Saturday, March 24, 2012

And Then the Beeping Started

Justin is off to get his head shaved for St. Baldrick's. I wanted to go, but it's a long drive over bumpy mountain roads and my fibro is notorious for acting up if I sit in a car for over an hour.  And the event is being held at a tiny pub in Syracuse where there will be 500 shavees with all of their supporters. Last year we seriously could not move because it was so crowded, it was 2 degrees outside because it was, well, Syracuse in March, and I was hyperventilating with a panic attack within two minutes of walking in. Thank you so much, panic disorder. Then again, Justin wasn't happy about how many people there were either. But that's kind of different from needing a paper bag to breathe.

So I stayed home to happily (I thought) stitch for three days and maybe run out to Best Buy later to return the blu ray player that didn't come with a network adapter or an hdmi (?) cable. Justin went out yesterday and got a cable, but the plugs are on the "wrong" side of the television and of course it wouldn't reach from where we could put the player, so he got frustrated, I got frustrated, and we decided the whole thing would go back.

I figured there would have to be something on cable and, if there wasn't, I would just stream movies on my Mac and sew.

Then the beeping started.

This always happens when Justin leaves. Something goes wrong that I can't figure out how to fix. I get frustrated and yell at him. He gets frustrated and yells back, because how the hell is he going to fix it really from 300 miles away.

The dog was barking a couple of times last night and we didn't know why. Now I'm thinking it's because our stupid inactive alarm system was beeping for no reason.

One time, many many years ago, the smoke detector started beeping right after I had gotten the baby down to sleep. I was petrified that it would wake up the just out muppet that had taken me an hour to soothe to sleep. And I was frustrated because the man of the house was at work and I knew nothing about the smoke alarm. What the hell do you do when the smoke alarm starts beeping anyway? (And now that I think about it, is it a smoke alarm that's beeping right now, even though the security system is telling me that there is a motion detector failure downstairs on motion sensor five? I don't have any idea which of the multiple sensors we have is number five. Seriously, who looks at these things? I can't find the manual and we cancelled the direct call service, so I can't call the alarm company to ask them.)

Wait. It's not the smoke detector. I know because I just went and stood under it and the noise was not coming from that.

I went back to the kitchen and unplugged the machine from the electrical outlet. It beeped a couple of times after that, but then, as I stood there to try to figure out if the beeping was coming from the sensor on the door to the garage or the control panel, it stopped beeping.

I've called Justin twice. He's on the road in the rain in a little sports car, driving through Pennsylvania. He doesn't have any idea what the combination is to make it stop beeping. Apparently, it's some combination of pressing the buttons, but it's been too long for him to remember.

For now, it's stopped beeping. Apparently.

I figure it will start up again though, because I found the manual and somewhere in between the symbols that are supposed to be English, it says that it will start beeping again in four hours.

It's been a lot of years since this happened before. I freaked out, tried to make the smoke alarm stop beeping by ripping it out of the wall and knocked myself across the room. I called Justin and yelled at him, more out of frustration that I couldn't fix it and that I had almost electrocuted myself. I don't remember how I got it to stop - I suspect I put new batteries in it.

But now I'm an adult (well, much more than I was when I was 27 and had my first baby) and I feel like as a competent, adult woman, I should be able to take care of this. Except I can't figure out where the beeping is coming from and I've replaced all the batteries, and I've disconnected the power source, and it's not connected to the alarm company because we were cutting costs a couple of years ago and cancelled the monthly payment so we are not longer their customers. I'm kind of running out of options here.

The last time I talked to Justin this morning, he had decided I was going to freak out and I reassured him that I wasn't going to freak out. He's on the road and the last thing I want to do (now that I'm a normal, rational adult, right?) is ruin his three days with his best friend.

So what is a mature, rational, competent, adult woman going to do when she can't figure out what's beeping when her husband is gone for three days? And why is this an issue? I pay the bills, balance the checkbook, keep up with the kids' schedules, make sure everyone gets to the dentist and the doctor, refill the prescriptions, dole out the chores and the rewards, have the sex talks (even though they're boys), do the dishes, the laundry, call the home improvement guy when something needs to be, it's a Saturday. Can I call him on a Saturday? I wouldn't want someone bothering me on a Saturday because her house is making her want to hide in the corner with her teddy bear and her blankie.

If the beeping starts up again in four hours, I'm calling my dad. He won't know either and he's 600 miles away, but it will make me feel better.

What is it that makes me turn into a totally dependent person whenever Justin goes away for more than two hours?

I wouldn't be that person if my house hadn't started beeping at me. Things were supposed to just go smoothly (aside from the dog wanting to walk in the rain) and I was going to enjoy three days of chick flicks and sewing.

I may have to let the dog sleep upstairs tonight if I can't figure this out. I do have a 20 year old upstairs who is fast asleep that is fairly good at electronics. He built himself his own gaming computer. But I suspect he isn't going to have any idea why this thing is beeping because it's not a computer. Maybe the 15 year old will know? (He's also still asleep, by the way.)

Women live on their own all the time, right? Any ideas?


  1. When our "inactive, we chose not to renew the contract, shhhh, don't tell anyone, especially the robbers" alarm system beeps, we punch in this code and then it stops:


    Given to us by the alarm company & they tell us that it's universal for all alarm systems.

    Hope you can enjoy your stitching time!

  2. Oh how frustrating that beeping must have been! My smoke alarm was going off for no good reason and I thought I could stop it by pulling the batteries out, but I found out that it was connected by wires into the ceiling. I whacked it with a broom handle and it finally stopped. What a pain not to have a man around to take care of things!


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