With Mother's Day just barely a couple of days from us, there's not much else everybody is talking about. The TV, the blogs, Facebook, Twitter, nothing escapes the sappy remarks of how much we owe to our mothers and how especial they are. It is all well deserved as they work their heinies off to make our life better, I know because I'm a mother, but there are also a lot of funny, ridiculous moments with moms as the protagonists. So I decided to tell you about one of my own; laugh at my expense a little, I know I still laugh a lot when I remember this.
It happened a few months after we moved to the US from Mexico, my daughter was eleven-months-old and we were just settling in on our new life. We were living in a small apartment close to a river and lots of green areas with squirrels and even deer. It was very pretty and quite a departure from my life in a city full of concrete. The one thing that kind of worried me were the news about fires. In Mexico all the houses are made of cement and bricks, so smoke detectors are rare and fires even more rare. Then, I stopped worrying so much after this event. It happened in the middle of one cold January night. I have a hard time falling asleep and one of the worst crimes punishable by physical damage to your body is to wake me up before it is time to start the day. So when my husband's alarm clock woke me up around 2:30 in the morning that day, I just want to bash his head in. Somehow I manage a somewhat gracious "What the heck is that? Turn off your stupid alarm."
"It isn't me!" Answers the poor man with an 'I'm-innocent' look on his face. Then, it dawn on me. The building's fire alarm.
"Holy shit!" I say, and in the fifteen seconds it took me to came to the realization and utter my elegant words of surprise, I had already jumped out of bed, ran to the closet, and put on my sneakers. My husband--bless his soul--still couldn't understand what kind of natural disaster could be occurring to get me out of my bed at such hour. But he also knows the second greatest offense in our relationship is to not act like 'Gina always knows what she's doing', so he keeps moving toward the closet. Slowly, he gets his slippers, the warm ones because out there there are two feet of snow on the ground.
In the mean time, I've already entered and exited the closet three times without being able to decide weather the situation requires a different attire. Maybe sweat pants? I ran to the closet on the hallway where we keep the winter jackets and come back into our bedroom with one for him, one for the baby, one for me, and the dog's sweater. But before getting my jacket on I decide I better get on those sweat pants. Who knows what the firemen will look like and, after all, if everything burns to the ground, I don't want to go around town in my Pj's.
"Well, grab the baby for Christ's sake!" I yell at him, who's looking at the dog's sweater in his hands with an expression that says, you've lost your mind, but he doesn't say a word.
I run to the door and when passing in front of the baby's room I decide I better carry her myself because the man looks too lost. In the living room I grab the dog's leash and throw the cat into my husband's arms. And the last thing before I leave. I get a hold of our passports. As we go down the stairs as fast as we can, I think to myself, if we survive this I have to buy some kind of cart to put all the important documents that's easy to transport.
As we exit the building, I realize there's no one outside. "Well, where the heck is everyone?!" I ask my husband who is the last one out the door because he's trying to get the cat off his head.
Ten minutes goes by and not a soul joins us. It is so cold outside, I decide we can take the risk of my husband going back inside to check what's going on. You know, for the baby's sake.
"False alarm," he says a little later. "I found the doorman trying to turn the alarm off." He looks so tired and tomorrow he has to work. As we go back into the apartment he drops this jewel: "I thought it was strange that there was no smoke and it didn't smell."
"Why didn't you say something!" I tell him indignantly.
"You didn't give me a chance! You came out running almost with a suitcase!"
Well, yes. Yes, I grabbed everything I thought of value that my arms could hold. If I hadn't been so preoccupied to save my whole house, I might've been more keen to take note of the absence of alarm signals. On the other hand, if shit would've hit the fan, I could've gone to the supermarket unashamed by my appearance and Beto would have gone to the office in pajamas.
So there you go. Never underestimate our abilities as mothers and women to react to disaster and still remain fashionable. Happy Mother's Day, y'all!