You're probably wondering what happened to me. Or maybe you didn't even notice I was absent from Mimi+Meg. And if that's the case, color me offended.
Once again, my full time job and freelance projects are getting in the way of sharing with the world more of my freakish nightmares and fiascoes stemming from owning a home. There have been plenty of both, but every time I find the time to write, my fingers feign carpal tunnel and I just have a glass of Pinot Grigio instead.
But yesterday was the final straw - and I was out of wine - and I decided that the world needed to know of the giant, miserable, no-good, headache that the homeowner gods cast upon me. Maybe it was my time? Like Mandy Moore's death in A Walk to Remember. You know its coming, but when? And how dramatic? Unfortunately it was too soon and too painfully theatrical.
To start, I had the worst sinus and ear infections of my entire life a few weeks ago. It was brutal and I thought I was done for. It was also the same weekend as the Memorial Day flooding in Houston, so apocalyptic delusions weren't that far-fetched. As I was lying on my new kitchen runner, choking on my twentieth cough drop of the day, contemplating afterlife and who I could gift my navy velvet sofa to in my will, I was thinking, "how can anyone feel this awful while laying on something so beautiful?". Life is cruel. But while my head was unusually close to the base of my refrigerator for the first time in recent memory, I heard a faint mechanical whirring. Well, it probably wasn't that faint if I was able to hear it through my painfully clogged ears. Regardless, the sound wasn't a promising one.
My fridge was definitely on the fritz. Again. This isn't the first time the machine has decided to take lengthy breaks while cooling my food and keeping my ice above melting. I had a total of about six different service professionals visit my home to see the Little Fridge That Couldn't. I felt like I was hosting a circus, or at least a freak sideshow. "Come up, come right up! See for yourself the appliance that can't keep a seal and melts frozen food like a microwave!" Except, instead of me charging them to see the wonder-less wonder, I was having to pay for it. Again, life is cruel. And weird.
But after the last serviceman looked at my refrigerator, puzzled, scratching his head and offering a very pricey part replacement, citing that it was the "only solution", I decided enough was enough. The fridge must go. I hadn't had ice for four months and I had resorted to only keeping a handle of Tito's Vodka in the freezer in the off-chance it decided to throw in the towel while I was out of town for a weekend. I'd rather come home to warm vodka than a sour-smelling Lean Cuisine.
But as it turns out, buying refrigerators (or appliances in general) just really aren't as fun as buying blue, velvet sofas or funky area rugs. But lucky for you, the experience is just as exciting.
I purchased the fridge through a company that will never be named on the internet. The whole experience was an unfortunate situation and the ball was dropped on numerous fronts. They're making it right, so there's no need to smear their name across the interwebs. But nevertheless, its a juicy story filled with tears (just mine, at the moment) so I feel like you may enjoy.
First, I purchased a brand new Whirlpool fridge from this supplier. It was glorious and shiny and had that new plastic smell. They told me to expect delivery on July 1st. Excellent. I would be ready for that beauty of a machine to start cooling my Pinot very shortly. But on the morning of June 30th, I received a call from a very angry delivery team wanting to know the gate code for my unit complex and why I wasn't home to receive the appliance. Well... because you're twenty-four hours early? That response didn't go over so well.
But alas, they were already there and I was ready to be able to safely store my food so I left work (profusely apologizing to my very confused boss) and headed to meet the delivery team that was apparently not aware that we were still in the month of June. Close guys, but not quite.
As the three delivery men clamored out of their big box truck like a clown car (why so many circus references in this blog today?) and they gazed up at my three story town home, I could tell that they were not forewarned of a second-floor kitchen. To be fair, I had warned the sales team of the tight stairwell when I purchased the appliance. But apparently there are some misfires in communication at the warehouse (mainly regarding the current date), so I wasn't surprised.
What did surprise me was what came out of the first delivery guy's mouth:
Delivery 1: Oh... well, uh, you see, we forgot a dolly. We're going to have to go back to the warehouse and get one.
Me: You.... didn't bring a dolly.... to deliver a fridge?
Me: How did you deliver the last fridge this morning?
