Today I Met the President, And Was a Prisoner in My Own House (She Said With a Touch of Hyperbole)

Let me start at the very beginning, since that’s usually a good place to start.  It’s going to be a long one, I fear, so get comfy.

This morning, as I was getting myself and my five children ready for church (McH has early leadership meetings at church, so every week I have to get myself and the five children ready, loaded up (into the car, not drunk or high), and off to church by myself, which is not fun (and often leaves me wishing I was drunk or high) ), I explained to those old enough to understand that we would be leaving church early today.

I  told them that they would go to their primary classes after sacrament meeting but we would come get them about half way through because we had to go meet with the Stake President in a different meetinghouse today.  For my non-LDS readers, a Stake President is roughly the equivalent of . . . a Catholic Bishop, I think.  Our Bishops are like their Priests (our Priests, incidentally, are like a bunch of horny teenage boys, because they are all sixteen to eighteen years old, which is why they aren’t really in charge of anything), and Stake Presidents are over a geographical area of several congregations lead by Bishops/Branch Presidents, so, anyway . . . We needed to meet with the Stake President today for the usual reason that members meet with the Stake President (not the usual reason of getting a stake calling, or the usual reason of being in need of some serious repentance, just the usual usual reason).

As I was running around trying to get everyone brushed and combed and dressed and in general not looking like a rabid pack of street urchins, the power kept flickering off and on due to the recent ice storm and current winds.  At one point I was hurriedly trying to dry my hair before the power flickered off again when Midge wandered into my bathroom and yelled over the hair dryer:

“Mom, if we’re going to see the President today?  Does that mean we’re going to see A-rock Obama?”  This necessitated that I try really, really hard not to laugh as I turned off the hair dryer to explain to her what I’ve just explained to you about Stake Presidents, but without the Catholic Bishop analogy or the non-essential mention of horny teenage boys. 

Once the de-urchinifying was completed and the time was at hand, I got all five children out the garage door and into the Suburban (heretofore to be called the Crazy Bus), got my boatloads of crap (presents for the primary children and snacks for my own kids) loaded into the passenger seat, got myself in, turned the key, pushed the button for the garage door, and . . .


The door would not open.  The power had finally flickered out for good.

Now, I’m not a total idiot.  I knew there was a way to manually open the garage door while wearing high heels, my grandmother’s heart-shaped opal ring, and a dress made and originally worn by my grandfather’s aunt which I now wear only at Christmas.  So I called my husband.  I told him I saw the rope and handle thingy hanging from some contraption that seemed to be part of the garage door.  He told me not to open it.

He told me it would be too heavy.  He told me not to bother trying because our garage door is very large and it would weigh upwards of 300 pounds.  The other men at the church, who have seen our garage door, backed him up and told him to tell me not to try, not to hurt myself. 

I, in my high heels, and heirloom dress and accessories, was easily swayed.  I unloaded the Crazy Bus and we all went back inside our powerless house.   I couldn’t get out.  The door wouldn’t open.  I was a prisoner.

Meanwhile, one of my primary children turned twelve and was given her certificate of advancement in sacrament meeting today, so it was announced from the pulpit that “the primary president would be here today to congratulate you in person, but the power is out at their house and her garage door won’t open, so she is stuck.”

Just tattoo that big “L” on my forehead for me why dontcha?

Since we still had to go meet with the Stake President, who is not A-rock Obama, McH left church early to come home and help me open the garage door (‘cause we can’t all fit in his Cavalier, you know).  He got home in plenty of time, so we did lunch with the kids before tackling the monster garage door.  Tank Boy, as always, volunteered to say the lunch prayer, which today went something like this:

“Thank you for the food, bless the food, bless us to be good, bless us when we see John McCain today . . . “

Two down, three to go.  Anybody else misunderstand what I was talking about this morning and operating under the false impression that we are going to see the President of the United States, the President-Elect, or a recent Presidential candidate?  So, again with the explanation of what a Stake President is.  *Sigh*  On the upside, our children obviously have some degree of political awareness.

