Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread: Hurricane Edition

“Hurricane” is my favorite Bob Dylan song and though it’s not about an actual hurricane (it’s about the wrongful imprisonment of boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter and the racial profiling against him), it seemed an appropriate tune to share on this weekend the East Coast is bracing for the arrival of Irene. The media would have us believe this storm is gonna be something else, and it may very well be, but I’m not too concerned here in inner Brooklyn. Drew and I will move our plants and chairs off the balcony and make sure we have flashlights, batteries, and some snacks and cans of food on hand, but beyond that, we’re not really freaking out or anything. I mean, we already survived an earthquake this week, after all.

My dad joked that maybe Baby Jasper (that’s his nickname for his unborn grandson) will make his grand entrance during the hurricane. I was born during a “super typhoon” — the biggest one Japan had experienced in ten years — so I guess it would be poetic justice if that happened, but seeing as Jasper’s still five weeks away from being fullterm, I’d like to keep him baking a little longer, please. I don’t envy any women who will be going into labor this weekend, though. Yikes.

And that brings me to this weekend’s open thread topic: do you have any crazy weather-related stories? Has the weather ever been to blame for ruining a date or wedding or honeymoon or anything relationship-oriented? And, if you live in one of the areas bracing for Irene, keep us updated throughout the weekend on your preparations and how you’re doing.

As always, feel free to share whatever relationship dilemma you may need some advice and opinions on.

Stay safe, everyone!

95 comments… add one
  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom August 26, 2011, 5:31 pm

    Not everyone has experienced a hurricane and an earthquake in just a few days time. This is a week you’ll tell young Jasper (love that nickname) about in the years to come.

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      sohara August 26, 2011, 6:27 pm

      I was thinking that I had heard the name “Jasper” recently in relation to some sort of disaster – earthquake or flooding or something. I Googled “Jasper disaster” and found that there’s actually an event in Arkansas called the “Jasper Disaster” – a road race. Just a fun fact. (Apparently there was no town called Jasper that has recently suffered.)

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    amber August 26, 2011, 5:44 pm

    Luckily no major events ruined by hurricanes. There was a severe thunderstorm and tornado the day of my sister in law’s wedding that kept us all inside. But, no one was hurt and luckily she had a back up plan!

    I live just South of Myrtle Beach and we just started to feel Irene before lunch today. Went to work like normal but we were sent home after a tree went down on a power line and we received a flash flood warning (we live in a low area where the streets tend to flood during a good thunderstorm as it is). Just had the dogs out and it is definitely picking up wind wise but we were in between rain bands. Hopefully everyone up North stays safe!

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    emjay August 26, 2011, 5:51 pm

    Up here on L.I. super market shelves are empty, and the roads are clogged up in traffic. Don’t know if people are leaving the island to be safe, and they are saying the hurricane might pick up speed as it heads toward us.
    My preparedness: enough non parishable food (just in case) and plenty of Jose Quervo (don’t think I spelled that right) and Jack Daniels to keep me company. Soon to be hubby will be working towing away broken down cars during the hurricane. OH! And I almost forgot, my precious dog will be by my side!
    So I think I’m ready! LOL 🙂

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    applescruff August 26, 2011, 5:58 pm

    No hurricanes, but I did survive the Yosemite flood of 1997. My dad was a park ranger, so we lived in the park itself. It happened new year’s eve/new year’s day, and all the tourists were evacuated, but we were allowed to stay. We were without power, running water, etc for a few weeks. They set up porta-potties on the residential streets and (eventually) outside the school for people to use until things were put back together. 5 for boys, 5 for girls, and 1 for teachers, which always struck me as funny. The really cool part of the flood was getting to see Yosemite with no tourists around. Inspiration point (google that shit if you haven’t been!) is usually completely overcrowded, but I remember walking through the tunnel that leads to it with my dad, right down the middle of the road because it was closed, and going out a little service entrance to see that view from a completely different angle.

    Oh, and my cats spent about 4 days on the top bunk of my bunk beds while the flood was happening. The absolutely refused to come down.

    Stay safe, all you East coasters!

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      Sarah August 26, 2011, 6:41 pm

      Oh man, you were there for that?!!? I remember visiting the cabins after it happened and they were filled to the roofs with sand!! God, I would kill to look out on Yosemite with no one else there, you must have felt like Ansel Adams!

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    sohara August 26, 2011, 6:03 pm

    My 60ish cousin and her husband were scheduled for cruise, leaving from Florida. They planned to arrive a day early to be sure not to miss the boat. The day they arrived, there was a hurricane warning (I forget which one). The cruise was cancelled. They had driven and were exhausted. They went from one hotel to another. All were full of fleeing Floridians and vacationers. They finally found one that seemed to have an available room, but the staff people hemmed and hawed about letting them book the room. It turned out to be a clothing-optional, gay men’s resort. The staff felt very sorry for my cousin and her husband, but also worried that Susan and her husband would expire on the spot if they saw some of the other patrons. They worried, too, that the other patrons might be inhibited by the elderly straights cramping their naturalist style. Susan assured the staff that they were exhausted and super-liberal. They ended up spending several days at the hotel and had a great time, meeting some very fun and interesting guests.

