Monday, March 24, 2014

Damsel in Distress

And my prince charmings definitely wear bunker gear.  They also don't have a carriage, but ride in a big, red engine.
Here's my Prince Charming...with his own recruit class...

For a while, Murphy, had my number.  If something was going to go wrong - hospital visits, furnace issues, car complaints, blizzards, etc, it was going to be on a Blue Shift.  Then my FF went through med school and went to the Green Shift.  

And I left no forwarding address for Murphy, being the snot that I am.  The stuff that really went wrong continued on the Blue, until earlier than this year. Murphy found the Green and tried her damnedest to make that trend continue.  Sadly, for poor Murphy (whom I clearly believe is a female stuck in a permanent state of PMS) she was hitting his trades, POs, Vacation Days.  

Well, she has apparently hacked into my Cozi Calendar and figured out he was on shift.

Saturday was the last day of swimming lessons for the winter.  Spring lessons start in a bit.  The boys are at UW-Oshkosh for the state Chess Tournament.  My FF was working down at the Climb for Air, so when we stopped at his new firehouse for the girls to see, there was a relief crew there.  (There was a smidge of disappointment, but they got over it amazingly quickly. Guess this is becoming old hat.) Then we headed by Grandpa's, hung out with him, went to the mall (So I could buy a red pair of Chuck's for Fridays at school - don't judge) and had 5 Guys with my dad.  We walked around the mall, they drooled over the Dr. Who stuff I wouldn't buy them.  We hung out at his house for the first half of the Badger Game and during half time since they weren't going to analyze MY game and I didn't really want to talk to Buzz in his VT lapel pin (Yes, I am being a hater.  Who leaves a Basketball school to go to a Football First School...but I digress.), we decided to head home so I could catch the 2nd half of the 2nd half without having to deal with crabby sleepy headed girl type muppets.  

Now, Milwaukee is not THAT big, but if you are going from the FAR NW side of town to the SE side of town, you are covering some real estate.  You are also going from my dad's nice neighborhood to our nice neighborhood, with many not so nice neighborhoods in between, especially at 9pm.  And, I don't have my boys to be my second pair of hands.  That meant it was just me and my sleepy heads. 

You can tell this is not going to end well, can't you. I knew it, too, as I was driving through downtown.  

It started with my speedometer - it suddenly went BONKERS.  From 0-120mph and back again, finally settling on a steady 20 mph, until I adjusted my speed. (I would have much preferred to just enjoy downtown's night time skyline that I adore oh so much.)  Then I had NO speed I went with traffic.  And prayed.

And then I went through the Marquette Interchange...the hesitations started. I won't tell you what I muttered under my breath, it is not appropriate for mixed audiences.  They were the same hesitations that hit the last time this happened - on 794. I was just begging her to NOT die on the on-ramp to the hi-rise bridge and then again to die on the hi-rise.  

Luckily, while all this was happening, I was on the phone with my FF.

As I was swearing at my car and requesting huge favors from the big guy, while figuring out escape plans so as to NOT find myself stranded on I-43 or in a neighborhood where it would be unsafe for my little blondie girl babies to be stranded where it was not safe to tread solo at night, my FF was also planning an extrication plan for me - how to get me the heck out of wherever I landed.  I was planning on what firehouse was where - we were not far from his...what firewife was where. One of my most favorite FFWs of all time offered to come get us. Other FFWs kept me company on-line (and more importantly kept me up to date with UW's comeback).  My FFW next door was putting her babes to bed and did not hear my FF call her.  UGH!  Really??!!?

Stupid Murphy.  We are NOT Besties.  She clearly wears Diva shoes and does not appreciate my Chucks. 

I made it as far as our off ramp.  As soon as she tried to downshift that was it.  There was a Park n Ride just of the Interstate - buses only, but I figured the Sheriff would rather have me ignore that sign, as opposed to blocking one of his off ramps on Saturday night.

We coasted to a stop.  She was down - AGAIN.  I was getting ready to walk home.  Not ideal, but truly a matter of 11 blocks.  Even with the sleeping beauties in tow, it would not have been that bad.  My FF called back and said, "We're coming for you, hang on."  And that was it.  Who is we?  A med unit?  Aliens?  

Along came the big red engine, you know the sound that rig slowing down anywhere, after a while.  But there were only 3 guys on it and none of them were mine.  The Boss rolled down his window and told me not to worry, he was on his way.  Ummm, 'kay.  Did he exchange his SCBA for a jet pack?  If so, THAT would be cool.  A few minutes later, there was my FF bringing me his car.

That way if something happened, I had a car and could take care of whatever needed my attention.  It was Saturday, I could also go to mass the next morning without having to find a ride or wait for him.  As I kissed him good-bye and thanked the guys, the smell of that fresh fire, never smelled so safe.  I do feel for the family that lost their home, literally moments before they came to save me.  But, for that moment in time, that was the smell of security.

Here's where I find this to be interesting, he has only been at this house for a week-ish. AND it is not his permanent house at this time.  They know him, but they don't know me.  We haven't gone out with any of these guys.  And yet, they were willing to get up, out of their chairs, put off their showers after the fire and bail me out of a jam.  That is just what family does, and they are indeed family.

I don't usually play the role of the damsel in distress.  But this time, it was nice to know that I DIDN'T have to figure it out all by myself.  It was nice to know that I didn't have to do it alone. And it was nice to know that I have to be big and bad and shrug off help when it was offered.  I don't lose my Big Girl Panties Wearing card because someone offered to help me out and I took advantage of it. It just means I have enough on my plate, there's no need to add more.

So, spend some time hugging those firefighters of yours. Appreciate the family that comes with the department.  They are your family, too.  

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