1: <Blank Stare>
THIS should have been a giant red flag. I should have had visions of 'DANGER' signs and heard voices screaming 'DON'T DO IT. CHILLED WHITE WINE ISN'T WORTH IT TODAY'. But I was desperate for a working appliance and I just shrugged and showed the other two delivery men inside to disassemble my old appliance while lucky #1 trucked his way back to the warehouse to get the most basic piece of moving equipment known to man.
This is when #2 dropped another bomb on me:
Delivery 2: We didn't know we were taking the old fridge too
Me: Well, I told the sales team. It's right here on my receipt. See? (holding up receipt)
2: Can we just push it off your balcony?
I'm sure you're smacking your head against your computer wondering how I've gotten this far in life while being this stupid. And in hindsight, I should have just asked them all to leave when they didn't remember to bring a DOLLY. But what can you do now except live vicariously through my pain, yes?
Luckily #1 didn't get too lost on the five minute drive back to the warehouse and returned before brilliant #2 could suggest smashing my fridge off my second story balcony again.
Me: Great! You're back! Where's the dolly?
1: In the truck
Me: ..... I thought you were going to use it to get the old fridge out?
1: Oh yeah. I'll go get it!
THREE MINUTES PASS
1: It's too wide. It won't fit in your stairwell.
Again, another opportune moment to kick out all three deliverers and call it a day. But dammit, I want to have more than just vodka in my freezer! They slide the old, broken appliance over to the stairwell (doors, hinges and all!) and begin to push it down my stairs.
Me: WHAT ARE YOU DOING? YOU'RE RUINING MY HARDWOOD FLOORS!
1, 2 & 3: oops. (simultaneously)
Unfortunately, I hadn't been able to rush over quickly enough after I heard the first deafening bang of a three hundred pound appliance bouncing down my stair treads. I stopped them when they got to the third one. Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest decided that without a dolly, shoving their body weight against my old refrigerator was the best solution for getting the appliance down to the ground level and back into their truck.
I told them that if they wanted to get this job done today, they would have to carry both appliances and they could not push anything down my stairs. They agreed, although I could tell that I was now labeled "high maintenance" in their book.
They managed to get to the stair landing after much effort, several choice curse words and extensive complaining. But it was at that moment that they realized that the fridge would only fit the tight corner without the added width of the doors and hinges. So back up the stairs they go with my sad, sad refrigerator. This time, it stopped in my dining room and sat for thirty minutes while they found the right drill bit to disassemble the doors. Again, cue curse words and rampant complaining.
Finally, the doors and hinges are removed and I watched in agony for the next twenty minutes as the men mutilate what is left of my beautiful pine hardwood floors by getting it back down to the stair landing. It makes the turn with some effort but not without their hefty, sweating bodies sliding across the entirety of my light-blue walls. Down another eight steps they go, with the same gusto and anger as before. But sadly, not without the dents, gashes and scuffs to my wood floors and drywall.
Repeat the above steps and add an additional hour for my new Whirlpool and you'll understand why I now consider my town home a battle ground. It is riddled with discolored paint, chipped and damaged drywall, and my hardwood floors are beyond patch work.
I sat there in my dining room, assessing the damage as tears started to well up. It would have been a totally dramatic moment in a Lifetime movie or a poorly produced MTV documentary. True Life: I Attract Home Disasters. But sadly, I was alone and no one was there to capture my anguish on film. I decided to call the sales person at the supply company to let them know of the damage and rudeness of the D-Team and to inform him that they will have some repairs to pay for. I think the brushed me off as "high maintenance" as well until he got a good look for himself the next morning. As he toured my home and assessed the injuries, he claimed that it was some of the worst delivery-related damage he has ever seen. Which oddly made me slightly proud. How's that for "high maintenance"?
On the day of my actual, scheduled delivery, I received the lovely news that my floors were beyond basic repair and the supplier was going to have to pay for my entire wood floors to be re-sanded and stained - on their dime.
I'm sure you're thinking, "Awesome! New hardwood floors! What's there to complain about?!". Unfortunately, it entails receiving several bids from subcontractors for the work and what I can only image will be months of planning and preparation for my entire second level and stairwell to be refinished. I also have the joy of moving all of my furniture, appliances, and my body out of my town home for an undisclosed amount of time while the work is completed and the stain sets.
So this is where I stand today - literally on damaged hardwood floors with cold food and a hot temper. All for the sake of chilled Pinot Grigio and ice in my Diet Cokes.