OK, you can come out now. I’d say it is safe to de-duct tape your windows, too. The tempestuous Hurricane Isabel, or rather, her softer, somewhat gentler alter ego, Tropical Storm Isabel, has come and gone. Causing serious damage to areas along the eastern seaboard, she made her presence known throughout the nation’s capital. Georgetown however, escaped relatively unscathed. Aside from broken branches and ruffled hair, school and students evaded the wrath of the storm.

Eh, but you weren’t really worried anyway. I mean, so you just happened to have a flashlight in every room of your apartment. That’s not so weird – a coincidence, nothing more. And come on, this is Georgetown! Who doesn’t stock up on bottled water? Evian is a household name around here. The sandbags? Well, yeah, they were giving those sandbags away for free. You thought they’d be good to have around the place. In case, you know, in case, you ever need sand . in a bag. And, for the last time, you were just calling your mom back. You’re an only child. She worries.

What’s the big deal? You see nothing wrong with a little preparedness. It’s not like you were actually scared of the storm – you were just . ready. But your friends gave you a hard time about it anyways, huh? They still won’t drop the whole stuffed animal thing. Scruffy was a gift from an old friend. A gift. Jeez.

They told you to worry less. Someone threw in the word “paranoid” once or twice. But they were the ones that seemed psychologically imbalanced:

“Dude, let’s go out and play football in the hurricane.”

“Nah, dude. I’m cool.”

“Okay, but the girls, man – in the rain, man.”

Hmm . you did give it some thought. But the sudden crash of debris against your window heavily influenced your final decision:

“Nah, dude. I’m cool.”

You held a blanket up to your chin. If Scruffy was real, he would have just lost circulation in the entire lower half of his body.

Hadn’t anyone looked outside? Thursday afternoon began as one of those gray, unforgiving days. You remember it vividly – the menacing, black clouds threatened to kidnap the sun indefinitely. And the rain! So relentless! Buckets pounded on your window, just daring you to step out of doors. Why mess with an angry Mother Nature? You saw no reason to test her limits. And, come on. Your apartment still had power! Seriously, you had only seen Mrs. Doubtfire three times before. The futon begged, it pleaded with you to remain inside!

Yeah, fine. So you didn’t mudslide half-naked around Healy Lawn. Does it make you any less of a man? You’ve taken plenty of crazy risks in your life, death defying really. One night last year, you and two other guys took the Metro. At night! The Metro! And, one time, you (and by “you” I mean a friend of a friend) went swimming in the Potomac River. Talk about guts!

You’ve definitely proven yourself to be a man of courage. No one says you have to be tough day in and day out. And, don’t let them use the devil-squirrel incident against you. Everyone knows the squirrels around campus don’t conform to any law of nature, and that one, in particular, was evil incarnate. Anyone would have screamed . and run . and ducked for cover behind a bush. Cut a guy some slack.

So it gave you peace of mind last week to hoard up on canned goods. Good for you, your mother would be proud. You played it safe, and you pulled through that storm, like a trooper. It’s over now and blue skies are in the forecast for next week. So stop holding your breath! Go on outside again! Grab a bottled water and take a stroll around campus – just beware of the squirrels.

Polly Burokas is a junior in the College. Focus with Burokas appears every other Tuesday.

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