Usually, DMc and I spend Saturday mornings running our errands and then treat ourselves to lunch out – it’s our recurring weekly date. Today, he headed out East to assist his family with some stuff, and I ran the weekend errands alone. This involved my initiating the Solo Female security protocol for unloading the shopping.
When DMc and his big-ass truck are gone from home, and I need to unload stuff from my trunk, it’s Solo Female security time. After disarming our home alarm system, I pull into the garage at an angle across both parking spaces, close the garage door, then unlock and exit the vehicle. Our garage is reasonably sized enough that this allows me to open my tailgate and move around freely while hidden from view. A big bonus is that I can go back and forth between my vehicle and the extra pantry and freezer in the garage, as well as in and out of the kitchen in the main house. It’s a blessing, and I often take it for granted.
So today, I take my time unloading groceries and a box from Total Wine & More (or, as I like to call it, Boozer Mecca), then go back out to the garage to re-park my vehicle on my side. This involves getting into the vehicle, locking it, opening the garage door with my remote, then backing out into the driveway and repositioning my SUV on my side of the garage. Normally, this is super quick and painless.
Today, however…ooh, today. I backed into the driveway, angling my vehicle to line up with my usual parking space, glanced at the backup cam, and FROZE. Like, hit the brake, checked the lock on the door, forced my jaw closed, and made myself breathe again. Briefly wondered if we are in fact living in a badly written computer game, and my code just tangled itself and crapped out a living nightmare.
Allow me to briefly digress, this is highly pertinent!
I watched the original miniseries of Stephen King’s “IT” with Tim Curry as Pennywise back in 1990 – I have absolutely no idea why, since I cannot tolerate scary shows or movies. I can read scary books until the cows come home, but if somebody else’s theatrical vision of any very scary thing runs in front of my eyes, it sears itself into my memory in a way that invariably interrupts my sleep for several days. I avoid scary like the dickens. It never ends well for me, and simply adds to my Nightmare NoHopeForSleep Chest. I still get flashbacks of dreadful scenes from a TV version of Frankenstein some dumbass babysitter let me and my younger cousin watch when I was around 7 or 8. My ex-husband once bullied me into watching some terrifying movie in a theater with him and a buddy of his. I still have occasional nightmares about that skittering monochrome doctor guy with the pencil-thin mustache and scalpel. UGH. It’s been at least 15 years, and I cannot recall the name of the movie, but I am still triggered by the damn thing. Ergo – NO SCARY VIDEO TYPE THINGS. Nope, nope, and more nope.
Ahem. This brings us back to me sitting in my SUV in the driveway out back of our house, paralyzed while my bitch of an imagination runs wild. WILD, I tell you! Because what did I see in the backup cam?
I saw a half-deflated purple balloon, hovering about 18 inches above the ground, meandering from the alley into our driveway, then disappearing from my range of vision. Can’t see it in the backup cam, nor the rear-view mirror, nor the side mirrors, nor out of any of the windows. What. In. The. Actual. FUCK.
This is where we identify the gap in the security protocol, y’all.
There’s something weird outside the vehicle, I need yet to pull back into the garage, and the best option for self-defense I have with me is my keys and a tin of sugar-free mints. I guess I could try to get my walking stick out of the back seat and use it as a blunt instrument, but there’s no headroom unless I exit the vehicle. Where’s all my personal protection, which my loving husband has ensured I have available to me at all times? Oh, you know, in my PURSE, in the HOUSE. Because I came out to re-park with only my keys on me. Well, sonofabitch.
After waiting for a few minutes, I had no choice but to pull into the garage, close the door, turn off the vehicle, wait some more in silence, take a biiiiiig breath, then levitate out of the vehicle to the far side of the garage next to DMc’s giant tool box which surely has something I can make lethal easily accessible. Oh, a chisel? SURE! That’ll work! An awl might have been a tad more precise, but hey, we work with what we have.
Yes, I know I have an overactive imagination. No, the balloon did not get into the garage that I know of. I say “that I know of” because I refused to get down on the ground and look under my SUV. I simply hightailed it into the house, locked the door between it and the garage in every way possible, and shoved my piece into my apron pocket. Literally right on the heels of that happening, our front doorbell starts ringing insistently. RING, RING, RING, RIIIINNNGG!!!!
Why, yes, I did nearly piss myself. Wouldn’t you? But I had to go see what it was. There’s Holiday Season theft gangs swarming in our area right now, and I cannot let them think nobody’s home. We have a locked storm door in front of a double-locked thick, solid mahogany door with a small iron-laced double-paned window at eye height. I take a deep breath, look out the tiny window, and it’s some random illiterate guy trying to sell us tree-trimming labor. I say illiterate since we have the city-code-compliant “NO SOLICITORS” sign parked in a window that is right in one’s line of vision when approaching the house. I shout through my multiple layers of door, while holding my piece in my dominant hand, “No, thank you, sir, good luck to you and Happy Holidays!”
I will not be opening any windows in the house today despite the lovely, mild weather and all three cats asking politely. I look forward to DMc coming home so I feel cozy and safe again. Meanwhile, I’ll be here in the home office, drinking cheap wine over ice, assuring you all that I am absolutely not re-parking ever again sans Personal Protection. Gap identification leads to gap resolution. You can take the Gal outta the Business Analyst, but you can’t take the BA outta the Gal. Don’t work that way. 😉