Just a few days ago a nasty snow storm hit Maine and there are still thousands of homes without power, including Normal Adjacent headquarters. So, tonight I am writing from a hotel room that is so close to the airport that I would take it personally if you did not wave when passing overhead.
It’s been a really long couple of days full of irritating, first-world frustrations. The first night was easy- board games by candlelight with wine and the house held onto the warmth through the night.
The next morning it began to sink in. I could suddenly use the Spanish phrases I’ve been learning, and not the good ones that sum up to “I’ll take it! Wrap it up!” or “More wine, please!”
“No puedo encender las luces.” - I can’t turn the lights on.
“No hay agua.” - There’s no water.
“El baño huele mal.” - The bathroom stinks.
I’ve never dealt with anything like this before. I got fed up real-quick. I’m spoiled. I’m the first to admit it. I have a lifestyle to which I have become accustomed and I prefer to keep it that way. This is why camping is not my favorite.
So there I was, in the house, in my home and it had become just a cold shell. I’m an introvert. I get comfort and energy from being in my home. It’s not just my shelter, it’s my sanctuary. In Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, she sings about her own little corner in her own little chair. It’s the place where she can get away from it all and live in her own world. She can do what she wants and be who she wants. That place is freedom. My home is my little chair. At home I have my loving husband and partner and my little dog too. (I know, I’m mixing way too many metaphors.)
In a way, when my home lost power, I also became powerless. I no longer had the same freedom. I would start to go into another room and have to backtrack because I needed a flashlight. I was running out of underwear but couldn’t do laundry. Hell, I couldn’t even flush the toilet. The second night we were sleeping in sweatshirts with three blankets because it was so cold. I don’t deal well with change. I really don’t deal well with unexpected change. I had a minor breakdown in the middle of the night, which was fine because it was too cold to sleep and too dark to see me Claire-Danes-ugly-cry anyway. I’d had it. Some people can handle a tough situation. Those people are made of stronger stuff than I am in situations like this.
I like to control things and it’s my opinion that there are enough things in my life I can’t control. So I made an executive decision to regain control. In the movie version I would buck up, buy a kerosene heater and read books by candle light while we snuggled to keep each other warm. In real life, I dropped the dog off at the kennel (that has power) and I checked into a hotel. I grabbed some food, took a long, hot shower, turned on the tv to watch Bones reruns and I got online to do nothing but browse the interwebs for nothing of substance. It was a good night. I couldn’t think of a reason to tough it out other than to say I could tough it out. It wasn’t necessary for me to stay in the house that was causing me grief, so I left.
The power should be back on tomorrow. Tomorrow I can go back to my normal. I can walk through my front door and hear the hum of the pellet stove and I can chase the dog around the house without having to worry about running into something in the dark. I can make coffee. Well, that will have to wait for the next morning. Another thing I don’t deal well with is too much late caffeine. The list is long, folks.
That’s tomorrow. Tonight, the hotel will leave the light on for me.