Dirty Laundry

Be forewarned . . . this is a super ranty post.  Much bad language within.  Proceed with caution . . .

Last Friday, our washing machine broke.  We realized this when it started making crazy buzzing noises and then would not drain a load of my au pair’s clothes.  My husband called to make an appointment to get it fixed, as we have a service contract we signed up for many years ago which covers service calls and repairs.  The earliest appointment they offered was for Monday, between noon and 5:00.  This would be problematic for a few reasons.  Number one:  it is a front loading washer and would not drain, hence the clothes and water would have to stay in there for 3 days and could not be removed or dried without an extreme soaking of the entire laundry room.  Number two: I always do all of my laundry on Sundays, so I would be unable to wash my sheets, towels or clothing until possibly Monday night.  Nevertheless, it was the best they had, so we had no choice but to accept it.  We arranged with the au pair for her to be around from noon to 5:00 on Monday, as my hubs would be out of town and I would be at work all day, and she was fine with this as she had no other plans.

So, Monday afternoon rolls around and I text the au pair, “has anyone shown up yet?” “No” is the answer I receive.  Hmmmm, ok.  Well, I guess they are going to be closer to 5:00 than noon. 

I arrive home around 5:30 and ask if they ever appeared.  I get the same response as before.  Well . . . crap.  So, I call my husband and inform him of the situation.  He immediately gets on the phone to the company and inquires as to what the fuck is going on.  He reports back with the information he received from the very “helpful” Filipino customer service representative . . . the tech is running late, but will arrive between 7:30 and 8:00.  Well, that is annoying, but I was going to be home, so I figured it would be ok.  The tech was just going to get to experience me in all of my pajama’d glory is all.  So, I fed the kids and settle in to wait for a pending arrival.  The au pair similarly waits, since she was going to get her clothes out (finally) and be able to dry them. 

As I’m waiting, I realize that he’s going to have to open the washer and that there are sopping wet clothes just floating around in a big puddle, and that they will need to be removed so that he can get in there and do his thing.  Figuring I have about a half hour before he will arrive, I decide to go to it.  So, I open the washer door . . . and encounter a gushing waterfall escaping from its confinement like a prisoner on release day.  So I close the door again, quickly.  I go into the garage to find some type of containment device, and happen upon one of my kid’s sand buckets from our ocean city trip.  Not finding any other appropriate receptacle, I figure that will have to do.  So, I go back in and open the door again, placing the bucket beneath the onslaught of water, and catch approximately half of it. 

Unfortunately, simultaneously with the spewing forth of liquid, I come to a horrible realization . . . water sitting in an enclosed space for three full days turns into the vilest smelling swampy liquid known to man.  It was horrendous!  So, I hand the bucket of sludgy brown water to the au pair, telling her to dump that mess outside, I grab some old towels to mop up the small lake that has formed on the laundry room floor, and proceed to breathe through my mouth as I collect the sopping towels and dripping swampy clothes, and put them all in a basket that I then take outside. 

Deserted island of swampy clothes.

Deserted island of swampy clothes.

I cannot stress enough the nasal attack that occurred when I was dealing with the innards of that machine.  It was like a shit and toxic waste filled swamp baking in the August heat of the Louisiana sun, rolled up in a baby’s poopy diaper, with a sprinkling of a peep show jizz bucket thrown in for a little extra flavor, and housed inside a gym bag filled with sweaty socks and cleats that have been sitting in a car trunk for a week straight.  Seriously vile, people. 

Do NOT inhale!

Do NOT inhale!

I opened the window, burned some candles, closed the door to the room, hung a car air freshener on the outside of the door, and prayed to anything that might be listening that the smell would stay inside (it didn’t).  I did not envy the encounter that service tech would have when he appeared soon after.

