Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Whine, Whine, Whine

I want our contractor’s job. He shows up around 10:30; drops off some “things” (I have no idea what is in the bags he carries) and goes out to get his morning Startbuck’s fix. He comes back around, say, 11:30. Then he sets up the radio and lights and other important things. He gets to work around noon, which is dangerously close to lunch time, so another work stoppage for food is just around the corner. He takes smoke breaks and lots of time-outs to “talk with the super” about such things as the location of the juncture box and power issues.

The contractor is a perfectly nice, harmless and polite man. I have nothing against him per se. I am just ready for him to be done.

This whole endeavor was to take about two weeks, tops. The wall itself was to take a mere two day, tops. We are on Day 9. And the wall still isn’t quite done. I STILL say my nephew could finish this wall in a few hours, and he is only 4.

Plus, I need to leave the apartment when he is here. This weather certainly isn’t making this easy on me. Yesterday I went to New jersey to order the door for the room. I stopped at my brother’s house to eat lunch and nap on his couch. But my niece keep saying “Up, Jen-Jen,” in her attempt to keep me paying attention to her. But she would punctuate this with a kiss, so how can I resist her? But I am exhausted. Exhausted.

So not only is our home turned upside down, the contractor managed to blow the electric, and then fix it, though he doesn’t know how he fixed it. I was his apprentice that day because he needed someone to hold flashlights pointed to the ceiling as he ripped it apart looking for junctures, and the power magically turned back on. I’m not kidding. It just came back on. After three days. The hall light is still not working though, but I am happy to sacrifice a little light there in the name of progress. He will get to that, he says, soon.

And in the process of fixing this, he blew up our cable modem. That required a trip down to the cable office in frigid weather to swap out the modem for a new one. And then the wireless router had to be reconfigured. Thank goodness Nicole can do all of that stuff, because I brought cable modem box home, opened it up, and promptly burst into tears. Alas, it was but a modem and a power cord, and I consider myself somewhat savvy about these things, but it still confused me. There are routers and phone systems and modems and cables and wires and more wires. I have Mac and Nicole has PC. There is just too much going on electronically in this apartment for me to understand.

It is 9:40 now and no contractor in sight. Funny thing is, every day he tells me “I’ll be here by 9 tomorrow.” Ha.

Anyway, I was internet-less for a few days, power-less for a few days and insane for a few days. Change that last sentence to the present continual tense.

Last night, we went to see Patty Griffin in concert. I won tickets to her record release party. It was in a really cool space down on the cusp of the Lower East Side. That was a nice break from the apartment. And it seemed to wake up both babies, who kicked me randomly through the show. I wonder if that means they can hear very loud noises. Tonight, I have tickets to my favorite opera of all time. Nicole had to go to San Francisco for work, so she is missing it. My friend Jen is taking her place, so it will still be a nice night for me, away from the disaster that is my home, and luckily the Met is only a ten-minute walk from my apartment. It is too cold to go any further.

Nicole is gone until Saturday afternoon, but I am going away for the night with some friends, so I won’t see her until Sunday. I hate when she has to travel for work. I have an unreasonable reaction to it. I am one of those people who doesn’t need a lot of away-time from my significant other. I see absolutely no need for spaces in our togetherness. I know this may seem unhealthy, but I consider it a good sign that I like spending all of my waking hours with her. Really. After all of these years, still, I want her around me all of the time. So I am in this situation now where Nicole is gone and my home is a disaster: Two things that on their own really up-end me. Add one more element and it would make the Perfect Storm for me.

I know there are bigger issues in the world and that I am being a whiny pain (I mean, really. The cysts are gone and I have two healthy babies), but something about this process really throws me. I think it harkens back to childhood home stability issues. I am very much a needer of stability. I don’t even want to move from NYC until we find the perfect home, because I only want one other home for the rest of my life, no moving from place to place. One partner; one home; lots of routines: I know this is torture for some people but for me it is the definition of happiness and stability.

And now, for something lighter, which made me smile. Here’s a snippet of my conversation with my four year-old-nephew:

Leif: Jen-Jen’s babies are so big [pointing to my chest]
Me; No, Leif, babies are down here [directing him to my stomach]
Leif: Babies are almost here!
Me: Not quite. But they will be here when the summers comes.
Leif: But where is the babies’ door? I don’t see the door?
Me: Mina? [deflecting to my SIL]
Mina: Oh, Jen-Jen will have a door probably where Mommy had a door. [she lifts her shirt to show Leif where her C-section was.]

The above picture is of my niece Skye, the one who won’t let me sleep.

And it is 10 and no contractor.


Calliope said...

cripes! that is a LOT of stuff do deal with all at once.
I'm dying to know more about the concert - she has a new album coming out, right?

Also- about the routine stuff - ditto. I hate hate hate moving around and not having order.

I hope the work is done soon & some calm can find you again.

Carey said...

We were wondering where you had gone!! Glad to know it was just technical computer/electrical issues.

Contractors do have a sweet job... when we had our screened patio built, our contractor said he likes to start early at 8am. One day he showed up at 2pm!!! Nice. And guess who ended up helping him?? ME. I practically built the damn thing myself!! The guy was so lazy!! He was always making coffee runs. I think he was putting booze in his coffee too... but that's another story.

K J and the kids said...

I hope you pay this contractor at the end and not in 2 installments.
Hope he gets it done soon.

I had to laugh about not wanting to spend time apart. When I was pregnant with my daughter I was REALLY clingy. I wanted to be in whatever room my wife was in, if she got up I asked her where she was going. I didn't just sit by her when she watched TV, I wanted to sit in her lap. I didn't care if it was a show I didn't like, it was better to be right with her.
I used to whine and say...."I miss my neighbor...or wonchu be my neighbor (famous line from Mr. Rogers) she luckily took it in stride and we both laughed about it.
I think it has something to do with the pregnancy hormones....I've heard a lot of women say that they were clingy/needy when they were pregnant.
I, like you, have always enjoyed my wifes company and we are working on 10 years.

Dee said...

I'm so on board with you and not wanting to spend time apart. After 10 years we're the same way. I like an afternoon away at the mall, or lunch with friends. But not nights and days.

What a NIGHTMARE in simply having a wall built. Give me a break! That should be a simple task.

What a cute story about the babies door! LOL.