When you compare the American versus Euro hockey lifestyle, on of the definite cons one the American side is the extensive travel the team does on a regular basis. In the last two weeks, I’ve seen Dave for one day. In December, minus a few days around Christmas, I will barely have a chance to cuddle up to him on the couch or have him make my lunch or leave a list of chores for him to do while I’m at work. All this travel means, amongst other things, that I am working single mother of two very need Real Dogs. The responsibilities of working single mothers include all the obvious things like cooking, cleaning, walking Real Dogs, grocery shopping and entertaining of girlfriends who have a voracious appetite for wine. But perhaps the most draining and loaded responsibility is Home Security. When Dave is home, I rather foolishly believe that we will be safe from any intruders. I have no doubt that, if awake, Dave could fend off the dastardly thieves. But the issue is that waking Dave is a very long, dramatic process that leaves him disoriented for something near an hour. Even still, I think I could rouse him enough to stand menacingly holding a golf club, acting as a deterrent if not a sleeping-walking killer.
The odd thing about the insecurity I have when Dave is away is that I have lived alone before. Completely alone, sans dogs or a heavy-sleeping giant. And I rarely, if ever felt unsafe or worried about intruders. But ever since our first experience with co-habitation in Detroit, I now have some sort of irrational fear that I’m more susceptible to attack when Dave is away. Measures have been taken to avoid that. At our first place, in Sterling Heights, we were in a one bedroom on the bottom floor. The Bottom-Floor-Apartment conundrum is an age old contradiction. On this level it is both easier to break in to AND to escape from the breakers. In order to increase my odds of escape, I created a pyramid beer cans surrounded by a perimeter of cups filled with knives and forks. This was meant to serve as an early warning system which would give me time to escape out the bedroom window, either before or after pepper spraying my opponent.
When we got to Bakersfield, we were again faced with the Bottom-Floor-Apartment dilemma, but we added a dog to the mix. A traumatized, petrified dog who I would have to protect should an emergency arrived. For some reason, I didn’t feel that my former plan of barricading myself in the bedroom would work in this floor plan, so instead I slept on the couch, with chairs in front of the door and a plan to escape through the slider, after knocking through the can pyramid of course. Unless the intruder came in through the slider, in which case I was going to make a flying leap over the chairs and out the door, screaming “Fire!” (I learned that on Oprah) and spraying pepper spray at random. Looking back, this was not my best thought out emergency plan, but the comforting glow of the TV and the multiple escape routes appealed to me at the time. Iron
In Holland and Germany I never gave much thought to any of this at all. We lived on the 5th floor of a locked building in both instances, and Dave was never gone for more than a night. And because I wasn’t working, I drank wine almost every night, leading me to really never give a care to whether I was robbed or abducted. It was a happy time.
Now we are back Stateside, back in Bako, back to long road trips and extensive security measures. Living in a house makes the contingency plan seem even MORE important, considering that the chance of my neighbors hearing my screams of “Fire!” (sidenote: ironcially, all these plans made/make me more likely to die in an actual fire because of the time it would take me to get out of the locked doors) are lessened when we don’t share paper-thin walls. I’ve upped the dog-ante, and we now have two watchful, if not exactly vicious, companions to look over me. The can perimeter has been replaced by multiple layers of dead bolted doors and hypersensitive dog hearing abilities. When Dave is away, they wait longer to fall asleep, lay on top of the covers rather than under, and perk their ears up at the slightest sound. The ice-maker in the freezer drops ice every once in a while, and they both growl. It’s annoying, and slightly comforting. I still keep the cell phone and pepper spray on the pillow next to me, and I fall asleep with my fingertips resting lightly on a crowbar. I don’t move much in the night, so I can count on waking up with everything as I left it, ready to bludgeon, spray and then call the police. Chances are I’d probably end up calling my mom first out of panic.
With my Head of Security and his Deputy.