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Day #323: Confection Perfection

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The Story:

“I just need a few more minutes, okay? Just… just go on without me. I’ll meet you there,” Nikki yelled over her shoulder for maybe the eighth time. Frank, her husband, indicated his frustration with what was becoming his least favorite ‘tick’ recently developed by his beloved wife of 15 years. In all that time, save the last year, Nikki had always prided herself on being punctual, something Frank admired greatly. And then, she had discovered baking. From her very first cheesecake, Nikki had slowly developed a bit of neurosis, one in which she never felt quite satisfied with her work. Whether it be the thickness of the icing or the flourish of her garnishes… it never felt quite right.

You're doing it wrong...

This of course led to an accumulation of events, dinner dates, PTA meetings and social engagements in which Nikki was decidedly late to. And it was driving Frank insane. They were due at his kid sister’s college graduation dinner about half an hour ago and Nikki couldn’t stop obsessing over the stupid cheesecake she had promised to make. Moving closer to look over his wife’s shoulder to get some idea of how much longer she might be, Frank leaned in and peered down at the dessert.

It looked professionally made but that wasn’t enough for Nikki, she needed to add ‘her touch’ as she referred to it. ‘Her touch’ for this occasion was in the form of three butterflies crafted from lemon wedges and peel flitting across the top of the cheesecake. They looked lovely, delicate and sweet, and Frank for once felt a swell of pride in his wife’s work. “Those look pretty,” he said softly, giving Nikki’s shoulder a supportive squeeze.

“Pretty? Great… now I’m going to have to start all over!” Nikki exclaimed as she plucked the lemon butterflies off of the cheesecake and threw them in the sink. “I was going for enchanting or whimsical, dainty even… but pretty? I might as well just toss the entire thing!”

Knowing it was best to just keep quite in this situation; Frank silently backed away and left the kitchen. He’d wait fifteen minutes, let her get it all out and then pop back in to see if she had snapped out of it. Sitting down in his easy chair and clicking on the TV, Frank felt relieved that he wasn’t afflicted with any artistic or creative inclinations, they made people nuts as far as he was concerned.

As he flipped through the channels, he wondered if he should have tried to be a bit more vocal from the beginning of this baking endeavor. Had he have spoken up then, perhaps things would be a bit more manageable now. Unfortunately that ship had sailed, as they say, and he had missed the proverbial boat. “Oh well,” he muttered wondering if Nikki had recovered her senses yet in the kitchen. A large part of him hoped she had made good on her threat to toss the entire thing.

The fact of the matter was, Nikki was a horrible baker and Frank well… he just didn’t have the heart to tell her.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Whew! I felt like I was running my own catering biz today as I hustled to whip up enough baked ziti to feed an army, a homemade cheesecake and brownies for tomorrow which is the day of filming for Andy’s short film. I probably spent more time on everything than I really needed to, but my perfectionist persuasion  took over and before I knew it I was individually packaging each brownie in wax paper and a ribbon and spending over half an hour garnishing my cheesecake. I don’t care though, that stuff makes it fun and frankly, I like making food look pretty. Hope it tastes as good as I think it looks… guess we shall see!

Love & Squirrels.

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Day #301: Like A Box of Chocolates…

The Story:

When Gwyneth saw the box of chocolates sitting on her desk, she was not surprised when there was no note attached.  Depositing her coat and purse on her desk, she plopped unceremoniously into her ergonomic desk chair and took a closer look at the heart-shaped mystery gift. Double-checking for a note from the sender without finding one, Gwyneth shook her head as she unwrapped the cellophane, “Oh Keith…”

In typical style, Keith- Gwyneth’s boyfriend of five years, had stuck to their ‘no notes, no fanfare, no showboating’ rule for today- also known as St. Valentine’s Day. Neither Keith nor Gwyneth especially liked the holiday, feeling it was mostly a dedicated day for couples to demonstrate how much better they were than every other couple on the planet. Usually Keith would do something a bit understated and very personal for Gwyneth and she in return would cook a fancy meal or drive an hour out of town to pick up some of his favorite beer from a microbrew that didn’t distribute to their area.

Look how amazing we are... seriously, LOOK AT US!!!