Except . . . he didn’t appear soon after.  Eight o’clock came and went.  And no tech.  So, I contacted my husband again, who called the service center and was greeted by another Filipino customer service agent who did not speak English very well, but continued to assure my husband that the tech was on his way.  He stayed on the phone with them pretty much non-stop, requesting managers, yelling, and getting hung up on numerous times.  Still . . . no tech.  By 9:45, the au pair and I decided to call it a night, knowing full well that nobody was coming and that it had all been a big, fat lie.  My husband assured me that he would get someone there the next morning, despite the fact that they were telling him the next available appointment was for Thursday.  My husband had obtained the CEO’s info at this point, along with the names and contact information for the entire board of directors.  He does this shit for a living, people.  They would rue the day, by the time he was finished with them.

In the meantime, I still couldnt’ wash my clothes.  Crap.

So, the next day comes, I go to work, hubs is still out of town, and the au pair is on call to wait yet again for the tech.  Many messages are sent back and forth from the hubs and au pair all day.  Bottom line . . . once again, nobody appears at our house.  The hubs and I are livid.  We are breathing fire at this point.  What. The.  Fuck?  This is a business, yes?  That wants to make money?  Je ne comprends pas!  How is this even possible?

The hubs once again goes on phone assault, but after another couple of hours of pointlessness, gives it up for the night, as he has to get on a plane to come home that evening, and also to escape the very real possibility of having a heart attack from his severely raised blood pressure resulting from the customoron service representatives.  He vows to continue his quest in the morning to get someone to our house to look at this damn broken machine. 

The next day comes, and we are both very busy at work.  By the time we touch base in the afternoon, he tells me that despite his best efforts, they are still saying Thursday, which is tomorrow at this point.  By now, we are both just beaten down by the absurdity and frustration of the entire process.  He tells me that he did actually contact the CEO, and good news . . . we are now Blue Ribbon Customers!  Well then, at least there’s that.

Here are some of the messages I received from the hubs during this process:

Can’t believe your husband went away this week.  He must be an A-hole.

Me:  (At 9:00 Monday night)  I’ll be in bed before they come!!  It’s utter bullshit that ANYONE is on their way!  Him:  I know, I have smoke all up my ass.  I am still on hold.  Now they keep hanging up on me!

Just told them I will fly to their headquarters if I need to and I fucking will.

Feel like tippin shit over.

I am an expert at this shit and they are making it hard for ME.  Can you imagine what normal customers go through with them?

(He’s not normally quite so profane, but BOTH of us were losing our fool minds at this point, and the F bombs were flying around like stink bugs!).

As of press time, we have still not seen an actual person appear at our home to fix this machine.  The really discouraging news is that once they do appear (IF they ever do), they most likely will look at it, tell us X is broken and that they will have to order that part, and that they will return in a week to install it once it is delivered.  This ain’t our first rodeo.  We know how this shit works.  And despite my demands to my husband that the tech better have every single part that could possibly be broken or installed into our machine with him, or he will have to go to the nearest Home Depot to get the part that day, I know that this will never happen.  Or as my husband would say, “you’re so cute.”  Hell, I’ll be shocked if anyone ever even shows up at this point!

I swear, we are going to OWN this company by the time we are through with them.  Lying, unreliable bastards.

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The Big Apple Bites Back

As I mentioned last week, the hubs and I took a little trip to New York City this past weekend for our anniversary.  The original plan was to just go up Saturday afternoon and return Sunday morning, but he figured out a way to cut his trip to Brazil short, thus enabling us to get up there Friday night.  This allowed us to do a few extra things, such as have sushi that night at a really great place I had eaten at 2 years prior, sleep in on Saturday, and have all day to explore the city.  All good things.

Once we dragged our tired asses out of bed Saturday morning (the first number on the clock may have been a double digit), the hubs ran across the street to one of about 4 Starbucks on that block, and returned with a much needed latte . . . and a few other things:

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He may have felt a little bad about not really getting me a present (I told him no gifts), since I got him a car and all, so he picked up some chocolates, a tiny cab and a card to go with the latte.  I assured him that we were fine since he was basically giving me NYC for my anniversary, and that was enough, but he’s a gifter.  He can’t help it.

