Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It Made Total Sense At The Time

Growing up in Texas, tornado warnings and sirens were quite normal, but I've never prepared for or lived through a hurricane.  My dad and two older brothers were born and raised in New Orleans, and my little brother and I were born there and lived there the first few years of our lives.  So my only personal-feeling experience with hurricanes was watching the coverage of Katrina from my NYC dorm room with tears streaming down my face at the beginning of my senior year of college.  Not that Irene and Katrina are in the same category, but just the word "hurricane" conjures up awful images and causes a great deal of anxiety, especially if one is coming and you have no experience preparing. 

We got ready by stocking up on bottled water, canned beans, tuna, and crackers; we bought an extra flashlight; brought the grill and patio table inside; and made sure we had a full tank of gas in the car.

Then Joe worked all day Saturday and I was left on my own to work myself into an anxious tizzy of waiting and speculating and preparing. 

Left to my own devices, this is apparently how I prepare for hurricanes:

  • Organize all the long-ignored stacks of paper on the desk and dining table.  Shred what needs shredding, file what needs filing, put the rest in recycle bin.  This was somewhat logical.
  • Do laundry.  So we have plenty of clean underwear and towels in case there's no power for a while.  Again, logical.
  • Sanitize the bathtub and fill it with water so in case a water main breaks, we can still flush the toilet with a bucket of water and also have water for washing and brushing our teeth.  Very reasonable. 
  • Move all the file boxes with important documents to the highest shelf possible.  Practical.
  • Make sure all laptops, phones, and the iPad were fully charged. Good.
Here's where the logic starts to break down:
  • I cleaned all the counter tops and mirrors in the house.  I don't know.
  • I dusted the entire house.  In case all the windows break and water, wind, and debris rushes in, at least all the dust won't be swirled about.
  • I replaced the Kleenex in the decorative Kleenex holder.  In case the hurricane strikes and we get colds.
  • I washed my face and took off all make-up.  What if I can't wash my face properly for days?
  • I made a huge pot of red beans & rice.  You know, because.
  • I made a pie.  What if firefighters have to rescue us?  That's company.  My Southern roots run deeper than I knew. 
  • I resisted the overwhelming urge to clean the floors.  I hate cleaning the floors.  This was the only illogical task I was able to talk myself out of. 
So apparently, when faced with impending catastrophe, my instinct is to obsessively clean the entire house and prepare enough food to feed everyone for weeks.  If there was ever any doubt I am my grandmother's granddaughter, the speculation can now end.

I am very relieved my anxiety-fueled, silly preparations proved unnecessary and am keeping those who are suffering right now in my thoughts.  May this be the last bit of storminess you have to deal with for quite some time.


SG said...

I think you cooked so much because you didnt know if I would be coming to stay with you and we all know how much I like to eat.