When I was little, I called my sister Shehwee. Shehwee was an excellent sister. She was always available to make a fluffer nutter sandwich for me or to play with Barbies. Sometimes she even allowed me to sleep in her room if I heard a bump in the night, even though the cat liked to sleep on my hair. Ok, he liked to chew on my hair.
I remember when we were just old enough to stay home alone and we heard somebody scuffling around on the porch. I became frantic, since mom and dad were 3 houses away, and we didn’t want to call them for fear of never being allowed to stay home alone again. Shelly, being quick on her feet, burrowed through her closet of homemade quilts and fluffy pillows and created a space for me to hide. She handed me a ding dong covered in silver foil and told me to sit quietly until she returned. There I sat in the coziest nest of downy freshness one could ever imagine, eating chocolate, while she battled the boogie man behind the door, which turned out to be a bat in the vaulted portion of the porch.
Now that we live a couple of hours from each other and we are adults, we no longer have cocoons of blankets with chocolate cake when the bats come calling. Instead, I have fine-tuned the skills Shehwee taught me, so that I could use them should I ever encounter another boogie man.
Well one day, not so long ago, I did.
Prepare yourself, I’m not going to piece together the pretty parts of life for you today. One morning a few months ago, after a long night with a sick pet, and while still in my pajamas, (a combination of a couple of pairs) I put on a long coat, stood on the front porch and waved goodbye to the children rather than walking them out to the bus. You see, it was raining, and when it rains, my hair tends to fly away and give me the distinct look of a crazy cat lady. I could blame the years of the cat licking my head for this, but we all know their is probably a genetic component as well. Also, I may still have had makeup on from the day before. Basically, I have really nice kids and I didn’t feel like embarrassing them at the bus stop.
After they were safely on their way, I went back into the house and got ready to clean floors. I put all of the chairs on the tables, picked up the rugs, and put the dogs in their crates so they wouldn’t leave footprints when I mopped. Then I thought, “I’m going to eat breakfast first”. After looking around and finding that we were fresh out of crepes and mimosas, I opted for a microwave corn dog and black coffee. I gave my sister a quick call so that she could enjoy hearing me chew over the phone, and just as I took a bite of my corn dog, one of the door sensors on my home security system rang.
“Let me call you back, I need to go check on something.” I casually mentioned as I hung up the phone.
That was my way of saying, “crawl into the blanket cocoon and have a ding dong.” so she wouldn’t worry.
Surely, if I just sat there at the kitchen bar eating my corn dog in my pajamas, surrounded by obscurely balanced furniture, hair going every which way, whoever was in the house would decide they had made a mistake and calmly bow out, right?
I begrudgingly stood up and tiptoed to the basement door, opened it quietly and listened.
Then, I grabbed my phone, made sure I had a clear path to an exit and yelled in the loudest, toughest voice I could muster “who’s there!”.
I paced a little and thought about how glad I am to have these two big dogs. I have heard that they really shine when given the opportunity to protect their family.
I released the hounds.
They appeared to take their jobs very seriously. I cracked the basement door again and encouraged them to go investigate. They put their noses in the air and my heart began to race as they had obviously picked up the scent. Then, they looked at me as if to say “I didn’t know we had corn dogs?” and promptly investigated my breakfast instead.
After a few more minutes, I was fairly certain it was safe, but didn’t feel like being murdered, especially in this outfit, so I called my friend up the road to ask him if he had a second to do a quick walk-around of the house.
When he arrived, he kindly overlooked my pajamas, said nothing of my furniture towers, and bravely went to the basement to probably die.
While he was likely being ax murdered, I went outside and checked all of the doors. Luckily, everything was secure. I also noticed that the service door was slightly ajar. I’m guessing the heat kicked on and the suction of the air made it move and trip the sensor. The heating system was my boogie man. Phew!
Surprisingly enough, my friend emerged from the basement in one piece and headed home to probably remove me from his contact list. I know I mentioned that I had discovered the source of the boogie man before he emerged, but between you and I, I once found a spider the size of a Chevy in the basement and I knew there was a slight chance my friend wouldn’t make it back.
After it was all over, I called my sister back and let her know it was probably just the heat kicking on and tripping the sensor. I was grateful for her keen sense of calm that washed over me rather than my inclination to hide in a pile of blankets with a ding dong. Besides that, what would the neighbor have really thought if he had shown up to find me in mismatched pajamas hiding in a pile of blankets with a ding dong among a fort of furniture piled up on the tables? Really, he was already being pretty cool about the whole thing.
The truth is, while we all know I survived a brush with death that day, I protected my sister from the scary truth, so we are even now, and the only real casualty was my breakfast corn dog and my pride.