Saturday, April 3, 2010

I Love (and Hate) Our Security System

Saturday, April 3, 2010
I am an extreme night owl, one who has to force herself to go to bed at 4:00 or 5:00 a.m., because I have so much more energy at night than during the day. (Must have been a bat in a previous life!) Last night, I was getting stuff done and didn’t go to bed ‘til 5:20. I was hoping nobody would call this morning until at least 11:00, even though our dog, Maddie, probably wouldn’t have let me sleep that long.

Well, just before 10:00, the house alarm went off. I can’t tell you what that does to me, especially when I’m alone. (My husband will be home this afternoon.) Mind you, having my husband home isn’t much help, since he just tells me “It’s nothing” when the alarm goes off and falls back asleep. My hero. He actually tells me that if I’m convinced someone’s in the house, I should go and check it out myself. And I do.

Thankfully, it was light outside, which makes false alarm episodes, of which there aren’t many, more bearable somehow. Maybe I figure that facing down an intruder without makeup in daylight is enough to make him retreat! Anyway, probably because I was startled out of a sound sleep, I didn’t feel very brave.

I ran to the alarm panel on the bedroom wall to see where the breach had been. Of course, I had to run back to the night stand to get my glasses. The panel lights indicated the problem spot was the front staircase. So I told Wonder Dog to wake up and come with me, since I had to leave the imagined safety of our bedroom to check the house. (This is a big house, and I set up a few crazy things in the bedroom area to protect myself on the few occasions when my husband’s away.) Anyway, that lazy dog had to be ordered off our bed. Some watch dog.

The alarm company called and asked if everything was okay and stayed on the phone while I checked the house. Once outside the bedroom, I could see that nothing seemed disturbed, and the front door was locked. I checked the other doors and all the rooms on the first floor and then dragged a reluctant Maddie down to the basement with me. If anybody was down there, she’d have followed the scent right to him.

So far, so good . . . until, that is, I said something to the alarm company person and found that the phone line was dead. After a few seconds of near panic, I realized that it’s probably the alarm system that’s been screwing with the phone lines the past few months. Damn – yet another repair person to bother me at an inconvenient time.

But now I had a new reason to panic. The alarm company would surely have called the police when the phone went dead. I used my cell phone to call the alarm folks, who offered to call off the sheriff (we don’t have our own police department). All I could think about was deputies seeing the house in its current state. (The dishes were done, but the kitchen was a cluttered mess, including bird food the parrots had flung onto the floor. And that, combined with my naked face, would’ve been humiliating. ) Now I was really traumatized! Fortunately, the alarm company reached the cops before they sent someone out.

Thankfully, it was, indeed, a false alarm. But now I’ve changed the agenda for today. I’m tidying up this place. I mean, you never know, right? I’ll be really tired, having gotten only three hours of sleep Thursday night and less than five last night. But at least I know my heart’s okay – I didn’t have “the big one” this morning!


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