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8.10.2007

How My Dyson Was Ruined and Other Tales of My Wild 30th

Wouldn't it be hilarious if I woke up on my birthday to the sounds of Chris quickly moving around downstairs and snuggled into the covers while thinking "I really don't want breakfast this early, but I'll need to act happy when he serves me" and then Chris appeared at the foot of the bed a few minutes later and announced "We have a huge problem"?

It turns out, I really am an ant and the universe is an 8-year-old boy with a magnifying glass.

Our entire downstairs is flooded. As soon as you hit the landing - *SQUISH*. All of our bath towels are spread out across the brand new carpet attempting to absorb the water free-flowing from the busted water heater.

As Chris rattled off who needed to be called and what had to be done, all I heard was "wait for plumber" "sop up water" and "carpet ruined". I stared past Chris out the window and thought "This is not how I'm spending my thirtieth birthday, right?".

When I turned 29, I had elaborate plans to turn 30 on an island with a cocktail in my hand. Now, I stood in the kitchen of our rental property while Chris explained how best to squeeze out the towels so that they'll dry quicker in the dryer.

You know what I did, right? I think I've cried more in the past year than my entire life. I just said "But, I'm thirty today" and the tears flowed. Chris' face crumpled in realization. He hugged me and said "I am so so sorry".

It's not his fault, of course, that there's a flood. Or that our house didn't sell quicker. Or that none of my pants fit. Or that I'm not on an island with a cocktail. But, to Chris, it is. To Chris, it's his job to keep everyone happy. And shuffling around on towels does not a happy birthday make.

So, he did what any superhero husband does and announced "You are not doing a single dish!". Then, he put his keys down, rolled up his sleeves of his dress shirt, and cleaned the kitchen. I think I'll keep him.

By midday, the house was filled with people - insurance adjusters, plumbers, water restoration - a surprise party!

The owner of this house also came over.

Now, when we applied to lease this house, the owners were adamant that they did not want any animals. Of any kind. Since we were in love with the house, I pleaded with them to allow us to have our "cat". The cat, of course, is actually made up of two cats. Once the owners agreed to The Cat (and an extra grand), we didn't think it would ever be an issue. One of our cats, Jack, is outside all day long. We never see him until dinnertime. And the other is my huge ever present orange cat, Oliver, who spends his day trying to wear me.

As soon as the owner arrived, Oliver raced by, so it was official: Oliver was The Cat.

That is, until Jack decided that this was the day - the first in five years - that he wanted to stand in front of the sliding glass door and stare into the house. All day.

Of course he did. Why wouldn't he?

So, yes. I spent my 30th shuffling around on towels. And, yes, I will continue to spend the rest of this week and all of next without carpet downstairs, hot water, and missing half of the ceiling. While shooing away my confused cat.

Perhaps I should have been a bit more specific when I wished to spend my birthday surrounded by water.

Oh, universe. Don't stop being you.

32 comments:

Emily said...

i'm sorry! that's just the worst. i hope you had your cocktails anyways. or some other fabulous night out? (fingers crossed)

Two Shews said...

Um. Silver lining-- at least it wasn't your old-sold house that flooded! Happy birthday

Wack-A-Do said...

Oh, Lena. I am so sorry. The best part about this birthday was that it wasn't your fortieth! Thank goodness it is a rental and not another insult to add to the house misery.

Miss said...

I'm so sorry this happened on your birthday of all days! Thankfully your super hero husband saved the day as best he could. You could always pretend that another less stressfull day is actually your birthday and celebrate! Just go out to that backyard you described before and breathe deep!

sam said...

Oh no! Your hubby sounds like a knight in shining armour though, and that's a good thing!

LOL @ shooing away your cat. So what I would have done! LOL

chirky said...

Mommy needs a cocktail. Will a 72-ounce cosmo do it?

sweetney said...

love to you, lady. it has to get better now, right?

Jhianna said...

Oh, what a year, right?

I hope the rest of your day was better! Happy 30th!

Butrfly4404 said...

I agree on the "at least it wasn't the house you're selling." But STILL.

I have yet to perfect The Birthday. I find that if I hype them too much, they are always a let down and if I don't hype them at all, I'm let down and it's my own damn fault.

Chris is such a good man!

You guys should just *reschedule* your birthday for another day. THEN he can make you breakfast in bed and do all the "Happy Birthday, Love" things you were expecting. And make everyone tell you "Happy Birthday" on THAT day. A day WITHOUT crappy water heater problems! :D

(Did I miss something? Don't you have a dog?)

Meagan Francis said...

