You know those delightful, delectable moments in life when you're flying high, feeling great, ready to take on the world when all of a sudden you realize the proverbial toilet paper stuck to your shoe? My life is a series of those moments.
Take today, for example. Faced with the daunting task of picking up the telephone, I had put off fixing the washer for as long as possible. It's not that I don't want the washer fixed, nor do I love sneaking across the lawn to my neighbor's twice a day with a basket of clothes -- It's just that I hate, hate, hate talking on the phone. ESPECIALLY to people I don't know. Double especially when it's about a subject I am clueless on. But most of all, especially when the experts on the other line are men. (duhdunDUHHHNNNNNN)
All at once, I am reverted back to that awkward 12 yr-old-girl, sucking-ass at softball, cringing as her dad slaps her batting helmet, yelling "Get your head outta your ass!" in front of, you know, everyone. I get clammy and pale (paler than normal, anyway), shaky all over, and all I can say is "hummenahummena".
It's taken me 4 days to even pick up a phone book, an hour to select two businesses to call (which ad is more trustworthy? Which looks expensive? Who will be least likely to rip us off? What is the square root of pi?), another spent calling the selected businesses, attempting to describe the problem: "My husband says it sounds like the belt -- it's grinding, but not spinning," only to, naturally, be chuckled at and informed that: "no, lil' darlin', that's not what it is. It's a Whirlpool, right?" *imagined turn of head for dip spit* "That' s the motor cuff links -- it's what joins the blahbliddy blah to the whodiewhaty..." I can't finish the rest of what he said because at this point I was no longer listening, but writing and underlining the phrase, 'motor cuff-links'.
Okay, so I flubbed my first attempt to sound knowledgeable, but luckily the blame was easily passed on to Shawn. Desperate to save face, I jot down the guy's quote for the part, then hang up to call the other place to compare. 20 minutes of fumbling questions and repeated phone calls to Shawn later, my paranoia gets the better of me and I resort to calling our friend, Handyman Jeff. This guy knows everything there is to know about all this mechanical shit, I feel sure he'll be able to tell me what to do.
Still trying to appear poised and confident, I dial him up, and converse for another 15 minutes on the ins and outs of washer repair and how to know whether it'd the "cuff-links" or transmission. After test-trying the washer, we discover it must be the 'cuff-links', and he gives me the number for a parts store to check on availability.
So there I am, weapons sharpened and ready: my notes from Jeff, my extra-sweet big southern accent tinged with just the right amount of perky, my screaming offspring in the background -- sword and shield and all that nonsense.
I go through the steps, calling out model number, serial number, etc., sharing a laugh with the man on the othet end over Jax's screams, and he happily affirms they do carry the part and it's only $15."
I am thrilled. I am ecstatic. I am Mary Tyler Moore, throwing my hat up into the city skyline, when all of a sudden, he finishes with:
"And by the way, they're called couplings, not 'cuff-links' *chuckle, chuckle* It's a washing machine, not a tuxedo..."