Under the category of Misery loves company...I thought that sharing the effects of this morning's hangover would ease your pain a bit. No, not an alcohol hangover but, an eight girl sleep-over party hangover. The WORST kind of hangover! :(
Remember Katy's "Chocolate Party" that she had last year, a theme she picked up from her American Girl magazine? Well, this year's theme was "Monkey Business" and Katy and Jan were well prepared. But even the magazine suggested that six girls was a good number and Jan and I felt that that was surely the limit. But once word leaked out to a few others, Katy didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings and it quickly turned in to eight.
Do you by any chance recall from your youth the sound of eight girls talking at the top of their lungs, all at the same time? At times you really want to stop and say to them, "Do you realize that you are all talking at the same time about completely different subjects and that not a single one of you is listening to any others of you?" But they seem so delighted with the whole process, you quickly realize that any such ridiculous question will only result in having eight ten year old girls staring at you with a look of deep concern that possibly you are completely insane or, at a minimum, completely out of it.
So you try to adjust and go with the flow and you become ever so grateful you decided to purchase those wireless headphones for the TV.
But fate was yet to intervene and take it all to a completely different level. When dropping the kids off, one of the mothers, after looking deeply into our eyes, obviously wondering too if we were completely insane for partaking in such a venture, mentioned that with all the wind we'd had recently, they'd lost power for three days. To which I quickly blurted out that, "We hadn't lost power in over two years." No sooner had the words left my mouth that I knew I'd thrown an irresistible challenge to the Gods of fate. After the mothers had left and things were temporarily quiet, Jan said, "Can you imagine if we actually did lose power at this time?!" I didn't mention that the thought had already crossed my mind and I didn't respond but instead tried to focus on breathing deeply and also on the temporary and wonderful quiet. Obviously, the quiet before the storm.
About 7:30PM they came down for their monkey shakes, monkey cupcakes and countless other monkey hors d'oeuvres. And, once again, eight girls talking at the top of their lungs at, exactly the same time. Have you ever seen dogs being subjected to intolerable noise. It's really quite pathetic.
So I was getting the fire going and, as it turned out, the timing could not have been better for that. Just then, with no warning whatsoever, the power went off and it was, with the exception of the small fire, pitch black.
At times like that the human psyche actually is able to determine fractions of a second. In fact, seconds become hours and it could not have been 1/100th of a second before the loudest, highest pitch, most shrill and intense eight chorus little girl scream that I'd ever heard began. It was so intense as to defy description but I remained calm and desperately began searching for the cupboard with the flashlights so we could get the candles and stop the screaming. But, again, seconds had become hours and with each endless second, the volume and pitch of the joint scream became higher and more intense and continued to do so at such a regular pace, you had to wonder how they were even actually breathing. They never broke pace but only increased in intensity for the entire period.
As Jan and I were both desperately grabbing for cabinets that had flashlights I realized something had to be done about the screaming. So I said, loudly, "Girls", to no affect whatsoever. So, again and a bit louder (in fact, much louder), "Girrlllss!!!" Again, nothing. I realized suddenly that, not only could they not hear me but that I couldn't even here myself screaming. I was yelling at the top of my lungs, three feet away from them and they never even heard me.
Then, suddenly the Gods took pity on us and the lights came back on as quickly as they'd gone off. I don't even remember the last time I was that grateful about anything. So we kind of tried to regroup and take stock and I immediately realized that the dogs were nowhere to be found. So I went to look in the laundry room and didn't see them until I caught out of the corner of my eye, all three of them piled on top of each other, half way under the bunny cage. And I don't think Tanner was actually shaking but the other two were shaking so badly that his body was vibrating with theirs.
So, Jan and I looked at each other, thankful to be alive and the girls....well, right back to normal, all eight talking rapidly and loudly about what an incredible experience they'd just been through.
Now, you'd think that Jan and I might have learned something from the whole experience but we were basically just in shock and happy to be returned somewhat to normal. We were kind of in a counting fingers and toes kind of mode rather than stopping to consider that whatever had just caused the brief power outage could easily return and, as such, had not started lighting candles and placing flashlights where they could easily be reached.
And, as such, the Gods watched down upon this spectacle and commented, "Wow! these two idiots didn't learn a thing from that experience! They clearly need another reminder of our power." And so, Round Two began, exactly the same as the first round had gone. Although this time, following another several torturous hours of the screaming, I found the strength to actually make myself heard and yelled, "GIRLS!!!!!! STOPPPPP SCREAMING!!!!!!!! I couldn't actually see the look on their faces at that point but had no doubt of the nature of the look. Surely it was one of disgust with such a total party pooper. But, I'll get over that.
In any case, the Gods saw that they'd made their point and, again, a reprieve was granted. And this time, we bowed to the Gods and acknowledged that undoubtedly, they were in control, not us, and we began to set up more candles and flashlights than could have possibly been necessary. But many were just tributes to the Gods and the Gods appreciated it and granted us power for the rest of the night.
So, clearly I know that everything in life is relative and that you are in great discomfort continually. But, if I could have bottled the experience, even just a few moments of it to share with you, you might feel happy to be where you are, if just for a moment.
We love you!