The day was off to an auspicious start as we headed out from the hotel towards 30 Rock to go to the Top of the Rock.  I had never really done the touristy thing in NYC, since the one and only time I was there, 2 years ago at BlogHer, my time was filled with conferencing and some brief walking around (I did get to experience Times Square, which was enough for a lifetime!).  So, this time, I wanted to do as many touristy things as time allowed.  First stop was the closest super tall building we could find, so I could get a view of the whole city.

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See?  Proof that I was there!  You even get to see the view from up top!  What?  Ok, fine . . . here’s the real thing:

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View of Empire State building and Lower Manhattan

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View of Central Park and Upper Manhattan

And speaking of Central Park . . . that was to be our next destination.  That was the one place that I regret not having the chance to visit the last time I was in NYC, because it was a mere 3 blocks away.  I just never had the time or opportunity.  So, we descended from the 60-something stories of 30 Rock, and landed in the bowels of the building, only to come out on top of the ice skating rink!  It wasn’t quite open yet, but they were preparing it, so it was close.  But I was happy to at least get to see it, even if I didn’t get to skate.  It will happen, damnit!  Someday . . .

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How much did I want to leap onto that Zamboni and ride around the rink? Yeah, that would be A LOT.

On our way to Central Park, we stopped at a Jamba Juice and picked up some smoothies and sandwiches, so we could cop a squat in Central Park and eat a late lunch.  Our dinner reservations weren’t until 11:00 that night (after the show), so we figured we’d eat something and hoped it would do us until dinner (it didn’t).  We opted not to take a horse drawn carriage ride, and instead just hoofed it into the park ourselves, where we parked our derrieres on a grassy knoll and ate our little lunch.  It was pretty bizarre being surrounded by trees and grass and huge rocks and streams, then looking up behind us and seeing massive buildings towering over our heads.  Surreal.  As we walked further in to the Park (which is massive by the way), we began to see some very Central Parky type things.  Basically, if you’ve seen a TV show or movie shot in NYC, you’ve probably seen these things at some point.  This is a very famous walk:

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And this next picture just screams Central Park to me.  As in, this is exactly what I envision when someone says “Central Park,” even though I have never previously been:

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At this point, we realized that we needed to start heading back to the hotel so we would have enough time to get ready for the show.  We only made it about a quarter of the way into the Park , so I definitely want to return and get to experience the rest at some point.  Did I mention that it’s huge?  Yeah.

When we got back to our hotel room, this was waiting for us:

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Very beautiful, and from my husband.  Gorgeous roses, a bottle of really good champagne (we’ll get to that), and my favorite . . . chocolate covered strawberries.

Now, I’m not usually a big champagne drinker, but I figured I’d open it and we could have a glass while getting ready for the show.  But let’s go back and review, shall we?  Because this is where it starts to get interesting . . .

– A latte for breakfast
– Smallish sandwich and smoothie for lunch
– Lots and lots of walking around the streets of New York City

Add all of those together, and you will get two pretty hungry people with empty stomachs.  Even though we had not planned it, we decided to order some room service, since we didn’t think we’d make it until 11:00 without some food.  Well, that was a debacle, as they forgot one of the two things we ordered, so we ended up having to split an ahi tuna wrap.  Which was fine, because that, along with a few strawberries, basically tided us over.  Oh yeah, and we also drank the entire bottle of champagne.  It was just really really good, so I kept pouring more glasses.  We split the bottle, but honestly I probably had 4 glasses to his 3.

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Sooooo good.

Once we were all clean and dressed purdy, we decided to take a cab to the theater.  Now, we definitely could have walked, as it was really only about 6 blocks away (big NYC blocks, but still), but I was wearing some super high heels and didn’t want to take the chance of killing myself trying to hurry in those things, or killing my feet by walking too much.  So, cab it was.  Although, we ended up having to walk about 3 blocks anyway, because the cab driver had no idea where he was going, so at one point we just got out and walked it.  We made it with just enough time to get to the bar, get a “double” glass of wine in a sippy cup, and settle into our 12 inch wide seats for the show (seriously, I got real cozy with the stranger to my left.  In some cultures, we are now betrothed).

