Tag Archives: Mother Nature

Power to the People

Alternate title: Reason No. 873,298 why I’m neurotic

Whether it’s hot or cold, an earthquake or a hurricane, people love to talk about the weather.

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Living in Michigan, there’s usually a lot to talk about.  While we don’t get hurricanes, we do have pretty much everything else. Summer days can reach 100 degrees while winters can bring 100 inches of snow, and sometimes the temperature can vary as much as 30-40 degrees from morning to afternoon.

When the fall colors are in full bloom and nature paints an indescribable picture of beauty, I’m grateful for the season. When it’s oppressively hot or my 25 min. commute takes an hour in the snow, I’m grateful for Vodka.

My point is that we deal with a lot of weather-related things out of our control, and for the most part, I roll with the meteorological punches by lamenting the fact that Mother Nature hates me and wants me to be unhappy.

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However, there is one thing that totally makes me go ape shit and elevates my level of neuroticism to new altitudes—losing power.

Let’s get one thing straight—I’m really not high maintenance. But good lord, when the power goes out, all rationality and Zen-like tendencies go right along with it, not to be restored until Consumer’s Energy plugs things back in.

And you can be sure I obsessively call Consumer’s Energy or check online (briefly, of course, to conserve energy) to get a restoration estimate, usually being told it will happen at some point hours or days after I totally lose my shit (which is, of course, the second that I lose power.) 

Here’s the general order of operations:

  • The semi-creepy weather rolls in and I get on high alert. Like a hunting dog catching the smell of its prey, my eyes get big, my head jerks up and I immediately assume that rumbles in the distance are an impending weather-related disaster headed directly for my house.
  • I will text my mom and ask her if I should be worried. Knowing what a weather weirdo I am, she will usually beat me to the punch with something like, “Chill the hell out. It’s just thunder. You’ll be fine” or “Can I have your couch if you get swept up in the storm?”
  • If I’m at work, all productivity ceases while I play out various scenarios in my head, check radar online and take into account exactly what I have in my fridge/freezer at home, as food waste is my main concern with possible loss of power. If it’s winter, I figure I can throw things outside and warm up some food on the stove. If it’s summer, I freak out and pack that bitch up like an igloo.
  • If I’m at home, everything not related to obsessively watching the weather channel and lighting candles ceases while I play out various scenarios in my head and take into account exactly what I have in my fridge/freezer. If there’s Vodka, I rationalize that using a straw is acceptable and than nothing should go to waste.
  • Mini-blinds will be shut and the TV will be turned up loud, as to drown out not only the sound of the thunder, but also crazy neighbor lady yelling at her dogs to “go poo-poo” and bitching about how the wind puts her cigarette out.  Her Vodka was gone by 7am and she rarely consumes solid food, so that’s not a worry for her.
  • I will perfectly situate my flashlights and I will wait. I will make promises to unseen higher powers that as long as I don’t lose power, I will be fine and work on saving the world in the morning (a task that would conceivably require electricity, therefore eliminating me from the impending power outage.)

Of course most of the time nothing happens, as storms will roll through and all will be fine. Plus, things smell delightful given the fact that I’ve lit every candle in the house. My mom will text me to make sure I’m not in a blankie fort in the basement or curled up in the bathtub and I will tell her how insane her suggestion is while slowly crawling out from under the dining room table.

But those few times a year when I do lose power, when I’m forced to miss the game on TV, am disconnected from the Internet and stress about my perishables in the fridge?

I can predict my own neurotic natural disaster—no power required.