Though I haven’t blogged about it here for fear that he’d finally read my blog, I had been planning a surprise 30th Birthday Party for The Mister for a few weeks now. It’s been one other thing to add to the stress that has been the move, my work, etc. as of late. But it was also necessary. The Mister hasn’t had the best birthdays growing up and it was about time for him to have a good one. It was also kind of a housewarming as it was the first party in our new place. So I had to get things organized to a state where people could come over.
Mr. CVD and Mr. RMB were part of my plot to get The Mister out of the house while Mom, Dad and others helped prepare the place, welcome guests and hide to surprise him. The events of the night were unfolding either according to plan or better than the plan could provide. It was surreal. For those who know TheMister, you know that he can be stubborn and can throw a fit about doing things like you’ve never seen. So I was afraid he’d be throwing a fit about our mock plans or something along the way. But the Universe was preparing me for a great fall and allowed the events of the night to unfold somewhat perfectly. The Mister was compliant with the ruse and the timing was perfect. The Mister was very surprised to see his friends and family in his Man Den Basement hiding for him. The only thing that was not cooperating was the weather–it was raining for two days straight at that point. But what the heck, we have a house and a covered porch. Life was good.
In other words: all was too well with the world.
Shortly after the party started, Mr. CVD comes upstairs and informs me that the basement bathroom is flooded. Sure as shit (pardon the pun, but I feel it necessary to comfort myself with literary techniques), the water was everywhere and moving towards the bathroom door. The folks that were crammed into my basement because of the rain were soon pushed out by the flood waters which started escaping the lavatory. Dad was trying to contain the problem and for about ten minutes we thought he was successful.
Fate had other plans.
Soon thereafter, The Mister’s mood turned from celebratory to frustrated and then frustrated to irrate. Our guests began to leave just as the festivities were really getting underway. The water continued to come out and a plumber was required. Said another way, we had curses coming our way.
The night could only get better, right?
Well, the plumber comes out and snakes the main drain. At one point a weird noise comes from the drain as the machine winds more and more cord down the pipes (that’s what she said). It sounded like a dragon hiccuping or a baby turning inside out. The plumber informed us that the problem was not over. In fact, the $185 it had cost us was only a drop in the bucket. We have tree roots in our line to the sewer…something that requires excavation and major repairs to fix and something you can’t just remedy with a series of quick fixes. His estimate–about $1850.
As The Mister and Dad finished up with the plumber, a buzzed Mr. CVD and I took Mom’s minivan (her “pride and joy” as Mr. CVD joked) and attempted to go to Meijer, Michigan’s all-hours superstore, as The Mister insisted they had carpet cleaners for rent. Though Mr. CVD and I doubted it, when we arrived at the Meijer approximately 3 miles from the house, it turns out he was right. So we ask the soon-to-be-discovered-as-inept kid at the service counter to help us procure such a magic machine. He looks at us like we’re from outerspace. The machines are sitting about five feet from him, yet the concept is completely foreign.
“I don’t know if we rent those,” he says.
Mr. CVD and I look at each other as only we can understand.
“They’re right there,” one of us replies.
He then fumbles around for someone else to help us. Then comes this brilliant revelation.
“The day shift must have taken the key, sorry.”
Mr. CVD, in his slightly inebriated state says “The Day Shift would take the key. You know how those Day Shifts are.”
So we stood there for about five minutes while he tried to figure out what to do. Finally we ask if the other store which is about 5 miles away from the house has such a rental system. I’m not sure what confused him more–the rental, the fact we asked for another store’s abilities or just life in general–but it required an older employee to help him figure out how to lift the receivier and call the store.
Sure enough, the other store had them. The catch? We had to be there by 11. It was 10:25.
So Mr. CVD mount up into the Minivan and start out on the second part of our journey. That’s when the hunger pangs hit. I had about half of a half of a sandwich and a pickle spear. I was starvin’ like Marvin and the four drinks I had in me made it difficult to control that hunger. So we made our secret (but now exposed due to this blog post) stop at McDonalds on the way. If The Mister knew, he’d be pissed. But I didn’t care. I was about ready to pass out.
We get to the other store and, for a change, the clerk was quite helpful. I mean, it still took forever, but she was helpful. (Side note to self: write her manager a letter, I’m sure she doesn’t get enough praise for being the only employee at Meijer to give a damn.)
We get back and Mr. CVD insists on doing the cleaning. So that’s what’s done. I drive him home. I get to bed around 2 a.m. tired as can be.
The best part of this? Today is my birthday. And although I have an excuse to work from home for the time being, I’m still going to be out about two grand and I can’t wash clothes or use the dishwasher for a few days at least. I was told to limit my bathroom use and showers, but honestly, they can bite me.
The blessing of having The Mister be compliant when I needed it most was tempered by the curse of a faulty plumbing system. I’m telling you–I cannot make this stuff up. My life is a series of checks and balances in which I’m constantly laying in wait for the next turn of my luck.
The good news is that I should be in for some good news. The bad news is that there’s probably bad news to swallow soon thereafter. I guess what they say is true: “you take the good, you take the bad, you take it all and there you have the facts of life….the facts of life.” Too bad there’s no half-hour time limit on the saga of my life.