Tuesday, June 16, 2009

...And the Thunder Rolls

I thought we had escaped the terror of spring storms when we'd hardly had as much as a lighting bolt by the time school was out. No one mentioned we'd spend June listening to sirens wail and branches crack and break as Mother Nature unleashed her fury on us.

Last night was one of those long nights. When the rumbles began around midnight, I tried to block them out as best I could. I tossed and turned and tried to occupy my mind. Soon the National Weather Service was blaring its buzz from my radio, so I decided to perk up my ears and listen.

About the time the creepy, automated robot voice said, "...Service has issued.." BAM. The power was gone. Utter darkness. Silence. Thunder. I slipped into the hall and peeked at Chloe. She hadn't moved. Surely she'd be crying for me any minute. She hates storms. And she REALLY hates the dark.

I fumbled through the dark house, my pulse a little faster than normal. I knew I needed to report my outage if I had any hope of having electricity again. Already the rooms were becoming muggy and warm. I finally found the phone book and dialed my cell. No service. I danced around the living room with my arm outstretched, trying to locate a signal.

BOOOOOM!!!!!!!!!! A bolt of lighting illuminated the sky and thunder roared. Branches blew and cracked outside the window. I began to 'what-if.'

"What if that was a tornado warning on the radio? Maybe the power being out affects the sirens. What if there is a tornado? Maybe it HIT the siren and it can't go off! I'm going to die!"

I darted to Chloe's room and "accidentally" kicked her bed. Oops. She didn't stir. "Psst. Chloe. Chloe, it's storming. You should come in Mommy's room so you aren't scared."

"Mumb lumm eat somfin," she mumbled sleepily in reply. I was pretty sure she was saying she was scared to death and needed to cuddle up next to me. I threw her over my shoulder, her body limp and lifeless, and tossed her onto my bed.

I finally got through to the power company. And just to be safe, I called in for all my neighbors, too. I was sweating. I tossed and turned, jolting at each crack of thunder. I pulled Chloe closer. "It's ok, Mommy is here. We're safe," I whispered to her unconscious ear. She responded with a shallow snore.

Finally I worried my mind enough that it shut down and drifted off to sleep. The comfortable buzz of night time noises returned, and the house cooled again as the power was restored a few hours later. My phone rang this morning. It was my mother.

"How did you guys do in the storm last night? Were you ok?" (She knows my terror over storms).
"Well, Chloe got pretty scared and came in my bed, but I was fine..."

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cyber Stalkers (re) Unite!

It's no secret I am a regular user of social networking sites. There is just something about the thrill of those little notifications telling you someone has sent you a message, posted a comment on your profile, or better yet, wants to be your "friend." I am a bit of a MySpace snob, but I'll pretty much accept anyone on "The Stalker Site" aka Facebook. Notice I said, "pretty much."

I guess this all started about two years ago when I really got into MySpace. Many of my friends and acquaintances were becoming users as well, and it was really fun finding people I had lost track of and seeing who was interested in re-connecting with me. Every now and then, however, I would get a request I just didn't want to accept. People have a weird obsession with my business anyway, so I tried to screen out people I thought seemed insincere.

So, this girl, who shall remain nameless, requested me on MySpace. I ignored it. She is someone I was NEVER friends with. In fact, not to sound too snobby, but I never liked her at all. And not in the mean, "I'm better than the poor little girl no one likes," kind of way. More, "I can't stand your annoying face and the fact that you think you're the shit" kind of way.

When she requested me on Facebook a few months later, I didn't think much of it. I just clicked "ignore" and went along with my business.

Let's just say that by now, the requests must total fourteen at least. I finally blocked her on Facebook, and have yet to figure out if she's just too dull to get the hint, or if she is THAT persistent. It's almost like she's stalking me. She even started showing up in unusual places.

I tried not to think much of it when I went to CMSU to be finger printed for work on a Friday afternoon in October, and I had to look the other way to avoid her as she walked in the door I was exiting. I called it "coincidence" when I took my car to the dealer for a replacement keyless entry and she was working on the car next to me. And when I pretended not to recognize her, she was SURE to remind me who she was. As. If. I. Didn't. KNOW.

The last straw with my pseudo-stalker was Saturday. It was my ten year reunion. It has been TEN years since I graduated high school. I'm not a rocket-scientist, but I'm pretty sure that the premise of a reunion is for the graduating class to reunite every five years or so. Senior year is the year that brings people together, and forms our opinions of high school in general. That is the group we reunite with.

I had noticed on the reunion's facebook page (yes, it has one) she was attending. I started pondering her involvement. Wait a minute. Didn't she move freshman year? She did! So the girl, who didn't even graduate with us, who I'm PRETTY sure stalks me (although I tend to be a bit over-dramatic at times), who friend requested me (and several other stubborn ones) FOURTEEN TIMES showed up at our ten year reunion, and acted like we were all the best of buddies.

I tried to avoid her presence as much as possible, but when she pulled her ghetto-mobile up to the shelter house and began blaring distorted, questionable music, I ducked behind a pole as each Warsawian drove by to see what the ruckus was.

What started as a simple battle of wills has now become a staunch effort at avoidance on my part. Do they have a cyber witness protection program?

****As I am looking at group pictures on Facebook I see my stalker, FRONT AND CENTER in all the pictures of the "Class of 99" I giggled.****

In Transition

It seems like the last several years I have constantly been "in transition." I find myself wrapping up one part of my life and waiting for the next part to begin. Starting a marriage. Waiting for graduation and a first job. Changing homes. Waiting on a baby. Changing jobs. Changing jobs. Waiting for a raise. Ending a marriage.

It's no secret I feel I've learned a lot over the past year or two. One of the things I have learned is that being "in transition" doesn't mean I have to put my life on hold. In fact, some of my best living has been done "in transition." Somewhere along the way I have picked up the skills I need to evolve into the woman I envision for myself.

Four months ago when Chloe and I inhabited this home by ourselves for the first time, I was scared. Friends and family added to my worry, magnifying the things that I was already concerned about. How will you make ends meet? What will you cut out? Too bad you have a car payment. Too bad you have to drive so far to work. Won't you be scared? Who will watch Chloe when you have work duties? I quickly made a decision not to WORRY about the transition, but to LIVE it.

By being active rather than sitting back and worrying, I have actually made a difference in my own life. Somehow I'm running my household very similarly on half the income. I've always budgeted money fairly well, but now I'm using every trick I can come by, like buying my meat the day I am cooking it, so I can get it half price. Cutting back on TV channels, and turning my thermostat up two degrees. It's amazing how much the little stuff adds up.

I may be in some kind of transition for the rest of my life. I can't die waiting to live. Now is the time. I have learned to live each day and take it for what it is, good or bad. I now know that this too, shall pass, whether it's good or bad. I'm cherishing the good things, brushing off the bad, and learning how to be happy for the very first time.

Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.