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    silver_dragon_girl August 26, 2011, 6:07 pm

    Nothing major for me, even growing up in tornado alley. We did have a “microburst” when I was in college, though. Apparently this is a tornado-like event when, during a thunderstorm, a large quantity of air is for some reason suddenly “pushed down.” I don’t really remember the details 😛

    Anyway, it blew the air conditioning units off of my dorm roof along with a lot of other debris, and totaled a couple cars. Mine ended up with a broken rear side window, but nothing major. Then we all walked over to the dining hall and talked about it over waaaaay too much food. 😀

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      Rachel August 28, 2011, 1:29 am

      So, a microburst isn’t quite like a tornado – except they both have really strong winds and are related to storms. What happens is when you have a lot of rain, it evaporates as it falls and cools the air around it. Cooler air is more dense, so it sinks really fast. When it hits the ground it has nowhere to go but out, so it spreads out at really high speeds. No laughing matter definitely – some serious damage is caused by microbursts every year, but no one tends to think of them. It was actually some crazy damage caused by a microburst that started the fascination that led to my atmospheric science career 🙂

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        silver_dragon_girl August 28, 2011, 1:17 pm

        Oh, thanks for explaining! That’s what I thought it was, but I couldn’t remember *why* it happened. You’re right, not really like a tornado, except we all *thought* it was a tornado when we looked outside afterwards. We were kind of underwhelmed when they said it was “just” a microburst, lol.

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        Rachel August 28, 2011, 5:31 pm

        Yeah, when both are happening it’s just really high wind speeds. It’s usually not until after the fact that you can tell the difference – when surveyors go out and see that the damage is straight, rather than chaotic and curvy like tornado damage tends to be.

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    MissDre August 26, 2011, 6:09 pm

    Ice Storm 1998. No school for 2 weeks!!! Power was out for days and days, because the weight of the ice brought down countless trees and power lines. The trees all looked like ice sculptures. Could barely take a step outside because everything was just covered in inches and inches of ice. Can’t say anything bad happened to me in particular, although I know there were a lot of accidents and a lot of people without heat whose pipes froze, etc.

    A few weeks ago we had a wicked wind storm that took down the tree next to my apartment. I had no power for 2 days. Not really a big deal.

    Other than that, can’t say I’ve experienced any other major weather event.

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      kate August 26, 2011, 6:17 pm

      Ahh the 98 ice storm…by bf’s dad at the time worked for CT light and power and he went up to Maine for 2 weeks, leaving him alone to party and have perpetual houseguests for the entire time…misspent college years.

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      amber August 26, 2011, 6:28 pm

      I remember that Ice Storm too. That was the year my family bought our generator!

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didn't August 27, 2011, 5:16 pm

      Did you experience the great Toronto blackout of 2003?? I was in a movie theatre when the power went out. The roads home were chaos!! Luckily, my house had power back within 24 hours, but friends of the family in the Scarborough area were stuck without for three days, so brought them over to our house for a BBQ. The whole thing was great fun.

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        LennyBee August 27, 2011, 5:48 pm

        I did! From northern ontario though. We were without power for I think 2 days.

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        MissDre August 28, 2011, 2:35 pm

        I think that was across the entire east coast as far as I know. No power for days, anywhere!

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        christy August 28, 2011, 4:11 pm

        That hit NY too. I was working at a Target store at the time and we had no choice but to requisition some microwaves to cook the food that was defrosting and have an in-store party. Good times, lol.

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    kate August 26, 2011, 6:13 pm

    Been through tornadoes, hurricanes, nor’easters (complete w 2 inches of ice), and 2 eathquakes. All in New England. I am sending good vibes their way now since I am currently in the Midwest…hopefully Irene will run out of steam by Sunday. 3 of my friends had roofs collapse this winter so I hope this storm misses them.

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    redheadblogger August 26, 2011, 5:24 pm

    Being a midwesterner, I can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve been to that have had unseasonable weather. From snow in April canceling an outdoor wedding, to 100 degree heat in October, I’ve been to them all. Fortunately, none of the weddings were mine.
    As for babies born during hurricanes, I sincerely hope you don’t have that happen this weekend! I was born in September on a 103 degree day, and apparently the air conditioning went out at the hospital my mother was at. She likes to remind me of that 27 years later….and it always seems to be really hot on my birthday. Ah, Missouri weather…..

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      Anna August 26, 2011, 6:20 pm

      Being a midwesterner, I wouldn’t plan an outdoor wedding in April to begin with! That’s just begging to have either rain or snow on your wedding day! I’m in Ohio though, not Missouri…..

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  • sumilove

    sumilove August 26, 2011, 6:29 pm

    Only 5 more weeks until your due date?? I didn’t even realize that it was that close. At the least, it sounds like you’re not in an evac zone – that’s always good news! I’m not in one either, so I’ll be watching the Hudson from my apartment, hoping that my windows withstand the winds…

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy August 26, 2011, 6:49 pm

      No, no, eights weeks until my due date, but five weeks until I’m full-term. Full-term just means that all the baby’s organs and everything are fully developed and he can safely survive outside the womb without any intervention, like oxygen, etc. When a woman is full-term, she can expect to go into labor at any time and the baby wouldn’t be considered premature (though, of course, it could take up to another month, so who knows when Jasper will decide to make his grand entrance!).

