Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All About the Odds

So, for those of you who don’t know, I live in the marvelous city of Fort Wayne, Indiana. You may or may not know that said marvelous city has been the victim of a pretty horrific ice storm recently, and that something like 110,000 people were out of power for awhile.

Now only 17,000 are out of power. This seems pretty damn good – unless you are one of the extremely unlucky 17,000.

I am.

Somehow, even though I live only 2 miles from downtown in a densely populated residential neighborhood, I have been overlooked and have not had power at my house since Friday morning. For the record, it is now mid-day on Tuesday.

Most people have been fairly sympathetic, but a few act like I am over-reacting to the problem of not having power at my house. If you think I am over-reacting, feel free to repeat the following day after day after day and see how much fun you think it is:

*Look across the street and realize that neighbors across the street never lost power at all. Not for even an hour. Curse them and call them show-offs because they have the nerve to turn on their Christmas lights.

*Hang out at house until it gets too dark to see and too cold to function. Pack up whatever you can find to wear, knowing you will have to wash it once you get somewhere because your washer hasn’t worked all day and you were planning to do laundry that day. Water your half-dead Christmas Tree before you leave, only to find that it has finally begun drinking water and now that you’re not going to be there, it’s going to need watered more.

*Sit around parents’ house with crazy dad whose very presence stresses you out. Remember, you don’t have anything to do because all your stuff is at your house. Your options are to watch TV, bake something, or sit curled up facing the corner, rocking and murmuring meaningless phrases incessantly to yourself.

*Travel to your very cold house to check on the water pipes. Do this at least twice a day to make sure that nothing has burst and that nothing has frozen and backed up, leaving a large lake in the middle of your newly renovated home. Each time you arrive home and do not find a large lake, unclench your fists and realize how tense you were just waiting for disaster. As you leave the house, resume being stressed about the pipe situation in order to get a nice stress build up for your next house-checking trip.

*Ponder the irony that it can simultaneously be cold enough for your water pipes to freeze but warm enough that you have lost all of your perishable food items. Mourn the girl scout cookie ice cream you just bought as you dump the melted, frothy contents into a garbage can while wearing gloves and a scarf.

*Travel to your house to let the dog out three times a day. When the house sits at 35 degrees, convince your parents you have to bring every one of your pets over as you have no desire to learn the freezing point for small animals. Tend to the scratch on your face left by the cat who didn’t want to get in the cat carrier. Then haul them all over to your parents’ house in one vehicle, cats meowing the whole way there and dog stepping in the litter box and tracking cat litter all over the back seat. Once you have arrived at your parents’ house, realize that they have no fence and you will now have to put a leash on your dog and walk her every time she has to go potty. Also, realize that it sucks to repeatedly walk a dog in -1 degree weather.

*Listen to stupid people (read: people who have had power all this time) tell you how it’s not really that bad and it could be worse as they open their refrigerators, pull perishable food items out, microwave them, and sit down at the kitchen table to read the paper by their very electric kitchen lights in their nice clean clothes that they dried in their electric dryers. Comment to yourself out loud that it is not possible for god to exist – if he did, he would not have made people so freakin’ stupid.

Then, as an added bonus, do all this stuff 9 months pregnant when you can barely fit into the car to make your trips, and walking the dog on the ice makes you wonder if you will fall and go into labor or not.

It sucks. If you think I’m being a wuss, you live with it and see how you like it.

Probably most frustrating to me are the repeated newspaper articles and news stories praising the wonderful power company for getting so much service restored. Seems pretty amazing, doesn’t it? As long as you’re one of the 85% who have been restored, I’m sure it is. It sucks pretty bad for the rest of us right now.

Obviously, I’m irritated by this whole thing. I mean, come on, it’s ICE, people. ICE. It is not nuclear holocaust. It is not the Armageddon. It is not WWIII. It’s ICE. Seriously, oh sad little power company of Fort Wayne, if you can’t handle a little ice, what the hell are you doing in the power business, anyways?

As an added bonus, D’s car started randomly spewing oil yesterday and had to be taken into the shop. On the little form you fill out at the key drop, I wrote “sudden, severe oil leak”. Hopefully that gives them enough to go on. My parents were kind enough to loan D their truck.,.,., only to find out this morning that one of the tires is flat. Apparently, it is just not our week.

I was feeling hopeful that things would start getting turned around, but at this point I have adjusted my expectations and fully believe I will probably have power at some point mid-2009. It would be nearly impossible not to meet that expectation, so hopefully this will keep me from getting more and more irritated. I am trying to just get by although I think another couple of days without any time away from people is going to wear on me. If I seem cranky, it’s because I am – I am not a people person. My poor kitties are also having a bit of trouble adjusting as my parents don’t want them all over the house and have closed a good deal of their doors. Curious kitties + closed doors = whiney kitties. This is all fine and dandy, unless my dad gets up at 3 am, leaves his bedroom door wide open, and goes downstairs just as I happen to leave the bathroom and witness this all. As you may have guessed, wide open door to a previously forbidden room = kitties running in at the speed of light. Just last night I learned a fun new game called chase 2 kitties around your sleeping mother’s bed while attempting not to wake her up.

It’s actually a fairly fun game, compared to most of my other options.


Rhea said...

Darling! I know how you feel! When we had our hurricane winds in September I was without power for 4 or 5 days. I'm not totally sure since I was lucky enough to have an aunt with power so I wasn't home to witness the magical relighting. I had just been to the grocery and I think there were a few tears when I had to clean out the fridge and freezer. I really hope you get your juice back soon! Please be careful out driving! My sister and mom tell me that the side roads in some parts of town are still pretty bad. Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

h, you crack me up!
i like the new game....and can relate with the power issue. something about hurricane ike and not having power for two weeks, in the middle of summer, and working over 12 hrs a day..trying to control people beating on each other because nobody had foor or power! oh the memories come back so clearly...but i didnt have the cat game to play!!! you will have to teach me!
happy new year!!!!
and yes praise God for electricity!