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Well, the wine was delicious (and gone by the intermission) and the show was hysterical.  I would highly recommend it, unless you are easily offended, especially by any religious satire, because holy hell, they really go far out there with it.  I loved it.  The hubs . . . not so much.

Once the show was over, we really needed to book it to the restaurant.  In fact, we were so worried about making it on time, and trying to find a cab to get us there, we had to turn down the very generous offer of a backstage tour after the show from a friend’s husband who works sound for the show.  I was so sad, but the hubs was really nervous, so I deferred to his OCDness and we just left right after the end of the show.  We did, in fact, have some trouble finding a cab, so we started walking a bit, hoping we could get one once away from the theater and everyone else who was trying to get one.  However, once we started walking, we realized that we were not that far away, and that we had enough time . . . so we foregoed the cab and just kept walking, which was not the original plan.

So, of course . . . I twisted my ankle and fell onto the sidewalk.  Because, of course.  But, I soldiered on, and we eventually made it to the restaurant.  Where I ran to the bathroom to check the carnage, and saw this:

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So sexy.  And yes, the stockings came right off and were placed into the trash right there at the restaurant.  Because I’m classy like that.

When I returned to our table in the restaurant, the hubs had ordered us a celebratory glass of champagne.  Which was not quite as delicious as the one in the hotel, but was still quite tasty.  Especially after all that walking (and falling).  Then, we ordered a 3 course prix fixe with a wine pairing for each course.  The dishes were delicious and the wines matched perfectly.  However, by the time I got to my third course, I began to realize something . . . I was drunk.  Seriously, it just sort of hit me like . . .  whoa!  Looking back, it was not that surprising, as I had consumed about 3 bottles of wine so far that night, with very little to eat at that point.  The hubs was quite surprised, though, saying “but you train for this!”  But I had to remind him that one glass of wine 3-4 nights a week does not constitute “training” for that level of drinking.  It’s like someone merely training for double A college sports and then told they will be going to the Olympics!  As you might imagine, we cabbed it back to the restaurant and I fell asleep soon after.

But that is not the end of the story!  Oh no . . . because when I woke up the next morning, I discovered this on my upper left arm:

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A HUGE complete and total mystery bruise!  I have no idea where it came from, the hubs had no clue, and I never blacked out or anything the night before, nor do I remember even bumping into anything at all.  When I fell, it was straight to my knee (as you can see above), and I didn’t hit my arm in the slightest.  I have no idea what this is or where it came from!  It is truly bizarre.

So, all in all I would say it was a pleasant trip to NYC.  Despite the falling and the drunkenness and the mystery bruising (!), it was otherwise a fun and enjoyable trip.  I can’t wait to return to do the dozens of other touristy things there are to do there!  What a great city.  I just hope next time, I leave with less blood loss.

And the Award for Best Wife goes to . . .

ME.

That’s right, all of you other wives out there can just go ahead and stop trying.  No need to exhaust yourselves for no reason, because I’ve got this thing all tied up.  It’s in the bag.  The trophy is en route to my house right now.  It is a fait accompli.

Basically, the wife who buys their husband a brand new car as an anniversary present pretty much takes the cake, n’est pas?

That’s right.  You heard me . . . 

Brand.  New.  Car.

And the best part is that it was a complete surprise as he pulled into the driveway upon his return from a business trip to Brazil.  That is when he saw the pretty new shiny gift, topped with a big red bow, sitting in the driveway.

“Am I at the right house?”

“I think I may be in shock.”

“I’m speechless.”

Just some of the phrases spoken by my husband that will be reviewed by the committee when they are judging this year’s Best Wife competition.  But like I said, it’s pretty much a done deal, so don’t strain yourselves trying to eek close to my level of awesomeness.  It’s a gift, really.  A gift, just like the fabulous new car that I gave my husband!  Booya.

