Despite what this post might suggest, I’m not high-maintenance. I just have severe OCD and like my routine, not to mention a house that functions as it should and remains rather clean.
With that said, any disruption to my basic necessities — water, food, Internet, baseball, power, mostly food again — are classified as mini-catastrophes in my world, a world where I’m not proficient in plumbing or electrical work where hummus flows freely like water.
So when I walked into the kitchen the other night and noticed my previously functional faucet releasing a small but steady stream of water, I started to lose my crap.
After taking a deep breath, I called an old handyman friend of my uncle that sometimes helps me with things and found out he could stop by the next day. I knew this was good, but I also knew this meant tons of more stress for my dysfunctional mind.
If I don’t have a sink, how can I make my tea? Use my steamer? Would he take so long that my normal dinner routine would be shattered? And what about my semi-clean floors? How am I supposed to survive?!?
Part of my frustration with these things comes from not being able to fix them myself, but 99.9 percent of my frustration comes from the series of events that follow after someone comes over to fix them.*
*Yes, I am most appreciative, but I am also OCD with no patience for putzing or lack of respect for the Lysol.
So without further putzing, let’s take a look at how this went (all times are approximate, as I’m still recovering from the trauma.)
9 pm—Enter kitchen and notice sink is running. Push on all the handles and scream at it to stop.
9:01—Express puzzlement over said dripping to inanimate objects within earshot and then try to will it to stop streaming down.
9:05—Call old handyman guy and learn a) he really wants to engage in a “to make a short story long” type of discussion and b) he can come by the next afternoon around 3.
9:25—Call mom and ask her to meet him at my house until I can get home from work.
9:26—Ignore problem for the rest of the night.
5:30 am—Enter kitchen and notice sink is still running. Push on all the handles and scream at it to stop.
5:31—Express puzzlement over said dripping to inanimate objects within earshot and then try to will it to stop streaming down.
5:35—Leave for work and stress about sink.
4 pm—Arrive home, find mom in my garden and give her a 6-pack as a thank you.
4:05—Full of dread, enter the house and notice he didn’t heed the “Please take shoes off. Thanks!” post-it note I so carefully placed on the door. And that he moved the blanket I had down over the kitchen rug. And that he was using my favorite coffee cup and dish towel to catch the dripping water OH MY GOD!
4:05:10—Remind myself he’s helping me out. Deep breaths are taken and possibly exhaled as a loud sigh—this part is sketchy.
4:10—Make small talk and pretend to care what plumbing parts are called while discreetly moving the blanket over the rug and his tools onto paper towel.
4:15—Learn he’ll be done in about half an hour and decide I’m pretty much a revolutionary for my survival skills in times of such stress.
4:16 to 4:45—Distract myself in the form of preparing soon-to-be used cleaning products and plan how I can clean and get dinner ready on OCD time.
4:46—He’s still putzing. Start freaking out and immediately change my mind on revolutionary status.
4:55—While searching for Xanax salt lick, I’m informed it’s fixed. Pleasantries and payment are exchanged, as is the information that his wife read my first book after my uncle gave him a copy.
4:56—Feelings of annoyance wane as I gently lead him outside my house.
5:00—Begin manic Lysol/Swiffer sweeps of the counters and floors while prepping dinner at the same time, once again applauding my survival skills.
5:05—Enter bathroom. Notice the toilet seat is up, meaning his dirty shoes and everything attached to them paraded throughout my house and used my toilet.
5:06—Manic feelings return. Cleaning commences.
5:15—Smoke detector goes off, signaling that dinner is done.
5:20—Revolutionary status restored, but my sanity? Still MIA.
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