Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Twelfth One: What Was That Noise?

So every year, we have a party on the Sunday before Memorial Day. It's a tradition, celebrating the holiday as well as the general anniversary of when Terry and I got together. I say "general", because there is another tradition wherein Terry and I completely disagree on the actual date of our anniversary. Sad, but true.

See, Terry firmly supports the "theory" that our anniversary is May 26th. I strongly advocate for the solid fact that it is May 27th. Neither of us will waver. We argue every year. It's a relationship thing. Give me a high-five if you know what I mean by THAT.

And yes, we have tried reconstructing the scene of the crime in order to resolve this lingering issue. This also gets nowhere. It was nine years ago. We were younger then. And horny. It was initially a "date" that turned into a several-day game of slap and tickle. I had no idea that we would eventually be renting a U-Haul and filling out change of address cards. So I'm not certain of the exact day, other than "it was Memorial Day weekend". It's not like I can review the guest register to see exactly when he checked in. (I had to get rid of that book after a small scandal involving a local city council member, sayin.)

A year rolls by. We are still together. Yay! We decide to have a party to celebrate the holiday and our anniversary. Yay! The date of that party? The 27th. THAT's why I remember the 27th, because I still have the dang invitations we sent out. If the 27th was good enough for our anniversary that year, why is it a question in subsequent years? I mean, really.

I know, I know, why not just let it go, be supportive of the one I love, and just quietly let the anniversary be the 26th? Three things you must know about me: I'm Italian. I'm a male. And I will happily admit that I am wrong ONLY if you can prove it with power point slides and irrefutable witnesses. Terry is up against insurmountable odds, poor thing. He cannot win.

Speaking of which, since this is once again the 26TH of May, he just tried to present me with an anniversary card. I'm sure you can imagine how the transaction went. ("It's the 27th!" "It's the 26th!" "We have this discussion every year!" "And every year you are wrong!" "ME wrong? Why can't YOU be wrong?") Love is in the air, every sight and every sound...

So he's now off in the other room, chattering to his sister on the phone. I'm sure arsenic and well-constructed alibis will be talking points during the conversation.

And finally back to the initial reason for this post.

The guest list for this year's party was in flux, as it always is. You never know who is going to show. As Sunday approached, there was a definite spike in interest, and it appeared that we might be inundated with manic queens, radical lesbians, "curious" moths to the flame, and all our straight friends who love us and the potential jaw-dropping events that might unfold.

So, the day of the party, I'm racing madly to arrange for additional lawn chairs, extra food, structural reinforcements, and an appropriate amount of legal advisers on stand-by in case they are needed. I am obsessive about these details. Bree on "Desperate Housewives" is a mere deer in the headlights, a pathetic amateur, compared to me.

The clock of doom winds down to 6pm on Sunday, and the guests start to arrive. You must understand that until this apocalyyptic hour, the weather has been perfect, lots of sunshine and happy birds chirping merry tunes while Snow White flitters here and there, humming along. ("Terry, would you take off that stupid cartoon dress and make sure the toilets are sparkling? NOW!") Almost immediately, the sky darkens and it begins to sprinkle.


Within 30 minutes, we are in the midst of a torrential downpour as guests are clamoring to get in the house, lugging vats of guacamole and coolers of adult beverages that must NOT be compromised in any way or the world will end. The house is packed with dripping people running around trying to keep their Bonnie Bell Lipsmacker Glitter Gloss from washing away.

The lights dim, and I hear the weird buzz/throb noise I recognize as an indication that a power transformer somewhere in the neighborhood is about to blow. We live in an "established" neighborhood, meaning "old", and are used to transformers blowing with the slightest weather disturbance. But normally this transformer-blowing business is relatively short, a few seconds of buzzing, a loud bang, and then we have no power for hours or days.

THIS time, the buzzing noise stretches out for way longer than it should, and increases in intensity. Not good. Then some queen in the front of the house makes exclamatory noises while looking out a window. We race to said room to discover that there is an orange glow bursting upwards behind a house across the street, and there is smoke everywhere. We can see that power lines have snapped and something is clearly on fire. This transformer didn't just blow, it slammed to the earth like a meteor. Minutes later, we hear sirens.

We are standing in a darkened house. You can't see squat, except when the fireworks flare across the street. People cannot find the food. People cannot locate nerve-calming adult beverages. And more people are arriving constantly, somehow not noticing the fire engines in the street or the lack of any lighting whatsoever on the entire block. (Are my friends really that clueless? What does that say about ME? Sigh.)

But actually, I welcome each new arrival with open arms. Seriously, if I'm going down on this train wreck, I need some love and support, and you better give it to me or I will cut you.

Amazingly, the power is back on within the hour. This is a record of some kind. Before long, it's all behind us, and we are once again in the groove, with good friends all around us. Everybody having a great time, laughing, which is the best part, forever and a day. Warmth. All is well.

Happy Anniversary, Terry. I love you. Screw the actual date, it doesn't really matter. At least not until next year...


  1. gawd things are always happening when I'm not there, what I wouldnt give to have seen the sparks shooting out of Terry's....oh wait, I mean, the neighbors power lines. I heard that someone thought the blackness was "romantic". Got quite the scoop on this shindig that occurred whilst I was chasing 3 small children under the age of nine, a bunny, and a grandma that had fluid in her ear and couldnt hear a thing we said, around the apartment.

    Cawl me. We'll tawlk over cawfee.

  2. The "radical lesbians" must have not shown up...