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      • katie

        katie August 26, 2011, 10:15 pm

        wendy- i just heard about this new law in oregon where they are no longer doing elective inductions of labor/c-sections until 39 weeks because there is new research saying that the two weeks of time between 37 weeks (right now considered full term) to 39 weeks is apparently very very crutial to the baby… have you heard anything about this?

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      • sumilove

        sumilove August 27, 2011, 5:45 pm

        Ah – my mistake, though now I have regained some faith in my sense of passing time. 😉

        Also speaking of hurricanes and deliveries: http://abcnews.go.com/US/hurricanes/hurricane-baby-couple-birth-hurricane-irene/story?id=14394693

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  • Budj

    budjer August 26, 2011, 5:35 pm

    I live in upstate NY and the day my grandfather died we were at my grandparents’ house and there was a mini tornado in the neighborhood….which never ever happens here….that ended up going right over the house. Rain was seeping through the sealed windows and lightning hit a tree that had a large branch overhanging in the driveway which ended up blowing up from the lightning strike and severed the branch which fell on and crushed my grandfather’s car. Pretty weird.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster August 26, 2011, 5:45 pm

      That would scare the bejeebus out of me!! Where upstate? I grew up on the Dutchess/Putnam border.

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      • Budj

        budjer August 26, 2011, 7:33 pm

        The mighty southern tier – horseheads, ny.

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster August 26, 2011, 5:39 pm

    I was born during one of NY’s big hurricanes on Long Island. Hurricane Gloria, as my aunt reminded me today, caused my mother to give birth in a hospital with no power and to be sent home with an infant as the trees fell down around the car, only to reach a dark, flooded house. The way she tells it, the headless horseman took me home from the hospital. I guess this explains my personality. 🙂

    My aunt chose this moment to reiterate my birth story just so she could send me scare tactic emails at work in an effort to convince me to evacuate to her house up in Westchester. I think she just wants an excuse to have an epic drunk game of Scrabble with me (which is silly because she will clearly lose to the MASTER). I live in a “Zone C” area in Manhattan, so I’ll be ok to hunker down with some batteries and canned food, and lots and lots of alcohol. As long as the zombies don’t get us, anyway.

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      christy August 28, 2011, 4:07 pm

      My cousin was born during the same storm.

      I’m actually glad I’m in Queens and not on LI today. Most of my family don’t have power, but I’ve had no problems here so far. Hope you’re doing well in Manhattan!

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    Bethany August 26, 2011, 6:40 pm

    I’m getting married in 4 weeks, in the Outer Banks in North Carolina… Oddly, I’m not all that concerned about what Irene could be doing to my wedding venue! People down there are used to hurricanes- they know what the do, the building codes are strict, and I’m hoping that by the time late September rolls around, you’ll never know a hurricane just rolled through!
    I’m keeping my fingers crossed that no other storms pop up between now and then though!

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      SpaceySteph August 27, 2011, 2:13 pm

      Ahh good luck. I’m supposed to go on vacation to Outer Banks- we rented a beach house with some other friends starting next Saturday. I’m hoping hoping hoping that we get to go. I started working on backup plans for next week so I can still have SOME vacation if we can’t go to OBX. I have to get my vacation in at work months in advance so I can’t just postpone it; the next full week I can take off is the first week of November because the schedule is already set through the end of october and I’m sure as hell not waiting that long to show off my new bathing suit!
      Backup beach plans are: Cruise from a port near home (Galveston, TX); if that sells out then cruise out of New Orleans, LA (a little farther to home but still driveable); and then if that fails, go visit my parents in Fort Lauderdale.

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    Quakergirl August 26, 2011, 6:58 pm

    This week I feel like my apartment has turned on me. I live in a NYC shoebox whose major redeeming qualities are its abundance of windows and gorgeous hi-rise view…yeah, not so fantastic in an earthquake or a hurricane.

    Quakerboy and I have things pretty under control at the moment. Being from the Midwest, we’re used to extreme weather, so while we’re not panicking, we’re definitely prepared. We have flashlights and extra batteries, water, some non-perishable ready-to-eat food, and lots of books. Also, just because of how high up our apartment is and the fact that it’s right next to the East River, we’re going to tape the windows tomorrow before the storm hits in case they shatter. I don’t think they will, but that’s not a place to take a chance. One shattered window would cause so much damage to the apartment between the glass and the flooding, and probably cause some injuries, so it’s just not worth it.

    Hope all the other East Coasters out there stay safe!

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster August 26, 2011, 7:20 pm

      I live near the East River too. My boyfriend was just saying we need to reinforce our windows… I’m feeling kinda stupid for not thinking about it earlier. Usually I’m the one who makes sure we’re prepared for shit like this!

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        MissDre August 26, 2011, 7:49 pm

        Tara, I just discovered your blog by accidentally clicking on your display pic. I think your cat is sooooo gorgeous and you look real cute with your man. My cat seems to love perching on my boyfriend’s shoulders/back too, especially when we are sitting at the dinner table. Cats are the best and I like your blog 🙂 Thanks for your post about Loving Day.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster August 26, 2011, 9:05 pm

        Thanks! Glad you like it. I’m really really lazy about updating it. My boyfriend says my cat looks like someone beat her over the head with a bottle of peroxide. We agree to disagree on her attractiveness. Lol.