Come to think of it, chocolates, especially the kind you could find in any grocery store, were not really Keith’s style. Gwyneth rolled this thought over in her mind, much as she did the orange-centered chocolate she had already popped into her mouth. “Maybe it’s the beginning of some elaborate scheme he has cooking for tonight”, she thought excitedly. If that were the case, she had better come up with something else than just the dopey card and specialty ice cream she was planning on giving him. Blindly reaching for another chocolate, Gwyneth decided she’d better comb the internet for a few more ideas for Keith before she got entrenched in her work.

Scanning through a recipe for homemade heart-shaped ice cream sandwiches, Gwyneth almost didn’t hear her cell phone ring from where it still sat inside her purse. Digging through her purse to find the stupid thing, Gwyneth was surprised to see an hour had passed before accepting the call from Keith.

“Hey sugar britches, Happy Valentine’s Day!” Keith said in his best Rhett Butler voice.

“Oh my, you know I can’t resist you when you talk Butler to me,” Gwyneth replied coyly. “And before I forget, daaarliiing… thanks for the chocolates, they were apparently very good- I’ve somehow managed to eat half the box before ten o’clock,” Gwyneth laughed at her overindulgence but stopped suddenly when she didn’t hear Keith laughing with her. Thinking the call had been dropped, she looked at the display of her phone and saw the call was still in progress and returning the device to her ear said, “Keith? Did I lose you?”

“No, I’m hear… sorry, babe. And I hate to tell you, but it wasn’t me who sent you those chocolates- looks like you may have a secret admirer,” the digitized words struck Gwyneth like a punch to the gut and she immediately let the caramel-filled dark chocolate fall out of her mouth in a gooey glob.

“Wha… What do you mean, they aren’t from you? You are they from then?!?” A note of panic was rising in her voice and she struggled to regain her composure. She needed to think. Feigning a need to return to work, she hung up with Keith and tried to focus. Wiping a bead of sweat from her forehead, she noticed her hands were trembling- as were her legs. A wave of nausea washed over her seconds before she felt her throat begin to close.

__

In their modest apartment near the park, Keith set out the wine and began to grate the cheese as he half-listened to the six o’clock local news. Gwyneth was due home any second and he couldn’t wait to see her expression when she found him cooking for once. He began to daydream about the night he could imagine them having when something from the broadcast caught his attention.

…that’s right, Tina, I’m here outside of the Pentagon where police are still interviewing witnesses and aren’t giving us many details at this early hour but sources claim that at least ten people are dead and over fifteen are in critical condition. Reports are that the poison was laced in the anonymous valentine chocolates delivered to each of the victim’s offices sometime last night. Already being dubbed as the Death by Chocolate murders on the internet, police are still in the process of contacting the victim’s families before releasing their names to the media. We’ll have more on this disturbing story as it develops…

Time had stopped for Keith as he hunched over the 14 inch kitchen TV, cheese grater still in hand, the chunk of aged Gouda forgotten on the floor. The newscast disappeared and a commercial for Corvettes and a jumping dog came on the set. It couldn’t be real, it was a dream, Gwyneth was fine, she would be walking through the door any minute. Keith looked up towards the door as if the mere suggestion of her walking through it would cause her immediate manifestation.

Instead, his phone began to ring.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Ah, Valentine’s Day…. Actually, I had a pretty good one. I was greeted by a mystery box of chocolates on my desk that were waiting for me at work this morning, made some yummy cookie ice cream sandwiches for my honey and got one of the best Valentine’s gift’s I’ve ever received from him in return. The only loose end for this day of love is still not knowing who left the box of chocolates for me. I have my suspicious, but whoever you are, thanks bunches (glad it wasn’t poison!)

My mystery chocolates...

Love & Squirrels.

Day #296: Do the Voice

The Story:

“This one is my ‘school voice’: Present! Yeah, I don’t say much at school…”

“This is my ‘bowling voice’: Strikes away, me hearties! I like to believe I’m a pirate when I bowl.

“I call this my ‘flirty voice’: Hey baaybee… You gotta kinda singsong it in a lower octave than your usual voice.”

“When I don’t feel like doing something, I use my I don’t wanna’ voice, it sounds a little something like this: But whhhhyy??? But I don’t wanna!!!”

