The previous owner of my townhome really liked nice things. And I am the last person to complain about that.
In the seven years he lived there, he added four outdoor fountains, installed some of the fanciest ceiling fans on the market, acquired the full Vivint home package (why would you do that to yourself?!) and had a full $3,000 surround sound system integrated through the whole house - which he passed on in its entirety to little, old me.
The seller mentioned to my realtor that he would leave the over-sized, living room armoire to me if I would like it. Even though its absolutely hideous, I’m never one to pass on any free furniture. So I said, “why not?”. Little did I know, he was also leaving me with everything inside the cabinet too.
This included a flat screen television, a sub-woofer, two speakers, a DVD player and a very expensive stereo system. I had hit the Best Buy jackpot!
But as I was transferring my television and these electronics over to my new IKEA TV console, I realized just why he left me all these freebies. He didn’t want to move them. And after I started the process of unplugging the cords and wires, I realized exactly why - and I didn’t blame him at all.
I was completely tangled in cords. This one connected, to that one - but oh, that one is broken, so I have to trash that - and this one is tangled and knotted around the surge protector, so I have to unplug everything, etc., etc. It took a solid thirty minutes to just get the stereo system out with its wires intact.
I can just imagine the previous owner’s delight when my realtor told him I had accepted the offer for the free goodies. I bet he reclined back in his office chair, clasped his hands and nodded as he grinned, “Yes… my plan worked..”
It was no easy feat trying to determine what I needed and what I didn’t and because of my complete lack of knowledge on anything more technologically advanced than my iPhone, I was in a bit of a pickle. So while I was still on my IKEA/margarita high, I just stuffed the remaining electronics haphazardly inside the console, shut the doors and enthusiastically crossed that task off of my three page to-do list.
But I kept thinking that this house had so much potential, with all of that fancy and expensive equipment running throughout the three floors, and to not take advantage of it - when all of the components were free - would just be downright stupid. Each bedroom has built-in speakers in the ceiling and you can pump in music/tv/movies throughout the entire house with just a few pushes of a button on the keypad in each of the rooms.
So since I was holding off on purchasing any large decor or rugs until my sofa was delivered in October (Surprise, its here tomorrow - another story), I decided to bite the bullet and hire some surround sound sorcerer to come work his magic on this swanky system that I had been so graciously re-gifted.
Here is where Tim* enters. Because I love Yelp so much (okay, and maybe I was hoping I could redeem myself with another review afterwards too), I searched for a service tech that wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg for a house call. Tim had glowing reviews - not only for his services and knowledge, but also for his friendly demeanor and professionalism. Sold.
So I called up Tim one afternoon and we scheduled to meet at my town home Monday after work. Now I was kind of surprised to hear the voice on the other end of the phone when Tim answered my call. He sounded like a down-home country bumpkin. He answered with a “howdy” and kept calling me “darlin’” and “sweetheart” on the phone - but not in a creepy way. He sounded to be in the later years of his life and just as sweet as he could be. I see where the Yelp reviews come from now.
When I met Tim, I thought Christmas had come early. Not only because he was able to completely set up my free surround sound system without a hitch, but also because he looked like good, ‘ol Kris Kringle.
I always knew Santa had to have a summer job.
When he got me all set up in under thirty minutes (since all he had to do was plug in some wires. And yes, I do feel stupid now), I had the sudden urge to hop in his lap and just tell him all I wanted for Christmas was for this service call to be free. But I contained myself and just paid him the reasonable fee that he charged.
We made light chit-chat while he was running my credit card and he asked me the usual polite questions: “Are you from Houston?”, “What line of work are you in?”, “Do you like living here so far?”… and on and on.
But this Santa-impostor was a little more chatty than I had originally assumed. Well after I had paid and been given my receipt, we had covered all topics from ACDC's greatest hits to the best sprinkler systems for his front yard. The man had no “off” button.
Just as I was edging him towards the front door, he stopped and looked at me and told me that I looked like “a woman of God”.
Me: “I, uh, yeah, well… thank you!”
Him: “I just see Jesus in your heart and it makes me happy”
Me: “Well yes, I guess He’s in there”
Him: “Jesus has gifted you with all of this (motioning to my home) through your jewelry design skills”
He didn’t really understand my job title, and I didn’t want to burst his bubble by telling him that:
1. I was mainly gifted this house through my parents
2. My jewelry design skills at the moment mainly include telling Korean factories that they need to add 3-4 more jump rings to a bracelet. But whatever.
So I thanked him for the compliment, but he wasn’t finished. He went on for another five minutes about he was a saved man and he was much happier now that Jesus lived in his heart too. Now, I love Jesus just as much as the next guy, but I really had to use the bathroom and I knew that the Big Man upstairs would probably understand if I cut this conversation short.
I finally got him out the door and made pleasant good-byes, thankful that he didn’t ask to get re-baptized in my courtyard fountains or ask to take Communion with my bottle of Chardonnay and some saltines upstairs in my kitchen.
So, thanks Santa Tim, for setting up my surround sound so quickly. I think Jesus would be proud of you.