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        MissDre August 27, 2011, 1:21 pm

        Haha well tell him I think she’s perfect 🙂

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        Quakergirl August 26, 2011, 8:42 pm

        It didn’t occur to me either, but he had this elaborate taping scheme all planned out. Masking tape first, in an asterisk pattern, then duct tape over top of the masking tape. The masking tape is to prevent window residue and the duct tape is for strength.

        Being near the East River is usually nice, but I’m a wee bit nervous that our street will soon be riverfront property. I just hope our apartment won’t become a pool.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster August 27, 2011, 1:41 am

        When I asked him how he planned to reinforce the windows he said he had no idea. Lol. But now we know what to do. Thanks! Good luck with the storm!

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        Quakergirl August 27, 2011, 10:38 am

        You guys too! Stay safe!

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom August 27, 2011, 7:50 am

        I saw MissDre’s comment and checked out your blog. Your blog is fun and your birth story quite dramatic! I love your car. She looks so much like our first cat and we loved her and she would have that same expression on her face as she does sitting there on your boyfriend’s back.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom August 27, 2011, 7:51 am

        I mean I love your cat, didn’t mean to say car.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster August 27, 2011, 1:00 pm

        Thanks! She’s such an indignant animal. It’s her apartment and we just live here with her.

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    Zyggurat August 26, 2011, 8:39 pm

    I feel sorry for you folks up north – I live down in the Caribbean and the storm already passed us by last weekend. It was not the worst, but still, there was an island-wide curfew and the power was out for 24 hours, which meant the Mr. and I spent Sunday night playing Scrabble by candlelight, reading, and…. you know.

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    GatorGirl August 26, 2011, 8:59 pm

    Hurricane Floyd 1999- Our family farm flooded, and we lost over $10k in perishable items at our family owned resturant, no power for over a week, bathed in the swimming pool. Positive memories- eating as much ice cream as possible the morning after the storm, and no school for over a week (I was 15 at the time).

    Dallas Snow 2006- I was trying to meet my family for a week in Cancun for Christmas. 1st flight was cancelled, I was rebooked the next day. Flew from Raleigh, NC to JFK…but we landed in Boston because of fog. Then spent 8+ hours in the Boston airport (I was not pleased) only to fly to Miami and be told they would not put me up for the night. After a lots of tears and frustration, I arrived at a hotel, only to figure out I needed to be back at the airport 5 hrs later. I finally arrived in Cancun over 36 hours after I was orriginally scheduled to. Worst Vacation Travel Ever.

    Snowpocolyps 2010 & Snowmaggedon 2011- Snow. I hate it.

    I moved to Florida in June…it’s sort of ironic that I move and PA gets a hurricane…and it’s blue skies here.

    Be safe Wendy and everyone in Irene’s path! Don’t under-estimate how crazy it could be.

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      Bethany August 26, 2011, 10:02 pm

      omg- 2010 and all those lame “snow” words!! Snowmageddon, snowpocalypse! After that winter I was ready to NEVER see snow again! Although, I did get to stay home from work for 3 days… 🙂

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    Christy August 26, 2011, 9:07 pm

    I think weather may be responsible for where I ended up in grad school. Most of the interviews are in late winter, so one snow storm prevented me from driving the six hours to Kentucky. The phone interview highlighted some major dealbreakers (no guaranteed funding!) so I’m glad I didn’t spend the gas money. Another visit I got stranded in Washington DC on the way to Boston because of snow. I ended up on a plane at 6am and went straight into a day of interviews and visiting. My host wasn’t available until late that night, so the department chair took my exhausted self to the mall to walk around until my host was free. Bless their souls, everyone was super sweet but I knew I wouldn’t quite fit in up there after forcing my way through a conversation about fur coats. My last visit was in Michigan and the weather was 40s and sunny, so I believed everyone that the winters were completely fine. I’d disagree now but it helped with my choice and I don’t regret it at all!

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    Turtledove August 26, 2011, 9:26 pm

    I actually think I’m cursed weather wise. Irene will not be the first, nor the worst hurricane I’ve weathered. I sat through both Katrina and Rita in my horrid little Baton Rouge apartment– I would have been fine except that Katrina took out the pump on the canal by my apartment and they never fixed it so Rita flooded the entire area. The only good news was that my car still worked after we got all the water out.

    So I leave the area and move to New England just in time to have 70″ of snow dropped on me in one month, then a hurricane. I actually think it’s funny because everyone is out buying bread, milk, and canned goods. Look in my cart and I’ve got popcorn, beer, and M&Ms.

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      SpaceySteph August 27, 2011, 2:18 pm

      I’m with you… I tell people that hurricanes follow me. I grew up in Florida (hit by probably more than 10 hurricanes in my childhood), then I moved to Houston in time for the first major hurricane in 100 years to strike the Houston area (Ike in 2008).. also since leaving Florida in summer of 2008, a hurricane has NOT hit Florida. And now with a vacation planned in a week to outer banks, there’s a hurricane there. Clearly its me!

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  • katie

    katie August 26, 2011, 10:16 pm

    i was in a couple hurricanes when i was very little… all i remember was i was allowed to build a fort under our dining room table, you know, for safety… and i got to play with flashlights. haha.

