Bravery of those other than me. I'm only proud that I didn't grab Jane and hide in the attic like I've envisioned doing so many times (my version of a panic room).
Sacrifice in my need to not be an inconvenience to anyone.
Will power in not killing the cause of all this adventure.
Here's the story. If you don't have ten minutes, come back later. I'm a story teller. It's gonna be a long one.
Background facts necessary for understanding and sympathizing:
- Dan's out of town for the night for work
- Jen had slight addiction to A&E cop shows about 5 years ago that resulted in extreme fear and caution involving potential break-ins, murder, rape, kidnapping, crime of any nature - extreme...
So, I'm off to bed... I take care of my typical, Dan-is-out-of-town-tonight-and-I-must-take-every-precaution-to-protect-Jane-and-I routine - which includes but is not limited to (I can't tell u everything) bringing my cell phone to bed with me, turning on all exterior house lights, double checking door locks and leaving Molly (a.k.a. annoying mini barking dog) downstairs to sleep - she's my canary in a coal mine... I know if Molly is not barking, I have nothing to worry about (unless she's been taken out, of course). This also includes scouring the kitchen for items Ernie (kitten with a death wish) may decide to knock off the counter/table, etc. that would result in the house alarm going off unnecessarily and resulting in my ultimate death due to fear-induced heart attack. Yes. I am this crazy. Some people fear diseases. Some people fear the end of the world. I fear the boogie man.
I am not the girl who says "it will never happen to me"...
I have this feeling tonight. I just feel it. I know the alarm is going to go off. I can't explain it. I just have a feeling.
I turn on the house alarm regardless. Look out my bedroom window (which overlooks the back patio) to make sure in the five minutes since I've come upstairs, no one is stalking the backyard or looking in the back windows. And turn off my lamp to go to sleep.
12:00am. House. Alarm. Sounds.
I'm sorry. I know I usually don't swear "out loud" on the blog but this was a holy eff moment and I'm trying to paint the picture of what I was going through.
I check the alarm pad and see from the code that the glassbreak detectors in the kitchen have been activated. I run to my trusty window, thankful I implemented my outdoor light strategy, and see that there is no one lurking in the backyard. At least, not anymore. My heart is pounding through my fingertips now. I turn off the alarm and open my bedroom door. Molly's not barking. Good sign. Ernie is sitting in the hallway looking at me like "what?".
I'm WAY to freaked to go downstairs to take a look around the house. And, since Molly's not reacting, I'm thinking it must have been the cat or the dog who set it off in the first place. The alarm company calls seconds later, and I tell her this and hang up.
I man the alarm again right away. Get into bed. Power up the iPad for a long night of lying awake until the sun comes up and the boogie man disappears with the dark of night.
My alarm starts beeping. The "trouble" light is on. The "trouble" light means (1) I've lost power (2) I've lost my phone line.
I call Dan and wake him up. "The alarm went off."
"What?" (Dan obviously still in "is this a dream or is my wife crazy" mode)
"The house alarm just went off and I think it might have been one of the animals but now I'm freaking out because I just turned the alarm back on and (picking up the house phone and turning on...) the phone lines dead..."
"The phone lines are dead Dan. The alarm just went off. I just told the girl not to send the cops and now my phone line is dead. I think someone just cut the phone line..."
So, yeah. I'm freakin the eff out but basically just yelling at Dan, who's trying to calm me down, for leaving me for the night (because it's his fault someone is trying to kill me). I decide to be brave and head downstairs to take a look around to see if I can find the original cause of the alarm. I keep Dan on the phone and instruct him to call 911 if I scream or he loses me on the phone. I'm sorry. It's funny now but it wasn't last night.
I turn on every light switch at hand. Molly's glances up from the couch, groggy-eyed. Another good sign. The dog barks if you fart too loudly.
I search through the kitchen. Nothing. No water glasses broken on the floor. No bowls off the table. Nothing in the sink. No toys toppled over. Nothing. I glance outside. Nothing. No cause, in the house, for the alarm going off.
I check the phone downstairs, dead.
So, now, what do I do? It's been 30 mins since the original alarm went off.
Dan tells me to call the cops. Not the 911 cops but the "come by and check it out" cops.
Oh. What I just realized I forgot to mention at this point is that I've already cried 2-3 times by now. I am not a crier. This is a blessing of pregnancy.
I call the dispatch centre and proceed to tell my story to the friendly lady while including details about how I've been swearing at my husband because, somehow (again), it's his fault someone is trying to kill me. She's laughing. She offers to send someone out and I feel bad so I ask her if she thinks it's necessary. She tells me to call the alarm company and check if they've tied up my phone line for some reason, then to call her back and she'll send someone out.
