I’m sure this week for those who attended, they’re talking about all the wonderful things about RT and what all they got to do. Well…today, I have three stories that happened to me while I was there (or shortly after I came home) that will make you shake your head and wonder why life is so unfair that I get all the weirdness and you don’t.
As a disclaimer, this has nothing to do with RT itself, just being there and on a trip.
A few months ago we moved into a house that had room for me to have an office. It’s wonderful. I no longer have to type at the kitchen table or on the bed. Unfortunately, with the market conditions around here, we can’t sell our house. So we’ve decided to make it into a rental. It was our first house and to two people at 19 and 20 it seemed like a castle when we bought it. A 950-square foot, dirt brown and slightly shaggy carpeted, green, orange, eggshell painted mixed with paneling, castle. Now, of course every castle has its flaws. About two months before we decided to look for a new house, I was sitting down to my desk to write, moved my foot and immediately felt my sock grow wet. Upon further inspection, the carpet was saturated. My first instinct was that we had a plumbing leak, but just to make sure it wasn’t that one of the kids spilled water, I just soaked up the water as best I could with old towels and interrogated them…
Turns out it WAS a slab leak. One that they couldn’t even work on until we were out. But a slab leak wasn’t the only thing that was wrong with the house. No, they had to redo a good portion of pipes, faucets, and other things I don’t really understand. Well, while we have people in the house doing repairs (repairs that would have to be done whether renting or selling), I suggested we hire an electrician. One thing is for certain when two “kids” go shopping for a house, they have no idea what the heck they’re looking for. It wasn’t until after we’d moved in and I went to use the hair dryer that I realized there was NO electrical outlet in the bathroom. Who looks for this sort of thing before buying? It’s a room and the house was built a few decades ago, not a century ago. Electricity comes standard, doesn’t it. Apparently not in the bathroom. So for more than six and a half years we’d have to run an extension cord from the bedroom to the bathroom to use a razor, hair dryer, curling iron, etc. So why not, let’s put an outlet in here for whoever moves in next.
It’s funny how such a simple thing turns into something so complex.
The electrician came over on the Sunday before I left for Kansas City and was supposed to be done that day so imagine my surprise when I get a call Tuesday night as I’m having dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen since last year at RT and the voice on the other end of the phone says, “Good news, the electrician will be done tomorrow. Your house almost burned down, but it was contained in the attic so you can’t see anything and everything is okay now. I gotta go, bye.”
As it turns out, the people who lived there before us had made a few repairs themselves. In the attic, they’d run all the ceiling fans off a series of extension chords that plugged into the same outlet. The exterior lights were added after the house was built and were wired with speaker wire… Most of the light fixtures had wires that weren’t covered and were just “taped” together. Around this heating element we had in the bathroom, all the insulation in the attic was charred where it had apparently caught on fire once or twice and put itself out on the insulation. The ceiling fan in the living room wasn’t even mounted correctly. Anyway, it was counted that there were at least 5 major fire hazards and the electrician was thoroughly surprised the house hadn’t burned down. What a blessing! It wasn’t a cheap repair, but it was a necessary one as so many old wires were replaces and fixed and up to code. We used to burn through light bulbs constantly. Now, I know why.
(The next two stories are more perky, I promise.)
Well, actually, I can’t promise that. This next one isn’t as scary as the last one, but it’s not rainbows and lollipops, either.
At 7am on Friday, I got a text from my husband that read:
“I’ll go ahead and tell you now, Rhett (our dog) puked on your pillow this morning at 4am.”
Um excuse me what? How is that for a morning greeting?
I’ll be honest, I do not like the dog sleeping in our bed. In fact, when I’m at home, I don’t allow it. My husband, however, loves it so I wasn’t exactly surprised to learn the dog had been in the bed, but to have vomited on MY pillow. That goes too far. I once again, had to get on the phone, and get more details. Details I could have lived without, so I’ll spare you. Instead of ending the call with I love yous, it ended with me saying, “That pillow had better not be there when I get back” and his reply of, “Oh, you can’t even tell where it happened…”
Third less than flattering story is probably the most humorous, but it didn’t really happen there so much, more of when I got back.
