Scene:  my dark, stormy neighborhood at 6:45 this morning, where there is currently no power.  Specifically, my garage, lit only by my weak flashlight and my daughter’s weaker (but blingier) Hannah Montana flashlight.

Problem:  how to disconnect a garage door opener, exactly?  So I can escape my house and go get a desperately needed cup of coffee at Starbucks?  I have already begun to solve this problem by rummaging through an entire kitchen drawer full of appliance manuals (an entire drawer!  how did this happen?!), locating the garage door opener manual, pretending I know what I’m doing by locating the page that says something about ‘disconnecting the blah-blehbetty-blah-blah, and resisting the urge to reorganize the drawer and throw out all the crap in there we don’t need or use anymore.  Priorities, Amy, FOCUS.  You will not get coffee until you free your car from the garage.

Me: Okay, Zoey.  According to this manual, there should be a cord we have to pull…towards the inside garage door.  I think?  Get your flashlight over here?  (I study the black box located directly over my car and begin–no, continue–to panic.  I need coffee.  Like, now.)

Zoey:  (scanning Hannah Montana in every direction but the one needed)  Mom!  What are you doing?

Me: (grunting)  Getting a chair to climb on.

Zoey:  (sternly)  Mom.  Should you call Uncle Paul?

Me:  OH FOR THE LOVE, ZOEY.  We can figure this out.  Don’t talk.  Look for a cord.

Zoey:  Mom!  Is it that red cord swinging right by the big garage door?

Me:  God bless you and your 20/20 vision.  Yes, that’s it.

What follows is a struggle to climb on a chair and pull (harder than what I feel should be necessary) until I hear a clunk that I figure means we’re either home free or doomed until the power comes back on.

Turns out, we’re golden!

I silently high-five my single parent self all the way to Starbucks and thru the drive-thru line.  I just solved an engineering problem at 6:45 in the morning!  With no coffee on board! 

I am greeted at the window by karma, that nasty old bitch, in the form of a good looking barista who normal works at the Starbucks across town and is now getting an eye full of my ratty hooded sweatshirt and my turquoise heart printed pajama pants.  I stop congratulating myself and start cringing instead.  He asks how my morning is going.

Great, Kevin.  It’s just…great.

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One thought on “On flashlights and power outages and wearing pajamas at Starbucks

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