Last Saturday, a water main burst below my building, causing the basement to flood. The whole building was evacuated for two days. Forty families were left to fend for themselves and find a place to sleep in freezing Boston weather. Needless to say, this was an inconvenience, and I was pissed.
Two things were lucky about Saturday. I decided to get up early that day, as my cousin was visiting Boston and I was hoping to hang out with him. I was showered, dressed, and out when the evacuation occurred. Normally on Saturdays, you might find me on my couch without pants on and with my hair in a messy bun. Imagine firefighters knocking on the door and demanding I evacuate like that. Not pretty. The second fortunate occurrence was that my parents had come into the city that day, and I was having lunch with them. We reached my building just after the alarms had gone off.
With people and dogs all out on the street, the fire department told us we would not be returning home that night and we should make other arrangements. They shut off the water, electricity (all the electrical equipment under water in the basement), and heat. They let us go back in to quickly pack a bag. Because my parents were with me when this happened, I spent the weekend at their house. I had to throw out a refrigerator full of food, but at least I didn’t have to shell out $200 a night for a hotel room.
If I learned anything from this experience, it’s that I am incredibly inflexible, and don’t handle setbacks well. I hate not being in control of my situation. I was put off, put out, and fed up.
For solace, I turned to TV. I don’t know if my evacuation situation has ever happened to any of my favorite characters. They are rarely evacuated from their homes, as said homes serve as the main setting for their shows. Often, they’re trapped inside for one reason or another— a storm, a blackout, etc.
The night before this happened, I had watched the Adventure Time episode, “Evicted!” I didn’t know that the very same thing would happen to me the next day, with the city of Boston as Marceline the Vampire Queen.
Really, I felt the people that could best empathize with me were the characters of Friends. I was reminded of poor Phoebe and Rachel, who return home to find there had been a fire in their apartment. They are forced to move in with their friends while repairs are underway.
Maybe Chandler would understand. Remember The One with the Blackout? While my electronic door lock wouldn’t work without power, Chandler couldn’t get out of the ATM vestibule.
And finally, the sitcom example of getting stuck in their apartments, everyone remembers the epic fight Ross and Rachel had after they were “on a break.” Monica, Chandler, Phoebe, and Joey are all in Rachel’s room, unable to come out and disturb the couple’s private conversation.
I feel like the Friends would be there for me in this time of need. I’m lucky that I really did have people here for me, and a place to go. At the end of the day, no one got hurt. Hopefully I can learn from this: learn to relinquish control and roll with things that I cannot do anything about.
For now, I’m just happy to be home!