“And finally, one of my favorites, the ‘drive-thru’ voice: Yes, can I please have a taco grande?”

Cody sat back with a satisfied grin and waited for his friend, Justin to respond.

Looking at his friend, trying to remember why they were friends in the first place when Cody pulled this crap, Justin sighed loudly and finally replied, “Dude, just record your outgoing message so we can go to the arcade already. All your voices sound exactly the same!”

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      Have you ever hung out with someone who’s voice changes slightly, depending on who they are talking to or maybe what they are talking about? I think we all do it to some degree, I’m guilty of it and today I was reminded that Andy was too. As we are chatting on the phone while he’s in the drive thru, he goes to order and he immediately whips out his ‘drive thru voice’. Every syllable is heavily articulated, every statement becomes a question and his voice goes up at the end of every sentence. I could help but giggle on the other end of the line as I listened.

TWO:    So, I guess I’m going bowling tonight… ugh. Probably one of my least favorite things to do because a) I suck at it, b) because I am forced to socialize, usually with people I don’t know and c) it hurts my dainty wrist. I thought about using my ‘I don’t wanna’ voice, but, instead, I’m sucking it up and going to help Andy network with some fellow film peeps… maybe I’ll luck out and there will be a Jurassic Park III in the arcade. I rule at that.

Actually, I hate that second part too... dang it.

Love & Squirrels.

Day #291: Crushed Memory

The Story:

I had been in a few times before, each time wondering if he would recognize me. Part of me hoped he didn’t, but mostly I was just curious. Was I as forgettable as I always had assumed? Each visit seemed to prove that I was, as his eyes saw through me and not even a hint of recognition crossed his face. It was comforting to be so easily forgotten, in a way; and who knows, it could come in handy if I ever am employed as a spy or need to go on the lam. I smiled at the thought and told myself my disappointment was silly and took a seat at the table I had been shown to.

Trying to forget he was only a few feet away, now chatting friendlily with a couple who were seated to my right, I concentrated on the menu and all but hid behind its expansive pages filled with exotic-sounding delicacies and the more familiar sushi rolls. Despite my best efforts, my mind wandered as usual and before I realized it I was transported back in time 15 years and was my high school self. Self-conscious, shy to a debilitating degree, I was once again at the corner table in the cafeteria in Devens High School, eating a cream cheese and jelly sandwich alone as I starred longingly… at him. For six years, since the day he transferred into my elementary school, I had developed a desperate crush, something he was keenly unaware of- mainly because I could never muster the courage to utter a single syllable in his presence.

Shaking the memories away, I almost laughed at myself. How could he possibly be expected to remember me when he most likely didn’t know I existed in the first place?

“Okay, here’s your Sprite. Would you like to go ahead and order?” a male voice on the other side of the menu thrust me from my inner thoughts. Looking up, I sucked in my breath through my teeth reflexively- it was him. Trying unsuccessfully to come off as unflustered, I flashed an awkward smile and must have given him my order as he nodded politely, took my menu and disappeared into the back of the restaurant.

“Real smooth,” I thought, mentally flogging my inability to act like the successful, functional¸ 32-year-old I now was. When it came to him, I was still the geeky half-mute 16-year-old who didn’t speak to anyone unless prompted and could count her friends on one hand.

He returned a few minutes later, setting down the customary edamame and to my astonishment didn’t briskly walk away as I expected him to; instead he was standing at the edge of my table. Guessing he was retrieving a lost straw or dropped napkin, I looked up to discover he was peering at me with a curious expression.

“Are you from this area?” he asked finally, cocking his head to the side as if he were trying to retrieve a memory.

Trying to ignore the growing heat from the blush that was now covering my entire face I managed to reply with a shaky, “Yes, I am”.

“And did you go to Devens High?” He asked with growing assurance. He already knew the answer.

“Um, yeah…” could he really remember me? Was it possible? My heart was hammering in my chest, the palms of my hands growing moist with perspiration.

“Is your name Josephine?” A smile had grown from the corners of his mouth and was spreading across is handsome face. A smile I remembered with such clarity I almost gasped.

“It is,” I almost screamed happily. Not wishing to ruin the moment by speaking, I waited to see what he might say next. I was not disappointed.

