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I live in the Midwest, which means I know a significant amount about the corn crop for the year, but nothing about fashion. I think flip flops look good with nearly every outfit.

It also means I can go from running the air conditioner one day due to a massive heat wave in January, to lighting candles and running the heater the next day to keep from freezing to death. The joys of the Midwest are plentiful, and the horrid smell is just an added bonus.

There’s a reason they call it “the armpit of the United States,” and it isn’t because the people here are nicely shaved and covered in deodorant…or at least not those I’ve encountered at the local Walmart.

One of the worst things about the Midwest (aside from the redneck jokes) is the nearly constant threat of tornadoes. With the changing temperatures, tornado warnings and sirens are just a part of life here in the armpit (or “pit” for short).

Although I don’t live in Kansas, nor do I have an Auntie Em.  However, I do have an Aunt Sylvia who is addicted to nose spray.

tornadoUnfortunately, my home in St. Louis has its fair share of tornadoes and dangerous weather.  The other night was no exception.

I was up late working (because I’m a super dedicated employee…and because I was behind on Facebook updates), and noticed a loud storm with thunder and lightning.

Although it’s strange for January, I somewhat enjoyed the boisterous weather, as it allowed me to fart loudly and blame the noise on the storm. Yet another reason I love mother nature.

My husband was sound asleep and unaffected by the noise (and the smell), but I continued to notice the storm sounded worse.

The fact that I had sauerkraut for dinner didn’t do anyone any favors either.

I went to bed around 1:30 and awoke about 2:00 to the tornado sirens going off. For those of you not familiar with tornado sirens, they are loud and obnoxious, and a great way to induce an anxiety attack.

They’re similar to Kathy Griffin, or Kathy Lee Gifford in that sense.  However, tornadoes don’t have the alcohol problem or obnoxious laughs the Kathys do.

I woke up my sleeping husband and told him we had to go to the basement because there was a tornado.  He ignored me and continued snoring, so I did what I always do when his snoring annoys me, I pinched his nose.

He awoke gasping for air, and then I gently told him we had to go downstairs because there was a tornado spotting.  And by “gently” I mean I told him to get his ass out of bed or I would cut him.

He stumbled out of bed and leisurely walked to the steps to the basement, as if we had all the time in world.  I told him to get a move on and get the dogs. As he did that I grabbed a bra and some pants, as both were noticeably missing from my outfit at that moment.

Don’t judge.  I was tired and those under wires can be a real bitch.

Of course, I didn’t put on the uncomfortable items, I just took them with me to the basement just in case disaster struck and I needed pants.

I went downstairs to find my husband standing there doing nothing. I suspected the tornado sirens would go on for a while and the tornado watch would last a few hours.  Since sleep was something I was quite lacking, I didn’t want to sit around for a few hours while mother nature played hide and seek with funnel cloud.

I told him to get out the inflatable mattress so we could sleep in the basement.

laternI’d like to tell you we bought that inflatable mattress because we are outdoorsy people and like to camp.  I’d love to tell you that we bought the inflatable mattress because we have lots of company in from out of town and they need a place to sleep.

Both of those statements would be lies.

The truth is, we bought an inflatable mattress because we are lazy people who love to lay in front of our electric fireplace in the basement and watch reruns of Rescue Me, and we don’t want to lay on our couch, as it just isn’t comfortable enough.

It also doesn’t scream “hoosier” quite as loudly as an inflatable mattress atop a shag rug atop carpet in a basement.

So I got out the inflatable mattress and plugged it in.  I think we all know I would have been incapable of blowing up the mattress had it not been electric.  Although my father claims I’m all hot air, my lung capacity is quite lacking, as is my tolerance for other people’s children.

This air mattress was a new one, and we never used it before.  The previous one met its demise in an unfortunate marital incident.

I wasn’t sure how big the mattress would be, although the box said it was queen sized.  As I watched it inflate, one thing was clear; this mattress wasn’t queen sized.  It didn’t even look like it was a full sized mattress.

The tornado sirens blared and our dogs ran around the basement celebrating the impromptu party in the basement.  I realized I didn’t care what size the mattress was.  It would do, as I didn’t want to wait out the storm on the floor.

I threw some sheets and a duvet on the mattress and decided it would have to do.

We got onto the bed, which was similar to mounting a horse.  We had to maneuver around and make sure one of us didn’t catapult the other across the room with a sudden movement.  Once we were situated, the dogs ran around the basement one last time for a victory lap before pouncing on the inflatable mattress for sleep.

inflatable mattress

Please note the inflatable mattress is the size of our love seat…tiny.

Then I realized we could be downstairs for hours, and we didn’t have food in the basement (aside from my hidden stash of Oreos, but there was no way I was going to reveal that location to my husband.  There have to be some secrets in a marriage, and the location of Double Stuff is one of them).

I ran upstairs and grabbed some Cliff Bars, water, and the newest volume of Us Weekly.  If I was going to be involved in a natural disaster, I at least wanted to be up to date on celebrity gossip.

I came back downstairs to find my husband staring at the tiny mattress, puzzled by its size.  He commented on how small it was and I reminded him that size didn’t matter, except when it came to diamonds and vodka drinks.

Matt and I laid there on the tiny mattress and began laughing like school girls.  Not giggling or chuckling, but belly laughing.  And yes, my belly is larger than his so my laugh was larger too.

laughWe were two grown adults sleeping on an inflatable mattress in our basement in the middle of the work week.  What was wrong with us?

As our laughter tapered off, we noticed the house was silent…we went upstairs and the sirens had stopped.  The tornado was gone.

We wasted no time.  I grabbed our pillows (and the Cliff Bar) and we headed to the bedroom to return to slumber.  The dogs followed suit and soon we were asleep in our bed, the threat of danger far away.

That mattress remains inflated in our basement.

Not necessarily because we are hoping for another tornado, but because although it isn’t comfortable enough to sleep on during a natural disaster, it’s not bad for watching episodes of Dexter.