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    Patti August 27, 2011, 1:09 am

    After experiencing my very first tornado warning, it seems like small potatoes compared to this hurricane.
    Stay safe. Make sure you’ve got enough for three days. Water, canned food, candles, and batteries…double up on those…just in case. 😉

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    Britannia August 27, 2011, 2:00 am

    I lived in Southwest Jamaica during 2005 and 2006. We experienced several CAT 4 and 5 hurricanes during that time. When we went under, the power and water went out and it was too harsh to go get food, so twice we were stranded in our classroom without food for two days… both times, I was in class at the time that the storm got so bad that we weren’t allowed to leave. The best part was that our classrooms faced the ocean and the windows broke once; everyone hid in the bathrooms for hours. I had planned to stay in Jamaica for all of my high school years, but the weather drove me away.

    I’m not on the East Coast, and I’m glad for it. Arizona is nice and safe and hurricane and earthquake free.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark August 27, 2011, 5:20 am

      Actually, there have been sizable quakes in Arizona. In fact, in 1959, a 5.6 rattled parts of the state — and that is far larger than any quake I’ve even come close to in 15 years of LA living…

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    Wendy's Dad August 27, 2011, 4:47 am

    Why, when I was a youngster, we had to trudge 5 miles to school through 5 feet of snow, and it was all uphill…both ways. If only my parents could have afforded shoes, it would have been much better. OK, I digress, but I’m still thinking about your reader who said that her 60-ish cousin was “elderly”. Made me feel ancient.

    So on to my stories…the date was January 26, 1967…before any of you were born and probably before some of your parents were born. I was a junior at Valparaiso University in NW Indiana. We had 26 inches of snow in 24 hours. At the time, it was one of the biggest snowfalls in the greater Chicago-land area ever. (I think that subsequent winters…like last winter…have eclipsed that). Again, I digress. Final exams were cancelled for the first time in the university’s history. Well, they weren’t really cancelled…just postponed…but it provided an excuse to stop studying and to party instead. Many people went to the store with their sleds. Those of us with cars had to dig them out and then find a way to protect our parking spot with downed branches, sofas (hell, it was a fraternity house, so what can I say) or whatever was handy. The not-so-strange thing for a college town was that the local grocery store sold out of beer before it sold out of milk. The streets were plowed which made the snow on the side of the street so tall it was like driving through a tunnel. The National Guard was mobilized to carry the snow away. Don’t know where they took it. Maybe it got dumped into Lake Michigan. Unfortunately, we still had to take those exams. That’s my ancient history lesson for the day.

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      sweetleaf August 29, 2011, 7:55 am

      Heck yeah, whenever there’s a storm a-comin’ beer is the FIRST thing I get along with tasty, unhealthy snacks:D

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    Wendy's Dad August 27, 2011, 4:56 am

    And one final weather story. Wendy, you were probably much too young to remember this because you were a few weeks shy of your third birthday. We had just moved to Chinhae, Korea, and our household goods were being delivered. It started to rain as they were finishing, and it kept on raining throughout the day and night. By the time the rain stopped (there was a typhoon in the area), we had received more than 25 inches of rain in 24 hours.The mountain behind our house started to slide downhill. We lived on the “uphill” side of the street. The doctor (who had the unlikely name of “Dr. Payne”) lived on the downhill side. He opened his front door to look outside, and about 12″ of mud slid into his house and out the back door, leaving them with quite a cleanup. It was a very tragic storm, because 8 ROK (Republic of Korea) Marines and civilian guards were occupying a guard shack on top of a nearby mountain on which the access road to our city was situated. Chinhae was a city with controlled access, so there were sentries at the checkpoints. They took refuge in the guardhouse which slid down the mountain and into a river where they all drowned. Many local civilians who lived in substandard housing were also killed. I was the principal of the elementary school, and we could operate, but our high school kids had to ride a van to Pusan, about 45 minutes away. They had to delay the start of their school year until the roads could be repaired. Not that they minded the wait, mind you. I hope that there is no similar event along the East Coast this weekend. Stay safe, everyone. And, Wendy, take care of Jasper. Have Drew tell him jokes by candlelight. Then you’ll have stories to relate to him when he gets older.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy August 27, 2011, 5:27 am

      I always like your stories, Dad.

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        kali August 27, 2011, 11:43 am

        Jasper’s one lucky kid, Wendy, to have you and Drew as his parents and such a terrific Grandpa! Great stories!!

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    RoyalEagle0408 August 27, 2011, 10:37 am

    I’ve been through a good number of Noreasters, growing up outside of Philadelphia. I had been down the shore in south Jersey, but they evacuated us on Thursday night. I’m home now, waiting for the hurricane. We’ve had massive rain this past month and they’re saying we’re going to get more than the models predict, meaning we’re going to get massive flooding starting this afternoon.

    It’s just scary because we have a 6″ creek in my town that flooded the entire town out in 2004. That was just a rainstorm, not a tropical storm/hurricane. Almost 10ft. of water in certain areas. Might be worse this weekend.

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    kali August 27, 2011, 11:56 am

    I have a few storm stories. The first one I don’t remember but I bear the scar… I was two and not always terribly steady on my feet. I tripped and split my forehead open which wouldn’t be a big deal except that there was a massive storm pelting Northern California and the roads were flooded. I needed medical attention so my parents loaded up our car and drove carefully through the rising waters to Southern Oregon where the nearest hospital was. I got bandaged up (not sure if stitches were involved) and the Doc promised I wouldn’t scar… except that, hours later, when we got home, I pulled the bandage off and my folks opted not to risk the drive back to Klamath Falls.

