Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tornados and Chocolate...With a Dash of My Neurosis for Extra Fun

Last night we had a nasty storm system move through Alabama. Nasty enough to make a Southern Fundamentalist think that god might have decided that Mississippi and Alabama had failed their mission to show the rest of the country the “true way” and were now being wiped off the map. Nasty enough to make the transplants from the North think “I traded 6 inches of snowy winter-funland for THIS?” And it’s not even spring yet. They have no idea what they’re in for.

Seeing as how I work so far from home, I keep an eye on things when the atmosphere gets in its party mode. I like a shake-down and groove-out as much as the next gal…as long as I’m home, not driving at 80 75 miles an hour. And this was shaping up to be the Rave Of The Month. (mom: see the definition for Rave here. Just kidding – I know you’re “in” on our little party words!) So I left work 30 minutes earlier than I had planned (god, I LOVE my new job), and pulled in my driveway just as they were issuing the tornado warning for my little slice of southern Shelby County. I briefly thought of calling the National Weather Service to thank them for holding off on passing out the tabs of Ecstasy until I was safely at home, but I figured they had more important things to do. Maybe I’ll make them some special brownies for their next party or something. So I availed myself of the open bar, and tuned in to Mr. Spann, the life of any Tornado Party. He makes suspenders look GOOD.

The weather map looked like it always does – all red, green, orange, and yellow. Kind of like (what I imagine) looking at a Christmas tree after dropping LSD would be. They were really getting into the party (or they had sprung for the good drugs) if they were pulling out all those little flashing circles all over the map and using the free-drink code word (tornado) so much. Which meant I needed to get my trusty box of important papers and put them in the laundry room – because when my roof is ripped off, that little box that doesn’t even latch shut is going to keep my marriage certificate safe. One of the circles was moving my direction. Nothing kills a party like one of those nasty circles. They’re worse than cops at an under-age drinking party (not that I’ve ever…oh hell. Who am I kidding?)

Did I mention my hubby wasn’t home? He was at the gym. Promised me he’d call before he left, in case the weather was bad and he had to ride out the party on campus. At this point in my evening, he’s between me and the storm. Here’s a rough transcript of our call:

Him: “Hi hon---” I hear his truck running in the background and my blood pressure skyrockets

Me: “What the hell are you doing!??!!”

Him: “I’m driving home, whatchya---“


Him: “Where is it?”


Him: I’m calling now, aren’t I?”


Him: Well, if it’s in Brierfield, then I’m about 4 miles in front of it and I’ll beat it home.”

At this point, I think I blacked out. He knows the party rules: Only in small enclosed areas with no exterior walls! We don’t party while driving in this family! Safety is important in a Rave.

So, I sat there, watching the map, willing all the colors and circles to keep their nasty habits and pills and party fun away from him on the road. Of course, the wind and rain were bad enough that it took him twice as long to get home. And he called me back once:

Him: “Did you remember to check the mail, or should I do it before I run in the house?”
Me: “The WHAT?”

Him: “The mail. It’s raining, and I don’t want to get wet if you’ve already checked it.”


Him: “Ok, but did you check the mail?”

And then five minutes later, the circles and colors were passing about 10 miles to the south of us, and he was pulling in the driveway. I met him at the door. He handed me a white paper bag with “I love you” cut out of it and red tissue paper inside. He had brought me party supplies to a party he missed because he broke the cardinal rule: No partying on the road.

In the end we were fine and life moved on. The Weather People took their mind-numbing flashing colors away, and now we’re stocking up on our supplies for the next party.

And the bag that my hubby brought me had chocolate in it. I refused to open it for about 20 minutes, because I still had a lot of yelling to do and chocolate should never be given in anger. It’s too beautiful of for that. But it made coming down from the party-high much easier, and almost negated the “crash” that inevitably happens.

And lest you think I’m crazy….here’s a picture of the storm that was zeroing in on him as hubby was driving home:

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