but definitely not a relief.
We walked into Bloomingdales and I asked for a manager, which took about 20 minutes. My daughter was doing the potty dance, but refused to go at the shopping center. I tried bribery (chocolate), but she was so tired, dazed and confused that it wouldn’t take. Finally, the manager arrived and offered a 10% discount, after I complained (trying not to yell bloody murder and have compassion for her post-Black Friday work week). Fine. I would take it. It was a total of 50% off, so not bad.
We got back into the car and I figured out how to get out of the roundabout. I called the electric company. There was a new update. 7 pm, it said. Nowhere to go. A child on the verge of a meltdown. A mommy ready to flip her own power switch to “off”.
We discussed places to eat and my daughter disliked all of them. Of course, this was the ONE time she wasn’t accommodating about the restaurant. We settled on a local, Italian eatery.
This is where I started to come down from the bad trip again. The waiters were accommodating. They let me sit with a glass of wine, while my daughter colored. They let me sit there for 45 minutes without ordering. Maybe they could see that I was about to blow. Maybe they could see that I was hanging onto my lifeline and that I needed some oxygen.
Hubs finally called. He had lit candles to make the house more welcoming. We could head home after we ate. My viability and vitality had been restored. I had help and all was right with the universe.
Somebody better stop slipping me the bad-day, wacky juice because it just doesn’t bode well with my psyche. No more emotionally rainy Mondays without a drain, please.