You know how irritating it is when you argue with your parents and they turn out to be right? The opposite happened to me tonight, but it was just as irritating.
I love my new little apartment, my Rachel-sized den, but the radiator is in the bed alcove, so the front room gets chilly. I've been planning to get a space heater to keep my feets warm. This is a good plan, a sound, fire-marshall approved plan, one socially acceptable by East Coast standards.
But says the peanut gallery in Hawaii:
"Just turn on the oven Turn the oven on and open the door, didn't your Dad ever teach you that redneck thing? It's not dangerous, why would it be dangerous? Just turn the oven on, it's a heater! You call your dad and you ask him and he'll tell you, just turn the oven on!"
And since I'm on Skype, Mom can see me as she says all this. She can see me NOT turning the oven on, NOT following her advice. More to shoosh her than anything else, I pull all my pots and pans out of the oven and turn it on. I've never turned on the oven in this apartment before (not much of a baker and I don't have shrinkydinks), so I'm not sure what to expect.
My poor neighbors...
About two minutes later my smoke alarm goes off, high, piercing shrieks, stinging the eardrums. I yank the carbon monoxide alarm off the wall and fling the batteries to the floor, yank open the windows, and finally stand on a chair and cover the alarm with my hands.
"Did you open the windows? You should open the windows. Take the batteries out! Can't you take that off the wall? She can't take it off the wall, I don't think she's doing it right. My babe, did you open the windows?"
"Yes!" I yell. "Yes, I opened the windows, yes, I took the batteries out of the carbon monoxide thingie, and don't TELL me I don't know how to dismantle the fire alarm, I've been taking them apart in every house I've lived in since middle school!"
A damp cloth over the alarm does the trick. I stand on the chair, holding the dishcloth over the speaker, and yell at the Skype some more.
"Turn on the oven, Rachel! Just turn on the oven to heat up the room! What a great idea, Mom."
"I think you should get a little space heater," she says.