Now, I’m sure some of you might be thinking that the extravagance of the gift might disqualify me from the competition, but au contraire, mes amies!  See, it is not an extravagant gift . . . it is an appropriate and thoughtful gift.  Extra points, bitches!!  You see, we just paid off our last car payment this past May, and those payments were tres expensive!  So now, there is a little extra in the monthly budget to play with.  Additionally, he is driving a 1996 Jeep Wrangler that is literally falling apart around him.  The radio does not work, there are huge holes in the floor, there is no backseat, the heat/air is broken . . . it is basically one big piece of crap whose days are numbered.  So, the purchase of the new car was not only affordable (the monthly payment will be half of the previous one), but necessary from a safety perspective.  I am kind, considerate and generous . . . all high scores in the Wifely Olympics. 

World’s.  BEST.  Wife.

I thought last year I might have had a fighting chance, what with the purchase of season tickets to this year’s Orioles games, but I didn’t quite make it into the running.  Granted, it was a very nice gift, and I spent a good chunk of cash on it, but it didn’t quite reach up to the level of best wife status.

But this year . . . oh ho, there is no stopping me this year!  Barring a wife who selflessly donates her last kidney so that her husband may survive, while she makes the ultimate sacrifice of giving her life for her man (damn you 2010!!), I’m pretty sure that I will be the ultimate victor in this year’s quest for supremacy. 

I know many of you will be disappointed.  Just as I was in the past when I came just this close to making it.  But, think of it this way . . . now you can stop trying so hard!  Go take a nap, you deserve it.  No more super-human efforts to organize and schlep the kids to multiple sporting events each day while your husband sits home watching TV or YouTube videos.  No more working all day at your thankless job, just to come home to fix a gourmet dinner for your family, and then do laundry and go scrub the toilets.  No need to keep being nice to his mother.  No.  More.  Blow Jobs.

Yeah, you’re welcome.

The winning entry!

The winning entry!

 

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If I Can Make It There . . .

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Saturday is the hubs and my 11th Anniversary.  That means it’s been 11 long blissful years of legally bound matrimony.  It also means that we have yet to murder each other in our sleep.  Now that’s a reason to celebrate!  Woo-hoo.

We’ve actually been together for 17 years in total.  And in the beginning of our relationship (pre-kids) we used to do all sorts of fun stuff.  Like go to movies, dinners, plays and travel all over the place.  However, in all of the time I have been with him, and despite my many hints, requests and pleas, we have never been to New York City together.  I always imagined a trip up there around the holidays, where we could ice skate at Rockefeller Center in front of a huge, gorgeous Xmas tree, see a Broadway play, have a fabulous dinner, and just generally tour and enjoy the city.  Except for 3 days at BlogHer last year, I had never been.

But all that will change after this weekend!  We are going up just for the day to see a play and have dinner, then we will return Sunday morning.  I’m really looking forward to it, as you might imagine.  Because, except for that pesky ice skating thing (still a bit too warm), we will pretty much be doing all the things I imagined us doing.  I’m even hoping for enough time for a quick trip to the top of the Empire State Building.  But, we’ll have to see when our train arrives.

It makes sense, actually, as 11 years is the steel anniversary.  So, the train will be made of steel, the cab in which we will ride to our hotel will be made of steel, all of those very tall buildings in the city are made of steel.  See, it’s perfect!

So, as you can see, this isn’t a real post.  It’s more of a “hey, I have nothing to write about, but I should have something next week because I plan to do some fun and interesting things this weekend” type of post.  You know, one of those.  See y’all next week!

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Walk This Way

I’ve been working on losing weight lately.  And by working on, I mean cutting back on as many carbs as possible, taking a Zumba class once a week, and going for the occasional walk around my neighborhood.  In the past 4 months or so, I have lost 10 pounds.  Nothing drastic, and I still have a good 30-40 to go in order to be a “healthy weight” (i.e. pre-first baby), but it’s better than the direction it had been going previously, which was up.  No bueno.

