Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just Another American Midwestern Saturday Night

A bit of background info:

I've lived in the Midwest, aka "Tornado Alley", for 25+ years. Every spring from elementary through high school I would march into the hallway, kneel down facing the wall, and cover the back of my neck with my hands during routine tornado drills. I grew up watching Tom Skilling and "Storm Chasers," learning how to detect prime tornado weather. Tornado watches and warnings are as common in the summer as sunburn.

And yet every time the sirens wail during a storm, I flip out. Ok, maybe that's an understatement...I go berserk. Case in point:

Last Saturday.

While watching America's Got Talent and enjoying our Oberweis ice cream, the National Weather Service declared a tornado warning in the Kankakee area. Naturally, the Man ignored it. And naturally, I ran for the bathroom (the safest place in a house without a basement; I wasn't that scared). I quickly started gathering the essentials for survival and making my goodbye phone calls. Seriously. Berserk.

My tornado survival kit (clockwise from left): a deck of cards, body wash, a candle, the Man's Certified Emergency Response Team kit, my motorcycle helmet, a pillow, our Dave Ramsey envelopes, and matches.

Go ahead. Say it. I'm a huge sally.

Luckily the Man took pity on me, hung up the phone (did I mention he was on the phone with his best friend the entire time I was having a meltdown in the bathtub? I can't blame him.) and joined me in the bathroom. He helped keep my mind off of the impending tornado by taking goofy pictures and challenging me to strip Texas Hold-'Em poker. Despite my preparation, the storm came and went without as much as a broken tree limb.

So maybe I overreacted. Maybe I was a bit embarrassed. Maybe I spent the rest of the evening trying to convince the Man I'm not a baby.

At least we were prepared.

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