    I also lived in Hawaii in 1964 during the big Anchorage AK earthquake. We had three tidal wave (now they call them tsunami) warnings that year – all in the middle of the night. Because we lived right on the beach, we had to evacuate to higher ground and wait for the all clear signal. Although we only got a lot of debris washed up on the beach about 20 or 30 feet further inland than normal, we had no real damage. Alaska wasn’t as lucky.

    As a California resident, we’ve loaded the car and evacuated for several wildfires including the So Cal one that destroyed whole neighborhoods in San Diego county.

    I’ve taken CERT training classes, CPR and have an emergency kit in my home. I’ve got food, water and medicines for all of us, dog included, and all the important papers are together where I can easily grab them if we have to bail. A little preparedness gives me great peace of mind.

    Good luck to all those in the path of Irene. Stay safe.

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    haggith August 27, 2011, 12:12 pm

    i left my home country in august 15 2007 and as my plane flying there was a major earthquake. i learnt about it when i arrived in los angeles “custom officer: oh you’re from lima-peru… did you know there was an earthquake there – me ‘what???!!!? (tears started rolling down). i called as soon as i found a phone and my family and friends were fine and told me lots of stories about that day

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    • JK

      JK August 27, 2011, 12:20 pm

      It’s terrible, the amount of natural disasters happening in Peru (the mudslides in Machu Picchu last year, the latest earthquake as well). I just hope to make it to Machu Picchu before it’s permanently off limits to visitors. Lima looks amazing as well. I’m quite close (Buenos Aires), but with 2 little kids it is hard (and exensive) to travel!

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        haggith August 27, 2011, 12:31 pm

        yup, there was an earthquake the same day of the earthquake in virginia… i went to machu picchu 4 months after the mudslides and you could tell how disastrous it was. fortunately it was open and the railroad was working too (interrupted in some areas but you could reach the town). i LOVE Buenos Aires!!! such a beautiful city

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  • JK

    JK August 27, 2011, 12:36 pm

    It is, I don’t really like such big cities though, I much prefer some of the provinces (Mendoza especially!) I hadn’t realized there were other latins on here (there’s another argentinian, as well!)

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      haggith August 27, 2011, 12:40 pm

      i guess there are some mexican-americans commenting in this blog too… it’s kind of difficult to tell the nationalities here!

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      • JK

        JK August 27, 2011, 12:42 pm

        Totally, accents don’t come out in writing 😉

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        haggith August 27, 2011, 12:43 pm

        but oh boy, culture yes!!

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      • JK

        JK August 27, 2011, 12:46 pm

        True, I’m a bit of a mix, born and raised in New Zealand, my mum “bien argentina”, dad born here, raised in NZ, we came to live here when I was 16, so I’ve got part anglo mentality, but for the most part latina (I think at least).

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    kittyk August 27, 2011, 1:40 pm

    Aww that’s my favorite Dylan song too! This made me smile, thanks!

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    SpaceySteph August 27, 2011, 2:32 pm

    Ah so many hurricanes in my life, growing up in south Florida, and living on the Texas gulf coast now.
    When I was 5 we went on vacation and came home the day before Hurricane Andrew. My dad is a doctor and was needed at the hospital so he left my mom home alone with her 5 year old, 3 year old, and 2 month old to weather the storm. I don’t have many memories of that because I was young but I remember all 4 of us sleeping in my parents bed while the storm raged outside.
    Then there was another Irene, 12 years ago, which cancelled a big school trip to the beach. It was a sleep-over retreat for Shabbat (done every year by my private jewish middle school) but this year my friend and I were in charge of organizing the prayer services and had put months of work into it. Of course all that got cancelled because of the hurricane and my family spent the night sleeping in the laundry room.
    And then there was the time that I turned 21 on the Florida Turnpike evacuating before hurricane Frances.
    And the time I left school in Orlando to go home to Fort Lauderdale because the hurricane was forecast to hit Orlando. So of course it turned south and hit my parents home hard. The screen on the patio came loose from 3 of the 4 corners and so flapped in the wind the whole time anchored to that fourth side. We are very lucky it didn’t come through the window… but after that my mom FINALLY splurged on shutters for the house. So of course a hurricane hasn’t hit Florida since.
    Then I moved to Houston only 3 months before Ike hit. That one worked out in my favor though, because my mom decided it was unsafe for me to stay here alone and paid for my plane ticket back to Florida. I got to spend a paid vacation from work with my long distance boyfriend instead.
    And now, Irene is threatening my beach vacation to Outer Banks next week, as I said above.
    For those of you in the northeast, please do not underestimate this storm. Hurricanes are extremely dangerous and extremely scary. Sounds like you’re doing the right thing Wendy- just make sure when it gets bad you guys go hang out in a windowless room. Anything people leave outside can become deadly projectiles and can come through your window and hurt or kill you or your little Jasper. Be safe!

