It was a dark and stormy night…
No really, it was! I was driving home from work last night, in the dark, with walls of rain pounding my windshield and debris flying around the roadways when on my radio I heard the unmistakable beep..beep..beeeeeeeep of the Emergency Broadcast System.
Yes! I gripped the steering wheel tighter in my eager gleefulness. I love the EBS! I live for moments like this. What they said was, "the National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm and tornado warning for Davidson County". What I heard was, "okay Cathryn, we have some extreme weather conditions going on and know that in your acute state of alertness, you are in a unique position to handle the situation". Damn right!
You may be unaware of this, but the "acute state of alertness" I am referring to runs in my family through the women on my mother's side. One of the first lessons embedded in my brain was to ALWAYS, upon entering a place, locate all exits and devise an escape plan (or, ideally, multiple plans) in case of fire or riot or natural disaster or whatever. My mom and each of her sisters all sleep with some sort of weapon near them. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Like a steak knife under the mattress or a baseball bat beside the headboard. I have seen these weapons. My sister does the same thing.
Gifts I've received for Christmas include a spiky hammer tool that one carries in the car to break the windows out in case you...um...well...ever need to break the windows out. ("Like if you drive off of a cliff into a lake, you can hack your way out" - this was when I lived in Nebraska where the nearest body of water was the Platt River which is so shallow that it's practically wheelchair accessible). I've also received a taser (no, I've never used it) and an emergency roadside kit.
Likewise, knowing of this acute state of alertness that runs in my family, my college roommate would often give me gifts with a "survival" theme. Like mosquito netting and waterproof matches. Yep.
So when the Emergency Broadcast System warns me of an impending "situation" - my inherent acute state of alertness kicks into overdrive.
Back to the tornado warning situation last night: the debris was flying around, the rain was coming down, the tornado sirens were wailing, Terah was out running around Brentwood (she's hardcore), the radio was letting me know that the most unsafe place to be during a tornado is in a car, and there I was with this big grin on my face as I scanned my surroundings for potential bunkers. As the adrenaline flooded my veins, my mind was like a steel trap calculating distances and probabilities (there are some people…*cough*, geeks…who are perpetually making these kinds of assessments, fortunately I only display this affliction under times of crisis); working out various scenarios in my head. It was great!
I was hoping my power would be out when I arrived at my apartment unscathed, but sadly, no.
This, THIS is what constitutes an exciting evening in my world. I need help.