There was a tornado warning in New York yesterday. I was in a screening of X-Men: First Class, trying to keep the baby from going prematurely deaf by muffling the bone-rattling explosions with my copy of Fit Pregnancy (which is a total sham, but that's a post for another day), when I got the text from Jeff.
And much like the last time a tornado came to the city, I reacted like someone who learned everything she knows about tornadoes from The Wizard of Oz and Helen Hunt.
"Should I stand in a doorway? Wait, no, is this the basement one? Shit. Should I go in the subway? It's dripping what looks like acid rain and there's a lady near the turnstiles with no pants on but I have an unlimited MetroCard so I can live down there until mid-month if need be. Oh, also! There's an Au Bon Pain next door. Should I go in there so that I can have muffins available in case I'm trapped? The cashier is pretty small but I bet he would let me hide behind the sandwich station."
"Just stay indoors," my husband said slowly, as if talking to a particularly feeble puppy.
Now, I'm in no way trying to make light of tornadoes, which are terrifying and destructive and which just over a week ago killed over a hundred people in Joplin, Missouri, devastating an entire town. But New York is ill-prepared for natural disasters. That's why movies like to send over floods, asteroids, and alien invasions--the severed head of the Statue of Liberty rolling like a bowling ball down Broadway makes a pretty good special effect. Unfortunately for me, movies are the only training I have in emergency situations. If I can't hole up in the library with Jake Gyllenhaal, or storm the subways with Lt. John McClane, I'm lost.
There's a character in the X-Men movie called Darwin, so named for his ability to adapt to survive in any situation. I am... like the opposite of that.
Sigh. At least Jeff has better disaster instincts than to run to the nearest muffin. Maybe our kid still has a chance.