What is An Emergency? By My Family
Our family matriarch is very strange. Before the pandemic, she used to hang out in the public spaces of our home, or in her bed, which everyone knows is essentially a public space and is shared with Dad officially. During the pandemic, the bed has become his office annex/breakroom/watercooler area where he comes to blow off steam from working in his dedicated/actual home office, which everyone knows not to disturb except when truly needed (or to get something off the printer, which admittedly is probably not an urgent matter), and to chat with his only co-worker these days, Mom.
Increasingly, as the pandemic has gone on, and as we are never absent from her life for even one hour, Mom goes in the guest room for long periods of time. And there's not even a guest in there to talk to! There's barely a comfortable place to sit. It's really weird. She sews and paints and writes and studies and sometimes when we go in there to inform her of an Emergency, she is just sitting there, doing nothing. It's almost like it's the only place in the whole house where she can be alone anymore. But that can't be right, because our house is a decent size, and the rest of us have like two whole rooms that are essentially ours.
At one point, she put a sign on the door that instructed us all to absolutely not disturb her while she is in that room except in cases of Emergency. We totally took this on board, and we absolutely do not disturb her except in cases of Emergency.
The question is--What is an Emergency?
We realize that folks may need some help understanding this layered, nuanced, multifaceted concept, so we have very helpfully come up with a list of Emergencies so that we all understand what we mean by this word/ideology.
Here are some examples of an EMERGENCY:
-The ice cream is too hard to scoop.
-You don't know how much money is left in your allowance account and therefore you aren't sure if you can buy the latest Minecraft token or whatever.
-You can't find your shoes. Or any other item that you own and that you probably placed somewhere by your very self and/or could only be in a maximum of 3 places.
-You don't know what time dinner is, what food will be served, or if there is even a plan for dinner.
-You just saw an article on the internet about Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield.
-You need a drink of water and aren't sure we still have indoor plumbing.
-You aren't sure if you really, really, really are expected to fill out the Valentines cards for all your classmates all by yourself.
-You need to double check that there will be no assistance coming for filling out the Valentines for the classmates.
-David Brooks has just posted a new op-ed on the New York Times.
-You aren't sure when Spring Break is.
-There is no toilet paper in the bathroom, and you can't imagine where else toilet paper might be stored.
-You aren't sure the matriarch has access to the internet.
-There are no more Cheeze-Its in the pantry.
-You are out of shampoo and you'll be taking a shower in 3 days.
-You aren't sure if there is another tub of ice cream in the garage freezer.
-You're still bored.
-There are no books in the entire house to read. Books haven't even been invented yet.
-You have...other needs.
-YouTuber Dan TDM just posted a new video.
-You want your friend to come over for a playdate at this very second.
-You are out of underwear and have no idea how the washing machine works despite being shown repeatedly.
-You just realized you have not eaten breakfast or lunch and it is now almost dinner and you are very hungry and your hands don't work.
-You have found a lid to a container slightly askew and you can't pass up the teachable moment for the likely perpetrator.
-The inflation numbers are out, and it's not good.
-The COVID numbers are out, and it's not good.
-Something is out of batteries.
-You need to know if groceries are soon to be acquired and if so, you have some suggestions.
-You spilled something somewhere.
-You need a pen.
-You need a pencil.
-You need scissors. No, different scissors.
-You want to know if the sign on the door that instructs people not to enter except in case of Emergency is actually serious or not.
-You actually don't know what an Emergency is.
-You wonder what heaven is like and think you might want to go there soon.