But instead of a romantic weekend, Irene sauntered into town. Irene, that narcissitic drama queen who walks in and instantly commands everyone's attention. Utterly seduced, my two-timing boyfriend followed her home and stayed there. Home for Tom is 100 miles away on a peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay. It's a fine place to live - unless some hussie hurricane hustles by. And last night, one hell of a floozy had her way with Tom.
Everyone knew that Irene would wreak havoc. I begged Tom to spend the weekend here as he always does. But NO. He excitedly dug out his generator, camping stove, and kerosene lantern and hunkered down for the duration. All day long, under a foot of rain and 80 mph winds, he waved goodbye to modern living, first losing land line service, then cable, then the internet, then power, lights, and air conditioning, and finally his only way out. There are only two routes off of his peninsula and both are now blocked by downed trees and powerlines. To make matters worse, the dam down the street, which was built to stop flooding in his county, is overflowing, putting him at greater risk. And the state just announced that Irene also damaged the nuclear power plant near his house. Could this get any worse? Other than him dying in the storm?
Did I tell him this would happen? Did I beg him to stay here last night? Did I know our anniversary weekend would be ruined if he insisted on hunkering down? YESYESYESYESYESYESYES.
Am I really, really, really pissed off? YESYESYESYESYESYESYES.
Is Tom so hardheaded you could use him as a jackhammer? YESYESYESYESYESYESYES.
All I can do now is pray. God, grant me the serenity to accept the stubborn-as-a-mule boyfriend I cannot change. The rest of that familiar prayer continues: the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. I know there's nothing I can do about Tom and his decisions except wait for the roads to clear and the power to come back on and life to go back to normal. In the meantime, I'm going to do all I can do: Freeze the crab meat. Walk the dog. Knit my sweater. Let it go. And be grateful for this man who drives me completely nuts - and loves me better than anyone I've ever known.