Just followed a link over from sarcasticjournalist. Loved your letters to yourself post! I just turned 30 a couple of weeks ago (at BlogHer!) and I thought I was doing so well, but last night after I'd had a glass of wine or two, I started peppering my husband with all these really annoying, whiny questions like "Do you think I, you know, LOOK 30?" and "Is it weird to be with somebody who's, like, 30?"

Sorry to hear your birthday was a bummer!

blog Portland said...

At least there's always that other clear liquid to surround yourself with in hard times -- vodka.

Karly said...

Dude! SAME THING just happened to me! That universe sure is a bitch sometimes!

superblondgirl said...

Ugh. Stupid universe. Stupid cats. Happy birthday anyway, girlie. I hope there were at least cocktails in the lovely, lovely lawn looking at that view. Lots of cocktails.

Lena said...

Meagan Francis - Haaa! That sounds like every evening around here.

Kristie said...

First and most importantly, happy birthday. You have made me feel officially old, but your previous post was so funny I totally forgive you. :)

I rarely sign in (shameful, I know) but just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your writing and how sorry I am that your birthday was so awful. I propose you officially get a do-over in a few days, when the carpets are dry and the towels are washed and the cat is no longer confused. :)

The Parents Zone said...

Oh poor thing Lena.. so sorry what happened on your 30th Birth Day..I hope you will have a wonderful birth day next time...........

Kelly said...

Lena, that all just sucks. I say you declare this entire weekend as your birthday and just relax! :)

Amy said...

Noooooo! Not on your birthday!!! I would be so crushed. Since I always have grandiose expectations of what my birthday should be. And I'm always brought back to reality when my FOO forgets my birthday. Except my mom. Who sent a 99 cent birthday card.

Beth said...

Everytime I think it can't get any worse for you it does. Wow! Please hang in there and please keep your awesome sense of humor!

I will keep checking in daily for something positive and uplifting that has happened. It will happen soon. I just know it!

girl in motion said...

Wow. You were so prescient about the water. Universe has a perverse sense of humor.

In the be careful what you wish for vein: Lily Tomlin once said, "I always wanted to be somebody when I grew up; I guess I should have been more specific."

Great post! Sorry it had to be your 30th birthday!

mom2jtv said...

But I thought you also had a dog.

Kim said...

At first I thought you were talking about YOUR house, not the rental, and I was thinking "Oh my God, that sucks!" Phew! At least somebody else has to replace the carpet, right? Okay....so it still sucks.

Anyway, happy birthday! Have a mojito or three!

Lena said...

mom2jtv - I haven't blogged about this because it has been very very painful, but our dog Allie is staying with friends she ADORES while all this settles for us.

Thanks for asking. ;)

lizinsumner said...

Your blog entries are priceless, my dear - I especially loved the one just before this, it was VERY creative and it made me misty-eyed, being a few {{{cough, cough}}} years older than you. I hope I'm around to see your blog for your 40 and 50 years!

Oh, and having lived through the same (only it was busted water pipes, not a water-heater, and it was at Christmas, no less) at a place that I owned, all I can say is - enjoy the fact that even though you have to live with all of the mess and inconvenience, you don't have to pay the bill....that's the BEST part of renting!! Enjoy!!

Meemo said...

A birthday should never be about just one day. You need a couple. My husband's and my birthday are 1 day apart, so we just share and make a weekend out of it.

I hope you still get your breakfast in bed. It's never too late.

Momo said...

On my 30th, I came home to piles of doggie diarrhea and vomit all over the house. All thanks to a neighbor who gave our dog a ham shank over the fence without telling us. Good luck. Sounds like an even bigger mess than what I dealt with (though I bet it didn't smell as bad).
http://momo-fali.blogspot.com

Suburban Turmoil said...

Poor, poor Lena. Hope things go better for you.

MaddieHope said...

Long time reader, not much commenter...but I love your blawg.

Happy late birthday! I am sory it was filled with suckage. But I understand- I spent a coupla days before my 30th (a few weeks ago) checking my mother out of the Hospital (not the regular one, not that anything is wrong with that, except that she has *already* stopped going to therapy and taking her medicine. Sigh.)

But, at least you don't look 30!!! Trust me- you don't. Yay!

I am having a drink for you. God bless ya.

Amy and Jason said...

So sorry your birthday was a "wash". But hey, just think -you get new carpet! :-)

What did you do with your doggie since you couldn't have him in the new house?

Amy and Jason said...

Oops...just saw your comment. Sorry Allie isn't with you. I know how hard that must be for you.

MamaLee said...

I hope that today is a better day for you.

xoxo

Lena said...

Chirky, you know me all too well.


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