Thursday, September 6, 2012

Things I Learned About Myself During the Great Power Outage of 2012 (or, How I Survived 1.5 Hours as a Pioneer Woman)

This morning after dropping Mason off at preschool (lets not even get into that gongshow but to answer your question yes, it did suck as much as the last two times) I came home, put Avery down for her nap, and settled myself at my computer, intent on knocking out a new post before pick-up time. And then something akin to the Apocalypse happened – all.power.went.out. And all power stayed out for almost two hours.

Two. Hours.

That’s, like, an entire episode of The Bachelor, y’all. We’re talkin’ some serious time.

And during my visit back to the Dark Ages, I learned a few things about myself that I’d like to share with you now:

1. I’m a slow learner Once I realized the outage was going to be for a while, I tried busying myself around the house because, well, what the hell else was I going to do? And that busying didn’t go so well because I kept forgetting that the power was off. 

First I’d walk into a room and immediately try turning on the light. Fuck, that’s right … power’s off. Ok, well, I can do this in the dark. And then I’d grab, I don’t know, say a load of laundry, throw it in the washing machine and try turning it on. FUCK! Power. Need it, don’t have it. Ok, what else can I do? Well, I guess I can tidy Mason’s room. And then I’d walk in there, and flick the light switch. ARGH! Fucking power! Fuckity fuck fuck! How the hell’d they do this before electricity?! And then I’d remember. Oh yeah … windows. I can open the window. Windows let in sunlight. Sunlight brightens rooms. Ok, I got this. Pleased with myself, I’d complete the task, walk into the next room to do something else, and then promptly hit the light switch again. FUUUCKK!!     

And so on and so forth. 

About 30 minutes in, I began to realize something else:

2. I have a hard time deciphering which household items use electricity and which do not.
I don’t know if it was just the heat of the moment or the fact that I never paid attention in science class (sorry Mom, the actual high school science teacher that I lived with for 20+ years. I know you’re hanging your head in shame right now), but this seriously stumped me. As I wandered the house, leaving non-working flipped light switches in my wake, I began questioning which things would actually turn on.

Ok, well, maybe I’ll call mom and see if the power’s out in their neighbourhood too. Oh shit … The phone works on electricity. Or does it? Wait … yes, yes it definitely does. Its plugged into the wall because I remember that time Mace pulled it out and it didn’t work. So that’s out. But … I can call her with my cell phone! THAT works! Right? Ummm … ok, at night I plug it into the wall to charge it so…. no … buuuuut …. I’m CHARGING the BATTERY so YES! Yes, it DOES! Sweet!

Just imagine that same conversation in my head as I worked out the electrical needs of the following: the garage door, water taps, the stove/oven, the car, and the elliptical machine. Einstein I am not.

And, as the gravity of the situation began to sink in (no working oven? NO ELLIPTICAL?!! I’m doomed!! Doomed!) I learned something else about myself:

3. I panic easily.
Once we hit the hour mark with no power, the realization of my predicament should it continue much longer dawned on me. And I’m not gonna lie … I went into full-on melt-down mode.

OH my god, the a/c! We have no a/c! Jesus, its hot in here already … its like the house is closing in on me. HOW ARE WE GOING TO SURVIVE WITHOUT AIR CONDITIONING?! Lord, *fanning self with hands* its so hot. So hotttttt! The kids and I are going to have to be naked while we eat our lu …. OH MY GOD! HOW AM I GOING TO COOK US LUNCH?!!! With a goddamn CAMPFIRE?!!! Oh lord ……………. Ok Andra, calm down. Calm down, girl. Get ahold of yourself. Its fine. Its fine! You’ll just take the kids out to lunch after you pick Mason up from school at 11:30 ohhhhhhhhhh lord SAVE US! I don’t know what time it is! I can’t tell time without a working clock!!!!!!! AAAAARRGGGH!!!
Or something like that. And regarding the a/c, please try to forget the rather obvious point that it is September. And I live in Canada. 

Anyways, I’m happy to report that not all of the 1.5 hours were doom-and-gloom. A few positives came out of my time recreating the 1700s:

4. I can get a lot done when I don’t have electrical items to tempt me. 
Apart from my inability to do laundry I actually got a ton of of domestically-orientated work done in that short 1.5 hour window. Accomplished during that time: beds made, clothes hung and put away, the entire house tidied, kitchen decluttered, and a thank you card to my grandmother written. And that was in between my panic attacks. Can I get a wha-what! 

I also was quite proud of the fact that I figured out how to finish off the dry cycle on the dishwasher that had been running just prior to the outage. Wanna know how?

I opened the dishwasher and let the dishes air dry. DSC_0607a     
I know. I owned that task. I Laura Ingalls Wilder-ed the shit out of that task.   

Don’t think I’m not proud. 

I lastly (lastly? Finally?) learned that:

5. I love my cell phone. I want to marry my cell phone.

My cell phone, once I determined that it would work in a power outage, was my saviour during this trial. Don’t know what time it is? Check the cell phone! Need communication with the outside world? Use the cell phone! Want to order a pizza because the oven doesn’t work (sure, that’s my excuse) – Cellphone!!  

And it appears I wasn’t alone in my cell phone love that long, dark September morn. Over the span of those 1.5 hours I, who rarely texts, had ongoing conversations with five different people about the situation. FIVE. Considering I don’t even have five friends (who were those #3, 4, and 5 discussions with?) this was a momentous occasion.

So did we survive? You bet. Did I learn some great lessons about my self? Definitely. Would I have wanted to live back in the days without electricity?

Not on your ass.


  1. Love this! I cannot live without electricity- its my weakness. Like, I go into panic mode when we have a hurricane in the Gulf. I made my husband buy a generator, even though we are way away from the coast line and rarely lose power. Better safe than sorry I say! Glad You found me on the blog hop!

  2. Just found your site on the blog hop. This post had me rolling laughing. I loathe having to go without power, but hey, better during the day than when it's dark outside right??

  3. HaHA! Looks like you made my list of sites to read with a cold beverage.. We apparently had a gas leaks (inside and out) last month. We went 2 weeks before it could get repaired and have them come check and turn it back on. It was pure Hell. Hand washing dishes in freezing cold water makes you believe you have aged 30 years in 5 minutes and that you have miraculously become arthritic

  4. wha-what! Great job cleaning the house! We did have one power outage last year and we were pretty much figuring out what ran on electricity and what did not the same as you! For instance, I was so pleased that I could work on my laptop till I realized that the modem ran on electricity! What the hell could I do then? Open an MS Word document?!?!
    Following you via Bloglovin'!

  5. OMG funniest post ever!!!! Favourite line- "I Laura Ingalls Wilder-ed the shit out of that task. "

  6. I am the EXACT same way when the power goes out. We have well water too, so we have the constant yell of DON'T FLUSH!!!! But mom, I have to poop! Shit. Just close the lid. So glad you linked up with me so that I can now follow and read!!!


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