I call my old friend Bob from the alarm company, surely waking him and his entire family up... I don't care. He asks me about the codes, we laugh about me yelling at Dan, etc. etc. All while Dan is calling a hundred times on the other line because, I lost him when I called the cops and called Bob immediately, and Dan is probably thinking I'm dead by now. Bob tells me it's likely the cable company is doing work in my area (at midnight???) and that I shouldn't be worried. He does say he is concerned about the original reason for the alarm. He doesn't seem to think it's a strange coincidence that 10 mins after my alarm randomly goes off, my phone lines go dead. We say our goodbyes and I feel better. Yeah. Like if I was a 10 out of 10 on the freaked meter, now I'm an 9.57.
I call Dan back, cry again, yell again. And start to say goodbye because he's trying to calm me down again and that's just making me more upset. I tell him I'm going to stay awake until the sun comes up... I tell him what Bob said about the cable company theory and, this is why I love him, he forces me to call the cops back and ask them to come check out the house. This is one thing I know about myself. I HATE asking for help. I HATE inconvenience people. I HATE asking for anything. I cry while I'm on the phone with the cops this time... awesome. I make sure to tell this lady I'm pregnant, twice, and that I usually do not cry to so much. I don't think she finds me funny.
She says she'll send someone right away. I get dressed into an I-just-woke-up-but-I-found-a-nice-pair-of-leggings-and-a-sweater "on the floor" outfit... I'm freaked out, but apparently I'm able to keep my cool enough to still have my priorities in order when a man-in-uniform is coming to the house. My Mom would be so proud. I'm the daughter who takes time to put her best dress on while the house is burning down.
I'm downstairs now, still on the phone with Dan in case there's someone lurking around the corner, waiting for the cop to pull up. I've actually gotten the "balls" now to look out the front window, where I was previously sure I'd see a car waiting for the man trying to kill me. But there's nothing.
Then I hear it....
Cling. Cling. Cling.
The ting of metal on a porcelain bowl.
I turn around to see Ernie pawing at his food dish... which is upside down. On the floor. Off the table.
Holy mother of effin eff eff bags and s*** effer you better run for your life (he's still alive, I swear).
The cop pulls up right after I notice this.
I come prancing out the door, Molly in my arms so she doesn't bark. Soon as the cop gets out of his car, I start crying again because I'm so nervous, scared, relieved, embarrassed, and a bazillion other things. I am in love with him immediately. He tells me right away that the cable company is at the end of the street and is working on the phone lines. He asks me to tell him what happened. He tells me that it's his job to give me peace of mind. I love him. I don't tell him that I've since discovered that my stupid-a**, going to punish him by pushing him the bathtub every time he's on the edge for the rest of his life, kitten is responsible for my alarm going off in the first place - which, when combined with the cable guy news, basically means he's at my house for no reason. I say stupid things like "you guys actually have note pads?" and "this is my first time actually talking to a cop!" I am so cool. But, seriously, despite all the facts at that point, when the man says "I'm going to go out and take a look around your property ma'am", I am thinking "my hero" (a la old fashion movie, southern accent, sigh). I watch him walk around the back with his flashlight and curse, realizing, he's probably cursing too cause he definitely just stepped in dog poop in the backyard... he leaves after saying "my name is lenny by the way" and I sigh again, complete admiration of his bravery to walk around my dark house by himself when I wouldn't even come downstairs.
I feel immediate relief.
Before I fall asleep, I take a minute to think of the cooler things I could have said to the cop. I envisioned me inviting him in for a coffee and chatting about his work, his stories, and so on. I am so cool. Then I think about him a little more seriously. Like, this was nothing for him. To come to my house, not knowing what to expect, all by himself. I mean, I'm pretty sure the smartest way to go about that job is to always assume the worst. And he goes around my house, no biggie, by himself, with his flashlight. What if the boogie man was back there?? Cops are dreamy... male and female. I am officially in love with them all. If I knew where "lenny" would have been today, I would have dropped off cookies and coffee and love notes and anything that would make him realize how much his small gesture of not judging me and not discrediting my fear meant to me.
Today, I am exhausted. Dan is exhausted. I love him. Despite yelling at him, I love him for stepping up and being the protective husband and forcing me to call the cops. Being that, obviously, I'm somewhat crazy about these things, he generally tells me I'm crazy and to go to bed. But last night, he was my white knight on a blackberry. I surprised him with way-too-expensive Jerry Seinfeld tickets this morning as a thank you and a sorry for yelling at you even though I needed you and it obviously wasn't your fault the cat and the cable company made me think someone was trying to kill me while you were out of town...
The cat is still alive. I'm considering options for future sleeping arrangements. Maybe I'll start feeding him lard so he'll get so fat he can't even get off the couch... maybe I'll refrain from talking about my plans for animal abuse on a public forum. :p
Wishing you a safe and happy evening...