If you’re not suffering in this mid-August heat wave, bless your heart. No seriously, even my air conditioning is suffering. On top of the heat, it’s so friggin’ humid, I can barely breathe, and I sweat like it’s my perimenopausal job. I mean like sweat constantly pouring down my back creating the loveliest of swamps between my buttocks. You’re welcome for that visual. I left the mid-Atlantic region and came North to get away from this crap, and apparently, I am due some wretched karma.
We made our trek back to being pseudo-Canadians this weekend, as the kids’ school started Monday. We left our blissful home with three window AC units running non-stop for the last week, to come to our vilely hot rental home that has the old-fashioned crank windows. And for the record, this weekend in the Northern realm of New England was like the 7th rung of Tartarus. Jean & I remember growing up down South, & remember the heavy, dead air that perhaps coined the phrase ‘the air is so thick you can cut it with a knife.” It’s not often you can see the air here in Northern New England, but this weekend it was that hot & humid.
I seriously understood this woman this weekend, except she had the pleasure of sitting next to an AC, so for me it really was like the Devil, himself, had come up and sat his asscrack on Northern New England:
Sunday night, my husband and I got in a fight for no other reason than it was 91,000 damned degrees in the house. He was trying to cool off with the fan on him and turned off the bedroom light while I was trying to unpack in the other room. I came into the dark room & wanted to shoot him for simply turning off the light. I smacked the wall as I switched the light on, & he barked at me, “What’s your problem?” I yelled back something stupid – I can’t even tell you what it was…I just needed to yell.
We both had a miserable night’s sleep, & Monday morning, I set out with the singular goal of finding relief from the 7th rung of Tartarus.
I live a good 45 minute drive from the closest Home Depot, & smart girl that I am, I call ahead to clarify that they indeed have portable AC units of high BTU. “Yes, we have them, but we’re low in stock.” An hour later, I arrive, & guess the fuckadoodle what? They don’t have them. Their idea of ‘low stock’ was a floor model with missing parts that looked like it had been the ball in the latest Olympic soccer game…& the BTU was half of what I had asked.
I take a deep sigh, and make it painfully clear that I called ahead, & was told there was stock. At least Matt & Marilyn were ridiculously helpful in searching & calling higher ups. They actually started to look sad for me towards the end. Matt searched & searched online for any store within 150 miles that had a large BTU. Guess what, everyone was seeking relief. Matt points behind him & says, “There’s the big box store behind us. I’d never send you there, but since we don’t have it…” I’m so fed up I want to slap my palms on the kitchen counter that is his desk & say, “Listen, pal, you’re a big box store, too, & we’re not serving French delicacies here. It’s a friggin’ AC unit.” Of course, I don’t do this because then I’d have to apologize to someone who’s attempted to help me & say, “The heat made me do it.”
At this point, I want to rip someone a new asshole, & contemplated a freakout complaint to the manager. If you’re reading this, you have been at this seething stage. Some of you are simply more kind in your thoughts. We’ve well established that I am the one who’s willing to say what everyone else is merely thinking.
Instead, I lumber out into the 6th rung of Tartarus, because at least there’s a breeze & the humidity seems to be dropping a point of two, & head to Lowes. I walk in & there are four people standing at the Customer Service Desk. Three are gossiping loudly – trust me, this wasn’t work talk, & the other guy looks over at me like I have 20 heads. At this point, I wanted to say, “Dude, you’re the one with black eyeliner and black nails, seriously?” I ask if they have portable AC units. He points. No words. Just points in some generalized direction. Apparently, you can be mute & work the Customer Service Desk now. I don’t even bother to ask for help. This can go nowhere good.
I walk away with my head flopped as far back as possible, muttering to the ceiling obscenities about 20-something-mute-emo-goth-freaks, & drag my feet towards the Seasonal aisle. Seemed logical given the general direction Mr. black eyeliner & black nails had pointed.
