Saturday, November 29, 2014

As Destiny's Child Would Say...

"I'm a survivor."

I guess in comparison to children with cancer or military personnel, my struggles are minor. But I've never liked the idea that just because someone has it worse than you, you can't have it pretty tough.

Also, I guess a lot of my problems are of my own making. I chose to get divorced. I choose to continue living far from any blood relatives. I chose to quit law school. I chose to quit a lot of things really. But today especially was a tough one.

I have an obsession with true crime tv. And books. And if I'm ever accused of a crime, my library records of checking out books on decomposition or the ways bone fragments or blood spatter can be used to solve a crime look pretty damning. Add that to my propensity for watching Dateline, Forensic Files, and most of the Investigation Discovery Network (before it got too soapy and less science-y) and I look like a criminal in the making. I promise I'm not. I don't hate anyone enough to do time. And orange really isn't my color.

But back to my point. I stayed up way too late watching a Forensic Files marathon. When I binge on crime TV like this, my anxiety ratites up and I become concerned that an intruder is going to break in. I mean, attack me, whatever, but when Kiddo is with me, my anxious brain knows I can't let him down and I try to formulate solutions to entirely made up crimes that will happen to us. So at about midnight, I'm still fully awake and at a high level of paranoid, and I pop an ambien to get me to sleep.

All is well in the world for 7 hours. Then kiddo wakes me up and we see that it snowed overnight. He was in an especially good mood so we do some laughing and talking and generally being excellent. We go downstairs and I set him up with a sippy cup of milk, some cereal and cartoons. I curl up next to him on the couch and doze on and off until I'm woken up by the sudden lack of noise from the tv. The power is out. Kiddo is immediately pissed as he's in the middle of a show.

Because I can't handle a problem like a normal person, I immediately fear that the power will stay off all day and later in the week, first responders will find the frozen bodies of a toddler, a woman in her late 20s and two cats all piled together. My stomach begins to cramp and I panic because I suck at being an adult in charge.

Oh man am I sick? I think I'm sick. I think I have the flu. I've got that whole body ache going on. We're all going to die in a puddle of frozen vomit.

I get the kid more milk and get him happily distracted playing trucks after assuring him that I can't fix the electricity with his plastic tools. As I take stock of the situation, its not great. No power means no wifi, which means my cell doesn't work because there's no reception at my house. Thanks a lot asshole trees. So I can't call the utility company and I have to hope that someone else is on top of this. I was already running low on milk because I was planning to go today because yesterday was Black Friday and you're fucking crazy if you think I'm getting involved in that shitshow. No electricity means the garage door won't go up which means I need to see if I can manually lift the garage door. I have no flashlights because I'm an idiot. The only thing I have on my side is that the fireplace and stove run on gas so, worst case scenario, we all huddle around that.

it was about 8AM when the power went off and because Kiddo and I are natural homebodies with no plans until later in the day, we were still in pajamas. I get him dressed and get myself dressed. As we are putting on our shoes and I'm bracing myself to lift the goddamn door, the power comes back! Thank you Baby Jesus!

5 minutes later it goes out again. Fuck. Then it comes back on. Kiddo requests to finish his cartoon that was in progress when the incident started and my whole back is one big ouch, so sure, tv sounds great. I get him set up and zoned out in front of the tv and then slink away to take a hot shower and see if the aches are all in my anxiety-overloaded head. They are not. I have chills and the shakes. Goddamn it. I get dressed and get the kid in the car to run out to the grocery store while the power is on and before I get sicker (if that's in my future).

We get through the grocery store without incident. Milk, Oj, 7up, chicken soup. We get all the way home. The closer we get to home, I notice the traffic lights aren't working. I forgot to buy flashlights. My teeth is chattering even though I cranked the heat in the car. The power is out at the house again. Shitshitshitshit.

I drop off the groceries and try to explain to the kid why we have to go back to the store. For the sake of my pride, we go to a different grocery store. Luck is on my side and the kid is going along with all of these shenanigans with no complaints, except taking off his coat at every opportunity. I explain that there is snow on the ground and if he doesn't wear a coat, someone will call CPS on me (I don't really tell him this but I think it). He gives the zeroest of fucks and will not wear the coat in the car or the store but will where it from door to door thank the Lord.

I let him pick the color of the flashlights (red and blue), we grab batteries too. He asks if we can get cookies and I figure, "Why the fuck not? I need every tool I can to bribe good behavior because I do not have the strength to out-stubborn this kid today." Back in the bakery, we find a police man in uniform, which Kiddo thinks is the coolest thing EVER. The policeman gave him a sticker. This is a banner day for the kid. I'm so glad he's having fun because as the full body aches set in, its getting harder to act like we are having a fun adventure.

We get home to find the power is still off. I start drinking orange juice like its going out of style. I sit perfectly still on the couch because its the only semi-comfortable way to be, since I can't crawl into bed and use NyQuil to knock myself out. Fate is still on my side because I'm able to convince the kid to read books to one of the cats and then we sit on the couch and play with the new flashlights.

Is it freezing in this house because I'm sick or because the power's been off so long that we are going to get frostbite? Who made me in charge of another human life? This is terrifying.

The power flickers off and on and then stays on. And on and on. Thank you thank you thank you.
I make it through the rest of the day chugging OJ and cold medicine. I even did a load of laundry. I'm officially calling this day a success. Sure, the kid watched more tv today than I would like, but we all lived.

So back to the survivor part. I spend a lot of my life an anxious mess. I'm the human equivalent of a shaking chihuahua.  But today when all kinds of stuff went wrong, and I couldn't call for back up, I made it through. Not only did I make it, but the kid thought it was a fun day with mom, flashlights, policemen, cartoons and cookies.

I write about crazy dates or interactions with men 90% of the time, but technically the blog is called Single Seattle Girl Problems. I have a problem with doubting myself and my strength. So this is long and ramble-y, but its not really for you. Its for me. I'm stronger than I think and today was just one example.

But I'm on the couch watching another Forensic Files marathon so maybe I didn't learn anything after all.

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