This tale explains why my father decided not to come home early from work any longer.
Dad was a surgeon, and was usually home between 6-7 at night. My mom ran his office, so they went to and from work together most days, except on the days he worked in the operating room (OR), so they’d travel in their own vehicles. On this specific day, it was an OR day and he was done early and decided to come home to spend quality time with his family. BIG MISTAKE DAD!
Us children (again, remember there were 3 of us, which is a BAD combination) came home and were in the kitchen scavenging for food when Sean happened to look in the dining room and was like “hey guys, does the chandelier look weird to you?”
We’d just moved into this house about a month ago, and we’d never had a fancy chandelier before, so who the hell knew what was “normal” for it. So of course this specific chandelier didn’t look right. So we decided we would fix it, because we were a 6, 10 and 12 year old set of electrical master minds who completely understood lighting and wiring. Except we completely weren’t.
Child logic was “if I hold onto the chandelier and try and shift it over, it’ll look right” because that makes COMPLETE FUCKING SENSE. So we got a chair (there was no dining room table at the time) and since I was the lightest one, they decided I should be the one to shift it. I don’t know where that logic came from, but it made sense at the time. So I’m standing on the chair, my brothers in the living room watching me to see if the light “looks better” with whichever way I shifted it.
Needless to say, as I was gripping the chandelier with both hands, the chair gave way. So there I was, 6 year old me, hanging from the chandelier still in my school uniform, and my brothers both screaming in the living room. Sean started paging 9-1-1 calls to dad’s beeper (this was 1989, we didn’t have cell phones, not even the Zack Morris brick phone) over and over and over.
This went on for about 5 minutes, no one even thought to come and straighten the chair out under me so I could get down (or say, my oldest brother just lifting me off the chandelier), and there was screaming and crying and sobbing from all three of us. Since we were all electrical masterminds, the next thought that entered our collective heads was “Oh shit, the chandelier will crash and the whole house is going to blow up!!!!” which led to more screaming and crying and sobbing. My little arms were getting tired, and with the gentle twisting of the chandelier I was starting to get dizzy.
Then I saw it. My salvation. In one of the moments that my body happened to be facing the living room windows, I saw my dad’s car pull up. THANK GOD!!! I started screaming “DADDY’S HOME!!!!! WE’RE SAVED!!!” I think my dad heard me… As he’s walking up the walk to the front door, he stopped and looked in the living room window. Then down at his beeper with the 10,000 9-1-1 home pages. Then back at the living room window. This is what he saw:
And then this is what I saw:
At this time, my arms gave out and I fell. The whole 2 feet to the floor. I didn’t die, or break any bones. We straightened the chair, and didn’t mention it again until dad brought it up several years later.