I’m a procrastinator. I waited until the day before to pack and load my car. One of my essentials is: Megapurse. If you’ve ever heard me talk about Megapurse she’s more than just a purse, she’s like my right-hand woman. This purse is gigantic and can hold a few notebooks, my laptop, pens, loose papers, books and all sorts of other things and still close. She’s great. Bob calls it my mobile office. Anyway, I take Megapurse on all trips. Recently I took her with us to Houston and Galveston for my brother-in-law’s wedding reception. Another object that often travels with us is EneMan.
For anyone who hasn’t subjected themselves to my craziness for very long, I’ll scandalize you now when I say that EneMan is a stuffed, plush enema. Basically a stuffed animal, in the shape of an enema… It’s green, has an orange tip, and wears a cape that says EneMan. My husband worked for more than half a decade in colorectal surgery and was given this by a Fleet representative. Of course, it’s not exactly something you want your kids snuggling up with at night, so Bob decided to hang it from the rearview mirror in my car. Thus, it began traveling with us. As a joke, we started putting him in our family pictures (while on trips, not professional/Christmas photos, although…). Anyway, as the years have passed, he’s just become part of the travels.
And apparently he traveled with me to Kansas City. As a disclaimer, I didn’t even realize he was there, he purse is THAT big.
So I took him out and left him in the room as I carted Megapurse around the conference. I surely didn’t want that thing to be found. Then, it came time to leave. Though I didn’t think I’d acquired a lot of stuff and I did think I’d given tons of stuff away, I was wrong. I had tons of things to cram into my suitcase and boxes. It wasn’t until I got home and began unpacking that I realized I didn’t see EneMan…
Laugh all you want, but panic started to build as I tore through my suitcase and Megapurse, then to my swag boxes and he was nowhere to be found. How on earth would I explain to my husband and kids that I’d lost EneMan? By Wednesday, I was defeated. I’d searched high and low. He wasn’t in the car, he wasn’t in with my clothes, he wasn’t with my swag or the books I’d brought back. He was nowhere and I knew what I had to do: call the hotel.
Now, this isn’t an easy call to make in my opinion. How exactly do you word this, “Pardon me, sir, did one of the maids turn in a stuffed animal in the shape of an enema?” or “Has a fellow who goes by the name of EneMan been spotted around your hotel?”
Seriously, what kind of response am I going to get from the chap on the other end of the line? Is he going to laugh, be aghast, actually page the maids to ask if they’d seen a plush toy in the shape of an enema, hang up on me?
I pondered how to handle this for like two hours. I know, I know, I’m a mom so I’ve had my lady parts on display for the world as my son was born and I’ve had all sorts of bodily fluids on me at some point, I write romance books with intimate scenes and I even rode home with a tape measure with the words: Pecker Checker etched into the side. But, I just couldn’t swallow enough pride to call and ask the man at the front desk. But neither could I disappoint my boys (all three of them) who I hadn’t told yet.
I was in desperate need of some chocolate.
I’d brought a bag of assorted chocolate with me to RT (which no one except me and my roommate ate…), so I walked over to the bag where I’d put it and+ lo and behold as soon as I lifted the bag of candy out, what was looking back at me (and dared to be grinning) but that blasted stuffed enema!
I tell people all the time, I might write books, but I’m still an ordinary person. My house isn’t perfect, my dog vomits on my pillow and like most parents, I’d force myself to call a hotel to retrieve a lost toy–even if I’m the one who lost it–no matter how embarrassing it is to explain!
Well, on that note, I have a couple out in the middle of Indian Territory who are in need of some romance, so I’ll be off! Have a great Friday!