Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Today I met the future me. Or at least where I fear I might be headed.

Maybe not. Currently, I'm a girl. But if the future me could be a slightly crazy vacuum cleaner repairman then I definitely met the future me. It was so weird, y'all. Like looking in a mirror. A really really crotchety old crazy mirror.

It started with my sis-in-law's cleaning routine. We're hosting a Family Reunion between us in July, and after hearing the lengths she's going to prepare her home for our company I was shamed into doing a bit more than I might have. (Not by her, y'all she's a peach. I impose this on myself.) Now I am a pretty decent housekeeper for the most part, but this chick is insane amazing. Seriously, I don't know how she does it. I would have to sandblast my walls......

hmm....I may have to consider...

Anyhow, this led me to finally get at steaming the kid remnants out of my carpets. Been meaning to for a while (this baby is quite the spitter) but I kept finding more important interesting things to do instead. As I was dragging that thing across yet another bitty-boy yuck stain, I heard this really unhealthy sound issuing from the steamer. I have learned (finally) not to ignore weird sounds in my house (i.e. crunching in the disposal, gurgling in the wash, the splatting of raw eggs from the 2nd floor...) so I turned it off and quite handily unscrewed every screw I could find. Amidst all the vacuum guts I found the culprit... one teeny partially ripped belt thingy. I figured I could handle that one little problem without resorting to calling the Man to come fix it. So I packed up the punks, and off we went in search of parts.

Apparently my steamer is a popular variety, because I found it in every single place I looked today. However, not a one of those places carried this particular belt. They carried all the belts for every other stupid machine on the planet but not mine oh no not mine of course they wouldn't have mine because I chose mine and Cosmic Thumb forbid I get one that will live for at least one whole stinkin year before it breaks just one whole stinkin year before I have to bust it apart, do major surgery and then search high and low for hours on end in the hopes of getting that freakin carpet looking more like carpet and less like the Manson family came to dinner but I digress.

(Bring Mommy her happy pills, please dear. No the little pink ones...thank you.)


As I was saying, it was proving a more difficult challenge than I at first believed, so I did the only other thing I could think of. I called my mommy. We can thank her now for finding my future male self, the man of my heart to which I will aspire NOT to emulate from this day forward.

He was in this little smelly vacuum repair shop. (Smelly yes, but with surprisingly clean carpet I must say.) I drug my exhausted, hot, starving, obnoxious little kids in the door and explained my dilemma to him. He knew exactly which model I had, what I had broken, and how I should fix it. He had the part in hand moments later with advice on making it work better, and I gratefully pulled out my debit card to pay him and start the long drive back home.

Here's where it starts to get weird. He got this look on his face and denied my card. Wouldn't even look at it. Mumbled something under his breath about what kind of people use a card for less than $10, but about jumped across the counter at me when he saw my checkbook. I thought he was gonna hit me at first, but instead he practically begged me to write him one. I took another step back and proceeded to do so. He just stared at it for a minute. When I asked if he needed my license he said (and I quote) "No thanks, I just bought mine. They say it's good for 5 whole years". Startled, I replied "well it's probably a better picture than this one is anyway." I'm sure it is, he says.

This should have been a clue about how the next 45 minutes of my life were about to proceed. Add to it the constant whining sound issuing from the mouth of my particular 5-yr-old brat and you can see how I might start to resemble this guy way sooner than I like to consider.

After taking my check, he gets close to my face and says "I'm in a 5-year lawsuit with a woman who wrote me a bad check for $497.53. I assured him I could swing $8.95 plus tax, but he wasn't satisfied until I'd heard all about the case and what all he'd like to do to the judge in the meantime. Sounds normal, right? Cautious, right? That's because you didn't have to hear what he wanted to do to that judge.

This was only the beginning of my time with him. I soon found myself regaled with tales of women who couldn't work their vacuums. Women who tried to vacuum stupid things... one who repeatedly returned her vacuum, sure it was always broken because the bags were soooo small, and she wanted her money back. They were filling up way too fast. (I thought to reassure him by mentioning it must have been an excellent-working machine. His reply to her was "you must have a really filthy house".)

Long story short.

It got a whole lot worse. So much so, that I can't begin to put it into words, but crazy was leaking out all over the place. I began to inch myself backwards to the door grabbing my kids by the arms when he mentioned that I had 3 kids and that it was enough, because he already had 4.

There just comes a point that even I can recognize some people just ain't right. Be warned, fair readers (at least those of you who actually comment once in a while instead of just.../gulp.. lurk).

Mirrors never lie.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I've heard that you miss me.

How sweet is that?

I know I haven't been writing. Believe me I've wanted to, but the purpose of this blog was to give me a certain type of outlet--a place to write out my experiences to hopefully find the humor in some of the more painful ones. Lately my life has contained more pain than humor, and I've struggled to poke fun at any of it.

They say that what doesn't kill you is supposed to make you stronger. I'm starting to think that whatever doesn't kill you just makes you wish you were dead. We've had such a rash of stuff gone wrong lately: work problems, large unexpected expenses, serious illness and death in the family. Speaking of family, our extended family on both sides has really gone through the ringer as well. We feel their pain like it was our own and struggle with our utter impotence at helping them through it. It's been quite an emotional roller coaster, and I'm getting a little queasy here. Someone seriously needs to let me off this crazy ride before I need one of those special little bags.

Through it all I have been trying to find some perspective, to learn whatever lesson it is that just won't sink into my rock hard skull so I can move on to happier times. It ain't been easy, but I'm chuggin' along. While joy is somewhat blunted and humor is scarce, I have managed to scrape up a few smiles here and there.

Here's my latest...

I had run to my computer for a few minutes leaving the baby with Clara and Sam in the family room. While I was paying a few bills, I kept hearing this really weird sound coming from the living room. Sam is notorious for making the most obnoxious noises ever, so I just brushed it off as 5-yr-old nonsense and finished up. When I returned to fetch the baby, this is what I found.

Of course as soon as I put the camera on him he decides he's done, but what 8 month old teaches himself to play the kazoo?