Two guys in this aisle are stacking lawn chairs. I stop & smile. It pains me to smile, but I do. They stop. They look at me. Then the jackasses go back to stacking lawn chairs.
Now, I fully acknowledge I own some of the communication breakdown here, but I am a woman standing still in a large hardware store, & I am looking at two employees & smiling. I’m not idly wandering the aisle. I’m standing rooted in my spot waiting for them. After two more chairs are stacked – you can’t make this shit up – one of them looks over his shoulder & says, “Can I help you?” in a tone that clearly suggest inconvenience. I glare at him & have to bite my tongue not to bellow, “Don’t let me inconvenience you while you stack your fuckin’ lawn chairs, you useless asshat.” He literally drags his feet towards me, tells me they don’t have a single one in stock, even though I’m staring at four models with several boxes beneath, & when I ask him to look for stores that might have it, the look he gave me was akin to me telling him I’d intentionally keyed his car. This became a serious thought in my mind at this point, but then I’d have to say to a cop, “The heat made me do it.” Chair Stacker tells me the closest store with a unit is a 3 hour drive away in a town I’ve never heard of. When I ask where the town is, I shit you not, his response was, “I dunno.”
Enter my new friend Liz at a hometown Sears. Kind, sweet, caring Liz wants to help me get the right model for my house for the best price. She watches video with me online about how the portable units are installed & opens User Manuals to see if they will work in a crank window. Liz even helped me look online at other sites, since the models we were looking at weren’t Sears’ models. In the end, we found the best deal on Amazon of the exact model Sears was selling for $150 more (and it wouldn’t arrive for 2 weeks). She approved of my Amazon purchase, & acknowledged I would be in cool bliss in less than 72 hours. Liz is my personal hero, & I will be calling the manager tomorrow to praise her Customer Service. I believe she is single-handedly the reason no one died later in my day.
It’s now dipped into the 5th rung of Tartarus upon my exit, as the humidity has continued to drop a bit more. I still needed groceries, so I stop at the local co-op. As I’m getting out of the car, a gal slams her car door shut, & sharply (and somewhat loudly) says into her phone, “You better fuckin’ appreciate everything I do.” Bahahaha. I notice several older men & women standing agape in the parking lot as I turn around to see who is speaking something akin to my thoughts. I actually bust out laughing as she walks by me, & I say, “I feel ya today, sista’.” That got a genuine smile from her.
The co-op I go to is very expensive, like most, but I follow the Dirty Dozen, Clean 15 rule (there are slight variations to this list, depending on publisher), & buy a lot of organic produce, which means cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching at the register. Having said this, I went to the restroom before checking out & had to laugh at what was looking back at me in the mirror – I must have swiped my hands over my face so many times prior to this moment without realizing it because my hair was sticking out every which way from my ponytail and my eye makeup was smeared. Not to mention I had red-rimmed dry eyes from lack of sleep. I looked a little strung out, but I just wanted to go home. The cashier gave me the once over with an ever-so-slight eyebrow raise & smiled nicely. As he was ringing everything up, he was watching me watch the screen. I noticed nothing was coming up as organic; I thought maybe the system recognized it & just processed the correct price – until he had to look at the small sticker on an item & it came up on the screen labeled organic. I opened my mouth to say something – he looked at the screen, looked at me, & actually winked. I stood there with my mouth slightly open. I wanted to correct him, but it was like some scene in some movie… he just started to whistle.
I wanted to cry. I didn’t want to cut anyone short of any money, but I was so flippin’ fried I didn’t have it in me to correct his gesture. And trust me… my sale was well over $200 for 3 bags of groceries -no one really suffered. I don’t know if he felt sorry for me because I looked like a strung out nut or what his intentions were, but he simply grinned when he saw my eyes well with tears. Besides, to correct everything, he would have had to void out the entire sale & start over. And then… yeah, I’d have been talking about the heat made me do it.