“Wow! I thought that was you! How are you? Can I tell you something?” his words seemed to be spilling over each other as they fought to escape his mouth in a rush of enthusiasm. “I used to have the biggest crush on you. I thought you were the most interesting, intelligent and beautiful girl I had ever seen. Sounds silly to say it now, but I was so intimidated by you, I never could work up the nerve to talk to you,” he stuffed his hands in his trouser pockets and for the first time I realized giddily he was almost as shy and self-conscious as I was.

And that, kids, is how I found your soccer coach! Just kidding… that’s how your dad and I finally ‘met’ after more than twenty years.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      When you live in the city where you grew up, it is almost impossible to not run into someone  from your past. This is usually an event I dread, mostly because I never believe anyone could possibly remember who I am and I remember just about everyone who crosses my path. Today, at our favorite sushi joint, I had a reunion of sorts. Nothing romantic, as the story above would likely have you believe, but it was a friend I had spent a good amount of time with in the yearbook room at Edgewater High School. Now a server at what I believe is his family’s restaurant Aaron in high school was the yearbook photographer when I was a junior editor. I recognized him the first time we entered the small eatery several months ago, but never had the nerve to see if he remembered me. Today, going at an off-time for sushi, Aaron sat Andy and I and then after taking our drink orders, asked a series of questions that ended with, “Is your name Sam?”. It was pretty cool, being remembered (finally) and I even got a free cookie out of the deal.  Sweet.

Love & Squirrels.

Day #280: The Little Things

The Story:

“I just wish I knew the secret!” Matt pouted in frustration. It had been six weeks and he was still stinging from his breakup with Brooke- the girl he had convinced himself was ‘the one’. After two years of what Matt believed was absolute bliss, Brooke had suddenly called their relationship off- claiming she no longer felt like they were in love.

“Sure we love each other,” she had said as she scoured his place for one of her misplaced collectable Snoopy lunchboxes, “but we’re not in love anymore.” And just like that, she was gone.

“What happened? What did I do? Where did we go wrong? I thought we were happy…” Matt flipped through the stereotypical phases of denial, anger and self-loathing like a desperate coupon-clipper searching through the Sunday paper.

After six weeks of tolerating Matt’s pathetic sighs, his constant moping around and his insufferable desire to play ’20 Questions’ on why Brooke left, his best friend Toby had had just about all he could take. It didn’t help matters that Toby had secretly loved Brooke. “It’s like she suddenly stopped loving me… maybe love just doesn’t last. I mean, I didn’t do anything…” Matt was mumbling to himself in his usual self-involved manner as Toby handed him a beer and tried to watch what was left of the second quarter of the game. Great, he had missed a punt return to the end zone thanks to Matt’s incessant whining. This had to stop.

“Dude, enough already,” Toby said, his tone a little harsher than he intended. “It’s really not that big a mystery. It’s the little things. You stop doing the little things and then one day…” Toby stretched out his hands, indicating Matt’s current state.

“What are you talking about, man? What little things?” Matt asked, mystified. Despite Matt being his closest friend, how Brooke had put up with him for as long as she did completely baffled Toby.

“Little things, you know like picking up some of her favorite Greek yogurt at the store when you make a trip or leaving the last little bit of milk for her to use in her tea or taking her car to get the oil changed, you know… stuff,” Toby answered, Matt just stared in confusion. “Clean her apartment for her, leave her little notes where she will find them for days, come on you’ve got to do, you can’t just be in love,” he finished, feeling a little desperate to knock some sense into his buddy.

Matt just stared at him. After what seemed like decades, Toby started to feel like he had grown horns or something equally bizarre to have Matt so stunned. Finally, he spoke, “Ohhh… wow dude. You’re like… a total girl!” Matt said before bursting into laughter.

