Let me tell you a story about what happened to me and my girlfriend Tag over the weekend. It was seriously one of the scariest moments of my life.

Tag is house-sitting for a family that she babysits for every now and then. They are a very wealthy family and live in a super fancy house in the nicest neighborhood in Dallas (down the street from where George W. Bush lives).

It’s a pretty sweet gig to get paid to watch a fancy house like that, but it can also be scary at times because it’s just her and the dog in this big house full of nice stuff. Luckily they have a good security system so Tag could set that and feel confident that she’s safe in the home.

I went to bed Saturday night around 1am. I woke up Sunday morning at 5:57 to my phone ringing. It was Tag.

Tag: “Kevin, the security alarm is going off and I don’t know what to do.”

Holy Crap! What Should She Do?

I had no idea what to say. It’s not my house so I don’t know where the safest place would be. I don’t know if their alarm system would have already called the police. I don’t know if they have a maid or pool boy come over at 6am every Sunday. I don’t know anything.

I asked a few stupid questions like, “Do you hear anything?” (no) and “Where do you think the safest place in the house is?” (she had no idea). Eventually I told her to call 911 and we got off the phone.

Holy Crap! What Do I Do?

Now I’m sitting in my house (20 minutes away) thinking there might be an intruder somewhere in this house, or at least someone who tried to break in and got scared by the alarm. I know Tag is on the phone with the cops, but I decide that I should start driving over there. I don’t have a gun (yet), so I grabbed my pocket knife and started driving.

I was freaking out too much so I texted her. Here’s how the texting went:

Me: Are you okay? Are the police on their way?

Her: False alarm

Me: Are you sure?

Her: Everything is fine call you in a minute

Me: Okay I’m on my way over

Her: You don’t need to

So these texts are coming from my girlfriend’s phone, but I start wondering if it’s actually her. What if the guy who broke into the house did something bad to her, and then heard her phone ringing and responded to the texts telling me not to come over so he doesn’t get caught. And she wouldn’t answer her phone so I couldn’t talk to her and hear her voice; I was just getting the texts (that could have been sent by anyone).

She’s Okay

burglar

photo credit: ell brown

I finally get a call from Tag and she tells me she’s fine. Apparently the security system doubles as a flood detection system and there was a leak in the basement. The alarm was to let the homeowner know that there was water in the basement and it needed to be taken care of.

Tag wasn’t answering my phone calls because first she was on the phone with 911, and then on the phone with the nanny who was telling her about the flood alarm. Thank God it truly was a false alarm.

Lessons Learned

This was one of the scariest half hours of my life. I’m so glad everything was okay, but it also made me realize how unprepared Tag and I are for these kinds of situations. Here’s what we’re going to do to get prepared for the next time something might come up.

  • Create a safe word and a distress word – When I’m talking to or texting Tag, we should have a code to let each other know in secret if there is real danger or not. If I text “Are you okay?”, we should have a system where “I’m fine” means she’s fine and “I’m good” means I’m in danger and I need help ASAP, and any other response means it’s not her sending the text. I know it sounds like something you’d only need in a movie, but it sure would have been helpful this weekend.
  • Get my concealed handgun license and get a gun – If there was a bad guy and I did get there before the police, what the heck was I going to do with a freaking pocket knife? Probably get myself killed. I NEVER want to have to use a gun in my life, but I can’t be in this situation again and feel as helpless as I did today.
  • Act Faster – When Tag called me and said the asaper alarm system was going off, my response should have been “Call 911 and pull out your mace and pocket knife (that she keeps in her purse). Now barricade the door to your bedroom with something heavy. I’m on my way.” Instead I spent a bunch of time asking questions like “could it have been the dog?”, “are you sure you didn’t set it off?” and “maybe you should call the owners first”.
  • Be More Prepared – Here’s a link for How to Deal with an Intruder in your HomeĀ as well as Protecting Your Home in the Digital Age. I need to do more research and get a better understanding of what Tag or I should do in that situation so we aren’t questioning our actions and hesitating.

And Unrelated – A Blogging Vacation

Aside from that drama, I have so much stuff going on outside of this blog. I am behind schedule on launching my new website so I need to spend all my evenings this week working on that. My day job is going to be very busy this week which will require a lot of time, and I’m doing a lot of prep for the Plutus Awards that are just a month away (the song is almost written, but I need to practice it and figure out what the heck I’m going to do with my body because I don’t “dance”). In addition to the intro song for the Plutus Awards, I have a lot of other stuff to get done there to make sure it’s a really cool ceremony and I’m a good host. So I’ll be working on all that stuff this week.

If you are a regular person (not a spammer) and want to post a guest post this week I’d be happy to look at some submissions. Otherwise I’ll just work really hard to get everything done and see you guys next week.