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      Maracuya August 27, 2011, 2:51 pm

      I had the unfortunate luck to get hit by Dolly at home which caused some major flooding, then I went to school and got hit by Edouard (kind of a dud one if I recall) and then Ike. All within a span of a month. I was hurricaned out after that, although I was far enough inland that Ike didn’t flood much near me–a few inches out near the bayous.

      I heard during Rita that all the students in my dorm got to go mattress sledding and eat nothing but a school-provided mountain of pop tarts.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Wendy August 27, 2011, 2:41 pm

    The skies just opened up here in Brooklyn. Irene is definitely on her way…

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      amber August 27, 2011, 4:22 pm

      My family lives in Southeastern VA and their rain gauge read 6.5 inches as of 4pm. Hope everyone up North stays safe!

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    Maracuya August 27, 2011, 2:57 pm

    My friend in Westchester said that police are coming door-to-door to get people to evacuate her neighborhood. She’s right by the water though. I think most people will be fine.

    Although I hope most New Yorkers take the flooding seriously and evacuate if they’re near the shoreline. Irene reminds me SO much of Ike. It’s about the same size with slightly weaker wind speeds. I think people underestimate a storm based on its Category, but that’s not really the issue. The storm surge and rainfall are the big problem.

    One of the worst storms to ever hit Houston was Tropical Storm Allison and it never reached hurricane status. Even then, the damage was so bad that its name was retired.

    After Ike: http://www.cs.rice.edu/~dwallach/photo/ike2008/content/bin/images/large/DSC_1390.jpg
    and after Allison:
    http://www.texasfreeway.com/houston/photos/june2001_flood/images/us59_kayak_at_hazard_dave_rossman.jpg

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      Painted_lady August 27, 2011, 3:08 pm

      Well, but while Houston didn’t get hit that hard by Ike, it wasn’t exactly a picnic for Galveston. There was SO much damage, and geographically, Manhattan is situated much more similarly to Galveston. And you’re so right, it was the flooding that was the biggest deal, not the winds. Even for the folks right on the water, being beaten by waves did the most damage.

      Stay safe everyone!

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        Maracuya August 27, 2011, 3:19 pm

        That’s true, the damage to Galveston was terrible. Parts of the Bolivar Peninsula were wiped off the map. 🙁

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        Painted_lady August 27, 2011, 6:06 pm

        My parents have a place on West Beach, just down from the fishing pier where the couple who owned it and lived there evacuated and then changed their minds and stayed overnight on the pier watching parts of it break off. Their truck got stuck on one of the beams and finally got lifted off by crane sometime last year while they were rebuilding their pier and the house. I heard somewhere the guy got offered $10,000 for the truck as a historical artifact, but he turned them down!!!

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster August 27, 2011, 6:48 pm

      Was that Pelham in Westchester? I heard they were being evacuated. I used to work there and the streets would flood with just a little bit of drizzle!

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        Maracuya August 27, 2011, 11:10 pm

        No, she lives in Mamaroneck.

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    MissDre August 27, 2011, 4:48 pm

    The hurricane was supposed to reach us here in Ottawa, Canada (well the rain anyway) but so far nothing but sun and heat. Maybe it will reach us in a few days…

    I heardon the radio that the entire transit system in Manhattan has been stopped! Sounds like nobody will be moving this weekend. Hope everyone is ok.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster August 27, 2011, 6:50 pm

      Yup. The MTA shut down at noon. It’s been raining for a while, but nothing serious yet. Hopefully the power holds up!

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    Painted_lady August 27, 2011, 6:00 pm

    There aren’t any huge tips I can offer to anyone that wouldn’t be too little, too late other than this: it’s a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors! I’ve heard so many stories from friends and got to see for myself after Ike that people banded together. You have about a 47-72 hour window after the power goes out for everything in the fridge to go bad, so if you have a gas grill, invite the neighbors over with their food, and if you don’t, find a neighbor who has one and offer up free food for use of the grill. Anyone I know who was here in the Houston area during Ike still reminisces about how well they ate in the first few days after the storm. I was stuck at my parents’, and between us and the three houses in their little cul-de-sac, we had grilled fish, ribs, steak, fresh veggies, and my brother even figured out how to brew coffee in a sterno can, so one day we had eggs, coffee, sausage links, and toast. It was really great, and we figured out that the neighbors were pretty dang awesome.

    It also brought out the most generous sides of folks. One of the snobby upscale restaurants in Galveston let all the historical buildings store their furniture in their walk-ins and saved a bunch of priceless antiques, and they had free buffet-style outdoor meals for all the residents and clean-up crews. My dad’s best friend was stuck for a few days in the Midwest for a day or two, and instead of flying into Houston, he finally hopped a flight to New Orleans, rented a U-Haul, stopped at the first Home Depot he found, bought as many generators, fans, AC units, extension cords, and gas cans as the van would hold, and then he drove through the night back to Houston and stopped at the home of everyone he could think of and didn’t leave till the generators and ACs were up and running. Our house was the first stop at 1 am and my dad told me he got home sometime after the sun was up.

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      Maracuya August 27, 2011, 11:13 pm

      Yeah, my neighborhood had a block party cookout after Ike hit. Everybody just brought things to grill and shared them. It was the only nice part about the storm, that all our neighbors got to know each other better.