Taking a swig of his beer, Toby sat back down on the couch and let Matt get it out of his system. Let him laugh. Toby smiled and thought about the bouquet of Gerber daisies Brooke should be receiving any minute now. Yeah, let Matt have his laugh…

...because they are her favorites.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      I was in a lovey-dovey mood tonight, hope you don’t mind. It might be thanks to Sinatra belting one out on my computer. Or, more likely, it might have something to do with my amazing boyfriend and coming home to a clean house, washed dishes and a few other small repairs I’ve needed to get to but haven’t found time for. Man, he’s good. It would be a shame if his efforts went unappreciated so I began to think about how I could show him how great I thought he was (ok, ok I know… pretty sappy, but you’re the one still reading…). So, not having a whole lot of time, I left him little notes all over the house with rhymes like: “You are who I adore, thanks for sweeping the floor” on the broom and “You are the man of my wishes, thanks for doing the dishes” over the sink. Go ahead and say it, I’m adorable… Let’s just say I learned the hard way that you can’t just ‘sit’ on love, you have to be an active participant, even years into the relationship. I, like anyone, get lazy or take for granted that Andy knows I love and appreciate him, but I’m trying to kick that habit. It’s definitely worth it, I think. On a side note, all of the ‘little things’ Toby mentioned are just a few of the things my gem of a boyfriend does for me… he gets it.

No really... he does. 🙂

Love & Squirrels.

Day #278: Writing the Manuscript… Eventually

The Story:

Zzzzz….”

Caroline slowly put down her book and looked over to where her husband was snoring softly. “Is he seriously sleeping again?” She thought with mounting frustration. While falling asleep at 10:00pm on a Sunday evening was relatively typical behavior for most men Hank’s age, the fact that Hank was asleep was seriously irritating his wife. “He’s never going to finish…” she thought, her frustration blooming into a fiery ball of anger.

It had been nine months, two hundred and seventy-eight days, to be exact, since Hank had quit his job with Calorline’s support, to fulfill his lifelong desire to write his ‘manuscript’, as he was known to refer to it. If asked, Caroline would undoubtedly refer to it as the biggest mistake of their lives. The first month had gone well, they transformed the second bedroom into Hank’s writing ‘nook’, up at 8am, Hank would spend a minimum of six hours dedicatedly tapping out ideas and brainstorming, Caroline even set up a bulletin board to help him lay out his ideas. Things slowly deteriorated from there. Hank would get out of bed later and later. Six hours in the ‘nook’ became four and then two and then maybe an hour. He would write ten pages, 20 pages and then shred them claiming they didn’t meet his standards.

The 'nook'

Then the excuses started. He had to log more hours with his volunteer organization. Invitations to hang out with friends were always accepted, as were lunch invites, movie matinées. Soon runs to the grocery store, two hour walks with the dog, watching the NFL playoffs, crafting the perfect chocolate cake and reading blogs became immeasurably important. “After all, sweetie,” he would claim, “If I don’t live how will I have anything to write?”

After the excuses came the need to ‘switch his schedule’. Instead of writing during the day, Hank decided it would benefit his more night-owl tendencies to harness his energy for writing after the sun went down. Up no earlier than noon, he would putz around the house, ‘finding inspiration’ and then close himself off in his ‘nook’ around 8pm and write until about 4am or so. This lasted two nights.

Now, fast asleep in bed at 10:00pm, his laptop rising and falling precariously on his lap as his breathing grew deeper, Caroline could just kick herself for going along with this whole ‘writing business’. Better yet, she could kick him. Leaning over to do just that, she happened to glance at the backlit screen of his laptop and stopped short. There, in 12pt font, Hank’s cursor was blinking at the end of a short sentence, it was the dedication page of his yet-to-be-written ‘manuscript’. To the love of my life, a woman no writer could hope to capture even with an indefinite number of characters. I love you Caroline.  

“Well, he’s off to a good start,” Caroline smiled to herself and decided to give Hank a little more time to reach for his dream.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      I’m jealous of my boyfriend who is snoring softly next to me at this moment. After a full day of walking the pups in a this-feels-more-like-July-than-January kind of day (I think a high of 80 or roundabouts here in Florida) designing a promotional banner for the Wolfdog rescue I chip in with along with Andy and then going over to a friend’s house for some football, food, beers and probably the best chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten (I forgot Andy’s piece in the fridge, Jax!) summoning the juice to write tonight took a Herculean effort.  Do you know what it’s like to have a few drinks AND chocolate cake and not be able to take a little rest? Do you???  I just imagined what it might be like if I were under even more pressure to write. What is it like to really have to HAVE TO write every day? When everything is riding on it, when people are counting on you, when you are counting on you?  Makes me think (especially since writing a full-length novel is on my bucket list). Well, enough thinking (and writing) for tonight, time for sleepy.

