It was autumn, and I live in the boonies in Washington State. This means many things, one of which is that I can expect the power to go out from time to time. Trees fall. That’s just the way it is.
About a month ago came the first really windy storm of the year. The kind where all the fall leaves were blown off the trees in 48 hours, it rained sideways, and it sounded like there were little gnomes with tiny hammers whooping it up by banging on the roof and dancing gnome jigs in their tiny pointed gnome shoes in a drunken gnome stupor, like they so often do.
Though it might seem like a power outage is an opportunity for a quaint evening home with the little ones by the hearth making jiffy pop, there is seldom a good time for the power to go out (while cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, finishing up a big work project in the home office at midnight, doing laundry for the first time in over a week, or watching The Real Housewives – all were bad). However, this last episode’s unfortunate power outage timing might just take the cake.
I had the day to myself, which is a rare bird when you’re a mom of two little kids. I had fancy grownup dinner plans with my ladies in a place where people wear heels and shiny things. Naturally, to balance out the forthcoming fanciness, I was spending all day in a pink fuzzy robe and old plaid pajamas with holes in them, drinking right out of the carton, and reading a stack of my beloved science magazines.
I had budgeted just the right amount of time to leisurely get fancified and get out of the door on time to meet my friends, and I’d be damned if I was going to unslack any time before I had to.
And then….power OUT. I’ll wait it out for a while. Still OUT.
Knowing that the water that was already heated was still in the system, I decided I better take a shower before it cools off. This is what I’d done in similar situations at prior homes, and it worked fine. I knew how to conserve water in a shower. Get wet. Turn off water. Soap up. Turn on water. Rinse off. FINITO.
Let’s do this thing.
So, I hopped in the shower and quickly got wet, then turned off the water. I put shampoo in my hair, cleanser on my face, and soap everywhere else. I turned the knob to turn the water back on. NADA. WHAT? Off again then on again. NOTHING. What? The? Hell?
The shampoo was dripping down into my eyes and I was making a soap puddle over my feet.
Uhhhhh…..what am I supposed to do here? I have way too much water and soapy stuff on me for this towel to handle, and if I just use towels I’ll be supremely itchy all day and probably go blind from a soap-eye-catastrophe. I have to get it off.”
Time to try another faucet.
I got out of the shower, practically blinded at this point, and headed to try the second bathroom. I knew it was futile because there was clearly no power to the water pump – something I had forgotten to factor into my smug “there’s still hot water in the system” plan, but I didn’t want to believe it was true.
No water. SON OF A GOAT!
No water. GNOME BALLS!
I was slipping on the hardwoods due to my wet-and-soapyness, and I was leaving wet handprints on the walls. I needed to touch them to figure out where I was going since I couldn’t really see and the panic had set in.
I hoped that no one would come to visit me unexpectedly.
BING! IDEA! I KNOW! I can just go outside and rinse off – it’s raining like crazy. That might work!
*Note that I live on a few private acres – I was not running outside naked in a neighborhood, though I wouldn’t put it past me under the circumstances.
I slid my way out the front door. There was plenty of water all right. Water and wind. So much water and wind, in fact, that pine needles were being hurled at me by the hundreds, and they stuck to me because I was so wet and soapy. MOTHER OF A WHORE!
Now, I was not only blind, wet, and covered in soap, but I was also covered in pine needles and extremely cold with super dirty feet.
Get it together, self. There’s a way out of this. There has to be.
Okay…Maybe there’s some bottled water in the garage. I found my way in. Things were poking me and sticking to me and I was bumping into all kinds of mystery stuff. The garage just wasn’t working out. Back to the house.
Sometimes it is in our darkest hour where illumination finally finds us. EUREKA! I had a solution! There was a 2-litre of berry flavored seltzer water in the fridge. That’s basically just water, right? It was my only hope.
I felt around the fridge until I found it, and then took it to the shower. I poured it on myself. It was so cold that I screamed out loud the whole time as loud as I’ve ever screamed and jumped up and down. But, I was able to wash the majority of the soap and shampoo off. Enough that I could be semi-human again, at least.
Once I dried off and my heart rate returned to normal, I surveyed the damage to my home. It looked like a soap crime scene. Bubbles on the walls. Trails of water. Things knocked on the floor. Pine needs stuck in various places. Puddles. Holy shitake; I wrecked this place.
Next order of duty, I called my friends and said, “We have to downgrade. There’s no way in hell I’m even going to put on makeup, much less get dressed up. I have a thin film of soap all over me, I smell like fear and berries, my eyes are bloodshot, and my hair is full of tree. Don’t ask.”
Thankfully, these women have known me for a long time, and, sadly, have come to expect these sorts of things from me. When I complained about the situation to Roolie, she simply said, “It just never ends with you, and it’s never going to. Get used to it.” Touché.
Much to my delight, we downsized the dinner plans to a place where we could drink good wine and eat good food, but wear jeans and swear profusely. One of my friends even picked out some of the pine needles that were still left tangled in my hair.
In short, life gave me lemons, and I added some seltzer, and my friends made a lemon drop cocktail out of it for me.
Then, I came home to find the power back on and this horrifying scene. Dun dun DUNNN! Cheers!