Finally it dawned on me this evening why the four and five-year-olds thought we were going to see Obama or McCain:


See that gray-headed guy right in the center of the picture?  Between the railings of the scaffolding we were stuck behind?  Yeah, I took the kids to a McCain rally before the election.  I didn’t blog about it at the time because, you know, I’m funny about letting random internet people know where I live and all, and saying, “I went to a rally today!” would tell everybody where I lived since any given candidate can only be in so many places on one day.  But, wow, who knew a presidential candidate would come to Radiator Springs?  And, by the way, the people in the foreground of the picture are not so bored they are looking a different direction.  The jumbo-tron thing was set up to our left, so they were looking there to get a better view.

Anyway, at least now I understand why they thought we were going to see a politician.

But the garage door!  If anybody is still reading at this point, the only reason is because you want to know how we got that huge door open, what with me being all weak and high-heeled and McH being all broken-backed (yes, still problems there).  So, let me tell you.

When it was close to time to leave to see the President who was not Obama or McCain or even Bush, I put on some sensible shoes and went out into the garage with my husband.  He pulled the release rope/handle thingy and got in a weightlifting type squat so that he could really put some muscle into this task.  Just as I and my sensible shoes were almost up to the door to help him lift, he lifted.

And the damn door practically flew up its track and over our heads.

I laughed hysterically.  For quite a while.

I kid you not, I could have opened it with two fingers had I tried, which I didn’t, because I was advised not to and I’m all for taking advice that would prevent my children from having two parents with broken backs and me from falling on my arse in a really nice, albeit old, dress.

Evidently I could be imprisoned in my house by a chalk line and some advice from my husband.


But I did escape the house, and we did see the President who is not a politician, and our power finally came back on around 6:00 p.m.  We also found out from our neighbor that when he built this house he got some kind of featherweight garage door and put it on some super duper spring or something so that, in the event of a power outage, his wife would never be imprisoned in this house.  Now we know.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt is going to do some pushups.

7 thoughts on “Today I Met the President, And Was a Prisoner in My Own House (She Said With a Touch of Hyperbole)

  1. Jenn

    Oh my, laughing so, so hard! Never a dull moment.

    Our garage door is a piece of crap lightweight thingy that never had a support put across the top of it. Not good…the auto opener finally bent the thing so that now we can use it to open the door and to “lock” the garage door down. If you want to close the garage door, though, you must handle release it and pull it down yourself. I can not tell you how many times I’ve pinched my finger in the darned thing…you would think I would learn.

    Perhaps this year I’ll get a new garage door for Christmas…not holding my breath.


  2. Oh where to begin! First, I love Midge. She cracks me up and I suspect in person she’d have me rolling. I will always remember that pic of her doing her laps around the pond obviously having a blast. Then I pictured you dressed up manhandling the garage door, thinking about how that’d give the neighbors something to talk about for a while, since you’ve been thinking about putting on some kind of show for them. You come up with the best stories!


  3. Forgive me for laughing at your garage door plight.

    I am glad to hear that your power is on because when I saw on the news last night that many parts of your county were without power I was a bit concerned about you. So, I am glad you are not frozen and in the dark.


  4. Christina

    Okay that is really REALLY funny. And I totally would have done the same thing. In fact, I don’t even consider the option of doing it manually if the power is out – I figure that’s God’s way of telling me to stay home where it’s warm. 🙂


  5. Christina

    Okay, is it just me or did that sound really bad? I meant, I don’t even consider the option of **opening the garage door** … get your minds out of the gutter people!


  6. OK, Christina, I didn’t even think of that when I read it but NOW I am…thank you very much! E, I’m just amazed that you are willing to venture outside at all in the midst of an ice storm. Here in the Pacific NW, we’re completely immobilized by it. I’m going absolutely stir crazy.


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