Love & Squirrels.

Day #259: Left Out In the Cold

The Story:

It was over a month ago now, I remember the day well. It was the night I found that awesome sushi joint. There was a bit of a cold snap that week, I remember because I was wearing my favorite pink hoodie. That was the day it began, or it was supposed to. After a few phone calls we finally decided to meet. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t anxious. You said you knew how to help me. You said you had what I needed. I believed you.

Why doesn't anyone love me??? It's the crazy eyes, isn't it?

That was the first time you didn’t show up. It wouldn’t be the last. I waited patiently, but you never came, you didn’t even call to cancel. I was crestfallen. Why had this happened, I wondered? Unable to contain my curiosity, I called you a few days later. I needed answers, closure… something. And oh to my joy! You hadn’t blown me off at all! You were sick, had come down with something nasty. It was going around I said, enthusiastic to believe anything other than the possibility of being stood up. Oh, you didn’t have my right phone number, you called? Of course you did! How silly of me to think otherwise!

You took down my correct number and promised to call, just as soon as you were feeling better. “Next week sometime,” you said, “…we can talk about a time I can come over, ok?”

You never called.

I couldn’t accept it. I had to try again. I’m stubborn that way. So I called you. This time you sounded different, disconnected somehow. Not at all the helpful kind voice I was used to. It was like we were strangers. You said you’d try again, that you would come in a few days, sometime in the afternoon. I asked for more specifics and that upset you. “I’ll call when I’m on my way,” you said callously hanging up before I could argue.

What could I do but wait once again, and hope.

That day, a sense of foreboding loomed over my head like a seagull meticulously placing his aim. I left work early, wanting to prepare myself mentally for your arrival, and any resulting confrontation. I could have prepared all day and it wouldn’t have made a difference, you never came.

Unable to deal with what this last slight could possibly mean, I left town. I stayed away for days, but the anger and resentment you kindled in my gut would not be extinguished. The anger was a cold, bitter feeling, seeping into every crevice and chilled me to the bone. However I tried, I could not get warm. I couldn’t stand it anymore; I had to talk to you. I needed you. Dialing that all too familiar number I waited, holding my breath, for you to answer.

CLICK.

Staring with nothing short of complete confusion at my phone, I realized the worst… your number has been disconnected.

Redialing frantically, hoping it was some glitch or a faulty connection I waited for the phone to dial.

CLICK.

After three more attempts, I knew it was no glitch. You were gone. Just like that.

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The Not So Fantastic Reality:

The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:

ONE:      As someone who doesn’t do very well with the mundane tasks of being an adult, i.e. grocery shopping, setting (and keeping) a budget, scheduling maintenance, there is nothing that ticks me off more than when I go to the trouble to schedule an appointment and I get stood up. December 1st I had a scheduled appointment with Crum’s Climate Control, the people who installed my new AC unit last year to come and do a free maintenance inspection, provide me with my complimentary filter and fix whatever was causing the system to click on and off continuously. Well, they never showed. Not even a phone call. The following week I discovered that the entire fleet had come down with a nasty cold and they would have to call me back the following week to reschedule. Oh, and they had an old number, which explained why I never received a call. Ok, fine, I could understand that, things happen, whatever. Only, I never received a call to reschedule. When I finally called THEM back, I was directed to a clueless (and rude) guy who had no idea who I was, or what I wanted (I can’t see your notes in the account) but I was finally able to explain what it was I needed and we set a time for the beginning of the next week for someone to come out. Since he wouldn’t give me a specific time (after 12 but before 5 in the afternoon), I decided to go home early from work to wait for them… I was getting desperate. 4pm rolls around, nothing. I called and called and guess what? Their phone mailbox was full. What?!? How does that even happen? This is supposed to be a business? Well, I think I got my answer today. Calling again this afternoon, ready to lay someone out, I was instead immediately hung up on after dialing. The number was no longer in service. Awesome. Not only is tonight dipping down into the 20s and thanks to them my heat doesn’t work (I’m under currently in my thickest hoodie, flannel pjs and socks buried under my heaviest quilt) but it looks like the people who promised free service are now defunct. Sigh. Brrrr…..

This picture was too good not to post...

Love & Squirrels.