Saturday, August 24, 2013

The one in which I am bad at emergencies but great at smelling.

A "fun" fact about me is that I'm fairly awful under pressure. If you ever have an emergency, I will be happy to sympathize with you after the fact, but you really, really shouldn't call me for help during the emergency unless you're prepared to give me very detailed step-by-step instructions on what to do. I don't even freak out, necessarily; I just become completely immobile because I literally have no idea what I should do. It's like my brain sees an emergency and decides to take a time-out until the emergency is over. Fortunately, I am married to someone who has chosen "being good at emergencies" as a career THREE times. He worked as an EMT while attending police academy, then he worked as a police officer while attending medical school, and now he works as an emergency physician. So he is professionally good at emergencies, and I am a disaster at them. I have often maintained that Dan is proof that God takes care of me. I know of only one police officer/ER doctor in the world, and I'm married to him.

Anyway, this morning when I woke up, I came out into our living room and smelled a very, very faint smell of natural gas. (Dan hadn't smelled anything when he left for work, but he always tells me I have the nose of a bloodhound, so it's not unusual for me to smell something that he can't.) Since I just told you how bad I am at dealing with emergencies, I will now give you a multiple choice quiz to test your reading comprehension skills.

Question: When I smelled gas in my house this morning, what did I do?
     A - Called the gas company.
     B - Called 911.
     C - Ran around screaming.
     D - Stood there sniffing for a while, made a cup of coffee, opened a window, drank a few sips of coffee, sent text messages to various people that said "I just woke up, and I think our house kind of smells like natural gas! What should I do?" And then when my professionally good-at-emergencies husband responded with, "Call the gas company and get out of the house," I promptly forgot the name of our gas company and then was unable to figure out how I could find their phone number, so he had to text it to me. And then I put on eyeliner before I called them. 

Um. The answer is D. D, people! I put on eyeliner before I called the gas company.

The fact that I'm writing this is obviously an indication that I'm not dead, so that's good. The gas company sent someone out, and she walked around with some sort of meter that checked for gas in our house, and she found nothing. And then she went outside and checked our line and our meter, and still found nothing. So of course I felt like an idiot. But at least I was wearing eyeliner.

She left, and I took Lucas upstairs and put him in the pack and play so that I could take a shower now that I had been assured that we weren't going to die, and I sent follow-up texts to the people I had texted initially (and by the way, out of the three people I texted, all three knew to call the gas company before putting on eyeliner...) letting them know that I was just crazy and there was no gas. And then I heard a knocking at the door and then someone open the door and yell, "Hello? Hello?"

It turns out that the gas company sprays something on your gas meter to check for leaks, and at first she hadn't seen anything, but then when she went to rinse it off before she left, there were tons of bubbles all over it, which meant there was a leak in our gas meter. Outside. Far away from where I had smelled the gas. And all of the windows were closed. At least three times, she said "There is no way you could've smelled that from inside." Except that I did. And when I texted Dan to tell him, he responded with "Ha!!! That's because you are a bloodhound."

It was a simple fix, and we weren't ever actually in danger, which is nice, but this is probably an indication that Dan should conduct mandatory disaster drills in our home on a weekly basis so that I don't drown because a water pipe bursts and I spend hours sitting under it while wondering what I should do.

In the meantime, if you can think of a good name for a super hero whose super power is an incredible sense of smell but whose main weakness is an inability to do anything when there's an emergency, please let me know.

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  1. My sister, Sharon Jenkins, (What! You didn't know she had one? Well, she does! When you are an adult you can choose your family, no matter what those posters say) and she sent me your link. This is great. You are a gifted writer. Sharon is too. I've been a freelance writer for several years too. So glad to meet you through your blog. Keep on writing. I can tell it brings you joy and you are really, really good at it. And I'm sure you look great in your eyeliner no matter what the emergency...

  2. Oh, and did you know that Sharon made up the most marvelous songs for Philip when he was little? Mostly to the tune of Ba-Ba-Ba-Barbara Ann.

  3. Sandra - Thank you!! I automatically love anyone who loves Aunt Sharon. Nice to meet you!

  4. I love this part the most: "But at least I was wearing eyeliner."

    I have to agree with you. At least we look good when people kinda doubt our judgment :). Will put that in mind.

    And, I am glad to be able to find this blog as I am, I guess, worse than you when it comes to emergencies.

    Have a great day!

  5. Thanks for stopping by! It's always nice to meet someone else who can't handle emergencies! Nice to know I'm not alone. ;)

  6. Stopping by from SITS Sharefest. A few years ago my next door neighbor knocked on my door because he smelled gas that he was sure was coming from my house. I, like you, had no earthly idea what to do. It was 10pm after all and I didn't want to disturb anyone even though I might be dead or blown to smithereens by morning. My neighbor convinced me to call the gas company and the leak was found in the gas line to our BBQ grill. Clearly my neighbor is a member of your "Bloodhound Super Smellers" posse!

  7. You neighbor and I should totally be super heroes together!! I'll have to be the sidekick, since he seems a little more capable of actually using his sense of smell for productive purposes...

  8. Of course the main thing is the eyeliner! I have a husband named Dan and a son named Luke. What are the odds? :) Stopping by from SITS.

  9. Ha! Both are excellent names. I can only assume that your family is awesome! Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Ruth Ann from ErieAugust 26, 2013 at 9:01 PM

    Maybe this is all because you are a mother. The women I know who have given birth would swear there is nothing more emergent in all of life.

    Fact check: Throes of stopped, and declared: " I must apply eye-liner."



    Glad you're all safe. Keep sniffing.

  11. Haha! You're right, I didn't apply eyeliner while in labor. At least not that I recall. :)

  12. my sister is like that, and she is also horrible in emergencies. and really any situation. she tends to panic, cry a lot, and freak everyone else out. but i think having kids made her better with emergencies.

    glad you're safe!

    1. Oh man, I'm a crier and a freak-out-er too. I'm still waiting for mommyhood to make me better at emergencies!

  13. I hadn't had a good enough laugh today, and I was getting really bummed out about that since it's close to my bedtime. Thank God I found this post via Pile of Babies. And I can relate. When our dog got hit by a car, I called 911. The dispatcher was like, "Ma'am, we don't send ambulances for dogs." Oh yeah. Duh. Meanwhile, my husband and my neighbor had already scooped up my pup, put her in the back of my neighbor's SUV, and were on the way to the animal emergency clinic. I was still standing in the doorway with the phone in my hand. But I did have on eyeliner. So there's that.

    1. I would've called 911 too!!! I mean, if I had remembered how to use my phone...

    2. I would've called 911 too!!! I mean, if I had remembered how to use my phone...