I was home alone Sunday night when the earthquake hit. I was bundled up on the sofa, computer on my lap, in the middle of You've Got Mail for what had to be the thirty-eighth time, when there was a loud thud above me as if our upstairs neighbors had just dropped a Dodge on their living room floor.
Stupidly, I looked around and waited as my heart kicked up it's rhythm in my chest. After what felt like a full sixty seconds, but was really just a fraction of one, the shaking started. I stood up, laptop in hand, looking around while Luke bolted from the room. The brief thought that the little bastard should have warned me crossed my mind as I tried to figure out where to stand, what to do.
Are you supposed to get under the desk or just next to it? And if it's under, then I'm shit out of luck as it'd take more time clearing the junk out from underneath as it would to just stand there like an idiot and ride it out. WHICH IS WHAT I DID.
After the shaking stopped, I could hear my neighbors, those above and those to the left, laughing and asking if each other was okay. I stood there for a moment thinking I am so unprepared for this, then slowly walked back through our apartment to make sure everything was as it should be.
Earthquakes scare me. The unpredictability of them terrifies me. I hate not knowing how strong they'll be, how long they'll last, how much damage they'll cause. The Husband hates earthquakes, too, but will dance naked in the streets during a tornado. Go figure.
You get no warning with earthquakes. At least you know when a tornado is coming. At least you have time to prepare yourself. You know a tornado isn't going to randomly land on your head and suddenly take you for a windy ride Dorothy-style. Except worse 'cause there'd be no munchkins or ruby slippers. And, you know, you'd die.
I'll tell you this, though. I was really disappointed to realize that my cats will be absolutely no help in this situation if and, unfortunately, when it happens again. I'm not really sure what I expected. I mean, I sort of hoped they'd, I don't know, stand up and say something along the lines of, "Excuse me, Steph, but we're sensing a 4.7 earthquake to hit in the next three minutes. Everything will be fine, so just go ahead and continue your movie. Oh, here, let me get you some more chocolate as I see you're running low."
To which I'd reply, "Why, thank you, Luke. More chocolate would be lovely."
'Cause, you know, more chocolate would be lovely.
So, what natural force of nature scares the doodie out of you?
Hehe I live in Tokyo at the moment. I have experienced a few earthquakes that were small. There was this one time when I was living on the ground floor of a waffer thin house when there was an earthquake between 3-5 am. It lasted for like 30-40 seconds. I was shitting it lol. I opened the window expecting to see lava coming out of the ground and trees being uprooted but there was nothing...Oh well, guess I been watching too many movies lolReplyDelete
So funny to read this although I felt scared for ya for a fraction of a second. Tornadoes scare me. While I've never seen one, the movie Twister gave me nightmares for weeks!Weird, obnoxious looking clouds with lightning bolts make my heart rate soar. The fear of being out of control and not knowing. Is there a cure for that somewhere?ReplyDelete
I lived in an area frequented by tornadoes as a tween and into my teen years. I was terrified of them. The sirens would go off and I would just be convinced there was a tornado barreling right down on our house. Of course, that was never the case- the sirens would go off if there was a threat of a tornado rather than going off when a tornado was actually present.I've lived through nearly every type of natural disturbance- blizzards, earthquakes (like the one you had), hurricanes, tornadoes, even grass fires (those also scare me).ReplyDelete
Aren't you a California native? I thought you guys rode out 6.0 quakes on the tops of skyscrapers while drinking champagne and laughing wildly. No?Most storms/quakes/fires don't scare me, but the primal pull of the ocean... terrifying. I love it, swim in it, and boat on it but deep down, I know it's just waiting to kill me.ReplyDelete
You are expecting too much of your pets. They are cats and cats care nothing about anything other than themselves. If you want fair warning go with either a bird (not my cup of tea) or a dog (they are a pain in the ass). I am from So Cal, earthquakes don't bother me. Of course San Diego was not on a fault line. Actually not even close. L.A., much worse. Still they don't bother me unless I'm in Nor Cal and the San Andreas fault line is below me. That one will suck you right in, nasty stuff.I don't like wild fires, those will kill you. I still don't understand why people don't get the hell out of the way of those. Those you get fair warning for! Oh and I don't like tornadoes. The sky opening up and sucking you off the face of the earth? So not cool. I'd rather have a good ol earthquake any day.ReplyDelete
When I lived in L.A., there were many debates between the natives and the transplants about which was worse, tornados or earthquakes. The transplants all said earthquakes for just the reasons you said. I'd been in L.A. for probably 6 months before I experienced my first earthquake. I was just waking up one morning when the bed started shaking. I thought it was the dog humping the leg of my Murphy bed...until I heard the water sloshing in the toilet.ReplyDelete
Wow- glad you are still in one piece!Hurricanes. I lived in a place that had some rocking storms that scared the hell out of me.ReplyDelete
Prometheus, I always expect the ground to have split open in random places after an earthquake. I'm always a little disappointed (and a lot grateful) that it doesn't.DVM's Wife, if there's a cure, I'd like to know about it!Theresa, tornados are just crazy. Seeing the destruction caused by one always makes me shake my head in sadness. I think if we ever moved to the midwest, I'd just build my entire house under ground.Alias Mother, you've got it all wrong. We wait for the really big earthquakes to bust out the bubbly. 'Cause, you know, if we're going down, we're going down in style.Michelle, I think I agree with you, tornado vs. earthquake, that is. I don't know. I'd have to see the statistics. What holds a greater chance of survival? Violet, that's hilarious! 3continentfamily, having never experienced a bad storm, I've never really thought of them as "scary." I'm sure that'd change as soon as I did, though.ReplyDelete
We don't have earthquakes, hurricanes or tornadoes in the Netherlands. A river flooding is our biggest threat, but I live in the city so I'm not scared of that. And what can I say about cats? They love to eat, sleep, eat, run like lunatics for no apparent reason and you have to give them lots of love & attention when they demand it. You gotta love cats :)P.S. You baked something rich and chocolatey??? Oh god, what was it??!!ReplyDelete
Dutch Donut Girl, I do love my cats. They're the best. And, yes, I made something that I thought would be rich and chocolatey. I was disappointed. Seriously disappointed.ReplyDelete
Any time I hear a noise that worries me, I look at my dog, Timmy. If he is calm and cool, I feel better. I don't know if he would warn of an impending earthquake though. We have had two here in the NE since I was an adult. Very small, and really weird being that we just don't expect them here. I am afraid of violent thunder and lightning storms. When I was a kid, my cousin's house was struck by lightning and caught fire. She lived a block away from me. I never got over it.ReplyDelete
Hurricanes. We still have hurricane parties and the bragging rights that go along with staying put and riding the storm out, but I still hate them.ReplyDelete
For me, it's fires. I can take an earthquake any day, but fires freak the hell out of me.ReplyDelete
PS - My cats were useless on Sunday night too. And my husband worked from home yesterday and said they were useless as aftershock detectors too. PSSSSSH.ReplyDelete
Tornados, hands down, Tornados.ReplyDelete
Been through MANY a hurricane. Just say no to earthquake (no warning), wildfire (uber-scary), tornado (still not enough warning), and lightening. I hate the lightening.I agree with aliasmother on the ocean....that's why I stay in the pool.ReplyDelete