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    callmehobo August 27, 2011, 6:01 pm

    So I don’t know if you guys heard about the 2010 Nashville flood, but I got stuck in that one…

    I drove to Nashville in the morning to go hang out with my boyfriend, who goes to school at Belmont University (which happens to be at the highest geological point in Nashville). I was ready to go home that afternoon, when we turned on the TV. At that point, I-24 was a lake, and we watched live as a HOUSE floated into the middle of the interstate and crashed apart. Needless to say, I didn’t go home that night. Or for the next 4 nights. I was stuck at his dorm with one change of clothes for 5 days (while I was on my period). Also, his college had a very strict policy on mixed gender visitors, so I had to find a mattress and a few of his female friends so I could have a place to sleep at night!

    Nashville was declared a disaster area the first night, so no one was allowed in or out, which didn’t matter because all the roads were flooded anyways. Nashville hadn’t had a flood like that in over 150 years, so we were all caught off guard by the sheer destruction and death that came along with the storm. There were 21 casualties in all. We’ve had tornadoes, but we had never had anything like that flood. It was just crazy.

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      Painted_lady August 27, 2011, 6:09 pm

      I love it, you’re stranded because the surrounding area is underwater, and the school was concerned about the possibility of you guys having sex (because God knows that only happens at night in a bedroom).

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  • Amanda

    Amanda August 27, 2011, 11:28 pm

    This is probably one of my favorite stories:

    About two years ago my best friend and I were driving into Memphis from New Orleans. We were, maybe, 45 minutes outside of the city. My best friend, Amy, looks up at the horizon and says, “Oh…I do believe we’re going to get some rain.” I looked up and the horizon was BLACK. I’m hoping that we’ll make it to the city before the rain starts because it looks like it’s going to be one hell of a storm.

    About 15 minutes later – the sky opens up. Amy slows the car down to about 10 mph (and no, I’m not exaggerating) because we can’t see more than 18 inches in front of the car due to the rain. As we’re driving there’s this white thing that looks like it’s floating in the street. When she turned to ask me what it was it slams into the car and drags us almost into the shoulder. It was rain and wind. The wind was blowing so hard that the rain was horizontal.

    I got my phone out and checked the weather for the area we were in. There was a tornado warning out. With one spotted on the ground. I start telling her this when it begins to hail. And then, briefly, it all stops. In my little experience I know that this is not good. Apparently, we were just miles away from where it was at.

    We keep driving because if we stop the car, it’ll get blown off the road. I check my phone, and another tornado has been spotted. Fortunately, we miss that one as well. Even though it was just a hair closer. We put two and two together when we saw a branch go across the road like it was a twig.

    Finally, we make it into Memphis. What should have been only a 30 minute drive took us nearly 2 hours. We get to the hotel, climb out of the car and check in at the hotel. We get to our room and Amy turns on the news. A tornado touched down, briefly, at a park in the city. That we had driven by minutes earlier. We flop down on our respective beds, thankful to have dodged three tornadoes.

    And then the fire alarms went off.

    After climbing down four flights of stairs, it turned out that it was a false alarm.

    I can honestly say, I will never – EVER – forget that trip.

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    Jessica August 28, 2011, 9:24 am

    Well my husband and I flew out to Las Vegas Sunday night and were supposed to come back home Sunday morning (we got married Monday…it was beautiful). When we woke up on Tuesday had numerous text messages about the earthquake, we were pretty happy we didn’t have to deal with any of that but then came hurricane Irene. We were forced to cut our honeymoon a day short in order to get home and settle in before the storm. We are from Philadelphia and the airport is still closed! Plus there is MASSIVE flooding!

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    • JK

      JK August 28, 2011, 10:38 am

      Congrats on your wedding 🙂

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    Elle August 28, 2011, 11:07 am

    In my neck of the woods, the power just went out. We’re only expecting about 5inches of rain, and winds up to 25-30 miles an hour. Hope you guys in NYC are safe. Thinking of you, and please post some updates.

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    emjay August 28, 2011, 11:31 am

    Not too bad in my part of suffolk county on long island. Have power, and it didn’t really flood where we are. Storm passed, trees still standing. Just left behind some wind, and wind gusts. I hope everyone else is ok!

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  • Dear Wendy

    Wendy August 28, 2011, 1:21 pm

    Everything’s fine here in Brooklyn. Coupla trees are down and there are leaves and twigs all over, but that’s it. just went out for a pancake brunch at Tom’s Diner where everyone was joking about surviving the big hurricane and wondering what to do with all our bottled water and canned soup.

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      Painted_lady August 28, 2011, 4:17 pm

      Food pantry?

      Glad everything’s okay! Better to be overprepared for nothing than to be underprepared for a true disaster.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy August 28, 2011, 4:55 pm

        Absolutely. No complaints here!

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark August 28, 2011, 8:17 pm

    Happy to hear that, Wendy…

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    Coleen August 28, 2011, 9:33 pm

    How does going to a bridal shower make you feel?

    To me, it makes it clear that I am not in any way ready for marriage…especially because one has to pass the gauntlet of cheesy wedding bingo and present chubby bunny before being allowed to be a bride.

    It always puts me in a bad mood to hear about people getting engaged and married. A snappy, teary, eat-a-pint-of-chocolate-ice-cream-while-drinking-a-pint-of-Guiness bad mood. How did those who’ve been married or those who love weddings get to that point in their lives?

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