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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Uh, Excuse Me. There's A Fire In The Kitchen.

I don't remember all the events that lead up to it.  Was I cooking something?  Or, was my mom making dinner and walked away?  Who knows.  What I do remember were the flames that started to violently shoot out of the stove.  My parents were both upstairs and unaware of it all.  I wanted to take care of it myself, but please, be real Valerie.  You ain't no fireman.  My dilemma was, I didn't want to create panic in the house.  I was always a peace-maker -- never wanted to stir things up too much and upset people.  Keep the peace.  Problem was, in this case, there was no way around it.  I either sounded the alarm or our house would be on the 6 o'clock news! 

I went to the bottom of the steps.  "Uh, excuse me."  I said in a faint voice.  "Excuse me?"

No one heard me.  "Mom?  Excuse me." I said again politely.

"What is it, Valerie."

"I'm sorry... I...I don't mean to bother you...but there's a.... a fire in the kitchen."

Silence.

"WHAT??!!!" my mother screamed.

Their bedroom door flew open, and I never saw my mother move so fast in my life.  She shot down the steps with my step-dad tripping over himself behind her.  They both lassoed the fire under control in a matter of minutes. 

"Why didn't you run to get us, Valerie?" They questioned after the incident was over.

"Well.....I didn't want to upset you."


I still can be like that today -- not reacting at appropriate levels in a given situation.  Sometimes, I under-react, not giving enough of myself to attend to the matter at hand.  I'm like the polite fire alarm. Other times, I over-react to things that really don't need more than a glance toward it. 

It's a balance I am still trying to find.

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