Short Story Friday: The Diabolically Cushy Home

A short story about the comforts of a traditionally uncomfortable home.

As a child, I never saw my mother save up money for new appliances. Even though a dishwasher would've been useful, even though the fridge's freezer had been leaking for many years, even though the drying machine was busted in a way I didn't understand. Our stove was powered by gas (the oven part had long ago been damaged somehow), we hung our clothes for the sun to dry, hand washed the dishes. We weren't poor, that wasn't it at all. We were comfortable enough to have a DS Lite, but not have it be replaced with a DSi. Comfortable enough to have an outdated Blu-ray player, but not blu-ray discs. Comfortable enough to not replace a perfectly working CRT TV with the brand new plasma TVs. We were comfortable enough.

I never understood it. As a child, I would see adds on the television of brand new things and not understand why we couldn't have this and that. And maybe it was because we were short on money for things that didn't demand immediate attention or maybe it was a lesson we were forced to learn.

Our mother always prepared for the worst case scenario, in any scenario. In a sleepover we would have our health insurance card with us at all times; when we went out with the car we would always had to have our best underwear on and closed shoes, in case we got in an accident or had to get out of the car; it was exhausting, how she thought of everything. Everything was just in case…

So it would only make sense that a cushy home would be the sworn enemy of our mother; just in case the power went out; just in case we had to not depend on some commodity that bordered on spoiling us.

The real surprise of preparing for the ultimate worst case scenario, is actually having it happen. And that's what happened. It was unexpected for most and inconvenient for everyone. Overall, people with cushy homes suffered most. The commodity of a clothes dryer or an electric stove proved to be a disadvantage in the aftermath of the destructive hurricane that ravaged our country.

It took a disaster and the worst case scenario to truly appreciate and be grateful that our mother had not spoiled us with such comforts, comforts that proved to be the greater weakness in the bigger picture.