Last week I had a doctor’s appointment.  A yearly checkup for my girly bits that, honestly, I had not had in over 3 years.  And yes, I know, I know.  But I got busy and it just never seemed that important.  But, finally I bit the bullet and called for an appointment.  Unfortunately, my normal doctor (who I had not seen in years but had gone to every year prior for about 10) would not be available for many months.  Knowing that I needed to get in there, I told them I would take anyone available.  A midwife was available.  They assured me that she could do everything the doctor could do for this type of appointment, so I said fine.

One of my least favorite parts of a physical is all of the preliminary info they need to gather before the doctor sees you.  Blood pressure, height and, most significantly, weight.  I do not like stepping on that scale, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that feeling.  But, it is required, so you do what you must.  Obviously, I had to take off my big clunky shoes before stepping on the scale, as they weigh a good 5 pounds themselves.  The doctor’s office scale showed me to be about 3 pounds more than my home scale.  But then again, I was fully clothed and it was in the afternoon, after I had eaten a small, but still significant, lunch (at least, that’s what I’m telling myself).

Once situated in the exam room, covered by that oh so fancy paper blanket, the midwife entered and introduced herself.  After the preliminary introductions, one of the first things she asked me is what my fitness routine was and whether I ate healthily.  I told her what type of activities I do, and said that I was indeed trying to eat healthily, mostly eating fruits, veggies, salad and fish.  Although, the occasional chicken nugget and tater tot may sneak in when I’m making dinner for the kids.  She then told me that I should really try to keep as active as possible and stay away from the tater tots if possible, because . . .

You want to be careful to avoid diabetes, heart disease and other complications from being overweight.

I was momentarily taken aback.  For a minute, I thought she was punking me.  Either that, or I was on some sort of new Biggest Loser Candid Camera reality show, and that Jillian Michaels was going to jump out from behind the curtain and tell me to give her 20! 

Because, while I am admittedly overweight, I am nowhere near obese.  Those are the words you use for someone who is dangerously close to having health issues because of their weight.  Not to someone who just has some extra pounds to lose, and is actively attempting to do so.  I was shocked.  And then I was angry.

Towards the end of the exam, she once again brought up weight loss, and “helpfully” suggested that I might try weight watchers, as she had “heard that works for a lot of (her) patients.”  This, coming from someone who weighs 98 pounds and who’s waist I could encompass with one hand! 

Yes, oh scrawny one, I am familiar with Weight Watchers.  I lost 30 pounds prior to my wedding on that program.  When I calculate what I’ve eaten in a day, my mind still goes back to the “points” that are contained in the foods I consumed.  You could say that Weight Watchers and I are intimately acquainted, thanks. 

At this point, I informed her that I had lost 10 pounds in the past few months, to which she seemed surprised.  Yes, twiggy, because I’m a big fat ass that is obviously scarfing down Big Macs and fries from Mickey D’s while sitting my massive derriere on a hoveround, tooling through the aisles of Walmart, throwing party sized Funyuns and 2 liter sodas in my cart. 

Fuck you.

Once I had a day or two to let this whole experience settle, and was able to ruminate on this “medical professional’s” advice, I decided that she was right.  Oh no, not about the Diabetes or Heart Disease, because seriously.  But, she was right that I could be doing more to be active and lose the excess weight.

So, I decided to take a page from my friend Andrea’s playbook.  She had recently started wearing a pedometer and walking every single day.  At the end of each day, she would tally her steps and post them on Facebook.  And not only was she walking and counting her steps, she had taken it a step further.  She created an entire walking outfit . . . complete with cape and chest symbol!  She was like a Walking Superman.  A Walkman!!

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Dun-da-da!! Super Andrea!!

Seeing her progress, I decided to become more proactive with my walking as well, and took a very brisk walk around the neighborhood twice last week.  Twice!!  As opposed to the previous week’s tally of . . . zero.  Yeah.

Maybe it will go better if I also get myself a cape.  Not sure I’m ready for the lycra walking suit quite yet, though.

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And we’re walking, we’re walking, we’re walking . . .