And then it all went black


Power outages are no fun.

Generally though, you can see them coming 24 hours in advance from the weather forecast. More than 6-8 inches of snow? Find the flashlights. 30mph winds? Break out the candles. A series of 100+ degree days? Go buy some hand fans.

But if it is a nice 50 degree day? If there are cloudless blue skies?

Power outages are not on your radar then.

And so it was the other day. A lovely, warmish, no wind day. The sort of day that makes you think “I ought to do some yard work this morning. It is so nice out; not too hot for forsythia bush trimming & the weeds I am allergic to are in their infancy.”

So that’s what I did.

A couple hours later I was done & went inside to take a shower to wash all the potential allergens off of me.


(my actual shower. There are more bottles & things on the shelf & the hanging basket behind that curtain)

Like most bathrooms, mine has no window. The only light comes from bulbs.

Also, we have a well, so for water to flow we need power.

Unaware of what the future held, I stepped blithely into the shower and contemplated the large array of soaps, lotions, shampoos, cleansers & scrubby things. Did I want to smell like pomegranates? Or blood oranges? Oh how about vanilla jasmine?  Maybe the citrus shampoo with the melon body wash? I could follow it up with the green apple body lotion & smell like a summer fruit salad.

I like food & things that smell like food.

We all have our own personal bath routines, I am sure. Mine involves soaping myself up from head to toe & then bringing in a loofa or other scrubby thing for the harder areas like heels & elbows. Then I contemplate the necessity of shaving.  Do my legs feel hairy? Do they look hairy? Will anyone I am not married to or have given birth to see my legs? How much time to I have? How long has that razor been in the shower anyway? Do I have a fresh one? Am I certain enough of the existence of a fresh razor to get out of the shower & drip myself over to the closet?

Then I move on to my hair. Does my hair need conditioner this time? Did I use it last time? How about that 5 minute intense hair treatment? Do I want straight hair or curly hair? (conditioner leads to straight hair)

It was after I decided the razor was new enough to be safe & was shaving that the world went dark.


The bathroom door was shut so no ambient light from bedroom windows came in.

Just me, slippery soap, hot water & a razor I could no longer see.

All I could think was “Don’t drop the razor!”

Followed by “Get under the water & rinse before it stops.” because DH makes it sound like water just VANISHES when the power goes out. We’re not supposed to turn on a faucet or flush a toilet when the power is out. If we expect an outage the first thing we do is fill a tub with water & set a bucket nearby so we can use it to flush because all the water DISAPPEARS when the power goes out.

Now, rationally I know we have a 40 gallon water heater (or a 30 gallon, or 20 or 50, some double digit round number water heater) so unless it drains instantly when the power turns off, we still have water.

But after 14 years of living here he has me more or less brainwashed about the vanishing water thing.

Yet the shower was still flowing, though even rationally it wouldn’t flow forever, probably I had time to finish my ablutions, in the pitch dark.

I have no idea how much water flows through my showerhead per minute & I’d already been in there a decent time so possibly it could vanish at any time & I can’t see the bottles & everything smells like the citrus body wash so I have no idea if I am conditioning my hair with face cleaner or washing my face with intensive conditioner.

And I am still holding the razor in one hand because I am terrified if I put it down it will fall in the tub and I will step on it, slice my foot open and have to crawl, dripping wet & bleeding through my bedroom and the kitchen into the living room in search of a portable phone that is never where I left it last & call 911 and have them show up to see me in all my naked,dripping wet, tangled hair (from the face cleanser), bleeding glory.

So I am holding on to the razor mostly due to fear of possible embarrassment.

Then I worry, as I reach up to run my fingers through my hair while rinsing, that I might accidentally shave my hair off with it. But I can’t put the razor down. But I can’t leave the soap in my hair & one handed just isn’t getting the soap out efficiently & the water could VANISH at any time.

(amazing the amount of stress you can generate from a single shower)

I decided it was good enough, turned off the water, fumbled for the shower curtain, underestimated the height of the tub and tripped face first into the sink counter.

But I was at least able to let the razor go at last.

Then I stumbled around, hands outstretched feeling for the towels I know I set out here somewhere. They had been knocked to the floor to the left of me when I tripped but I didn’t know that. The bathroom door was to the right & I was headed that way in hopes of sunlight.

But no.

I still had the curtains closed in the bedroom. The power suddenly came back on while I was dripping my way around the bedroom in search of a flashlight or matches to find my towels.

Sky was still blue.

No clue why the power went out that time.

About 6 hours later I was in the bathroom, using it for the usual purpose, with the door shut of course.

And the power went out AGAIN!

I was so startled I screamed.

DH came running, or as fast as you can come in near darkness without tripping over things.

“What’s wrong?”

I didn’t think I could go into the whole “The universe hates me and hates this bathroom and razors and 911 and why does the power go out when I am in here & not when I am in the living room?” angsty thing.

“I can’t find the toilet paper!”

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18 comments to And then it all went black

  • Johnjenkinsjoanie

    I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants, thanks for that, Stacey!

  • Michelle

    That totally sucks. I have never gone through that thank God. I do have windows in my bathroom, so I would be okay as long as it is daylight out.

  • Lizziemade

    Ohhhh… dear! You poor old thing – how dreadful (but oh, how funny!). I'm so glad you didn't cut your foot off with the razor – but I do hope you didn't hurt yourself on the basin?

    You tell a great story, Stacey and it made me laugh so much. Well, we have to laugh at these little misfortunes and mishaps, else we'd all be in the nut-house from the stress of it all!
    Thanks for a good laugh and I hope you have no more power cuts for a looong time!

  • humel

    Oh, my. The traumas of living in your house just continue. I'm relieved to hear that you didn't accidentally shave your head, condition your elbows or use drain unblocker on your hair.

    I also think I maybe need to give more consideration to my own showering routine, it all seems too simple now compared with yours….

  • humel

    By the way, Disqus is making it harder than ever to comment these last couple of posts. Anyone else having trouble or does it just dislike me in particular?

  • Lori, Martha Points


    It's amazing how disorienting total dark is. Between streetlights and little lights on things there's almost no such thing now as "dark" in our house.

    And I know if there ever were I would totally not be able to find the toilet paper.

  • Heather

    Oh Stacey you do get yourself in a pickle dont you!!!! Its a good job you have a great sense of humour otherwise we might never get to hear about you & life battling it out :-)
    Keep calm & carry on old girl xx

  • Comfy Mom

    No, I caught myself before I hit anything. That was when I let go of the razor.

  • Comfy Mom

    I've had a couple people mention it this past week. I think Disqus is having issues

  • Comfy Mom

    Well, if anyone ever put a new roll *on the toilet paper holder* I probably would stand a chance at finding it in the dark but since people just leave rolls sitting around on the back of the toilet or the shelves of the counter I don't stand a chance.

  • Andrea @ The Creative Junkie

    I love the way you tell this! And all I can picture is a big swath cut out of your hair, courtesy of a rogue razor.

    I'm like your husband … when our power goes out, I pretty much act like we'll have to boil our own tears in order to have enough water to survive.

  • Smart Ass Sara

    This once happened to me in a hotel bathroom. I was with my friend, staying at a super cheap hotel that we didn't know was hooker hangout but it was only $45 a night, and the lights went out. I was showering, she was getting ready for bed. I thought we were going to die. It didn't help that the guy at the counter was baffled that we were checking in for the ENTIRE night. AND my friend later on had to share my bed because her's was moving. Because our neighbors were quite athletic? But yeah. Our electricity kept going out. SCARY.

  • LosingBrownies

    Oh no! Power outages aew the worst! 2 unexcpected ones in one day is too much!

  • Heather Aynne

    Too funny! Even though I've been there before, it's still funny! The worst that happened to us was when the power SLOWLY went out. You never knew what was going to work and what wasn't. And then, after 3 hours of that, 2 hours of total darkness.

  • Katie

    This has happened with me as well, although the water doesn't stop when the power goes out with me. But god what an awful feeling. The other thing that sucks is if you get shampoo in your eyes while your rinising off and you can't open them.

  • SciFi Dad

    Do you use one of those straight blade, old school barber razors or something? Because a Bic disposable isn't going to slice shit; it barely shaves!

  • SaucyB

    oh no, once was bad enough but twice?! We had a power outrage one night during a wicked thunder and lightening storm last October. I'm basically afraid of the dark and was home with my son. My husband was working late. Scared the bejesus out of me!! I got a flashlight, got us out of the house and into my car and drove to a friends. yeah, i'm that lame.

  • Kai

    I grew up in a house that was solely on well water. I know the procedure well… don't flush during a power outage, fill two buckets of water for those flushing emergencies when a storm comes in… and always we had extra milk jugs filled with water around just in case we had to go an extended time period without drinking water. This was all I knew for the first 24 years of my life, to the extent that when I moved away to my very own apartment in the suburb of a big city, I still never flushed the toilet or showered when the electricity was out. Flash forward another 6 years and I'm married at 30 and the power goes out and I'm telling my stepkids "don't flush the toilet" and my husband, who has never dealt with well water in his life, is looking at me like I'm a crazed lunatic. Yeah. Well… like I said, I grew up with it… it is ingrained in me. And it is also the reason why I love having a window in my bathroom. :) This made me laugh… but trust me, I do know the feeling. 10 more years into my marriage and a full 16 years on "city water" and I still pause before I flush when the power is out!