By Mir
June 22, 2006

Although the forecast is calling for heavy rain (oh! something new! we haven’t had THAT in a while!) through the weekend, I can pretty much guarantee you that it won’t be raining at all. Any time in the near future. Or possibly ever. Nope. Gonna be nothing but clear skies from here on out.

How can I be so sure?

Why, my sump pump has been installed, that’s why! Completely obliterating any chance of further rain!

No need to thank me. Using Murphy’s Law to redistribute meteorological events is just another service which I offer.

But let’s back up, shall we? Yes, let’s.

My contractor (he of the Jesus discount), who shall henceforth be known as Christian, showed up right on time this morning. Following close on his heels was his coworker.

The coworker stepped out from behind Christian and I took one look at him and had a hot flash. Only, it wasn’t a hot flash, I realized–it was just an immediate, visceral reaction to being in the presence of testosterone-oozing muscles. Oh. My. All of this was processed in a moment, and in the next moment, the horrible realization that this delicious, hunky, pheremone-leaking man was clearly little more than a toddler, if we’re talking about relative ages. I also noticed he had the remnants of what looked to be an impressive shiner, including a vertical stripe of burst blood vessels just slightly off-center in his right eye.

Introductions were made and hands were shaken while on the inside I berated myself for having impure thoughts about someone who might, in fact, be young enough that I could be his mother. GOD. I have never felt so OLD. I was so busy tussling with my weak-knee-ed-ness vs. my moral uprightness that I COMPLETELY missed his name, on introduction. No matter. I figured it out later, but we shall call him Oscar. (As in De La Hoya. As in, a body just like his. Is it hot in here?)

Christian and Oscar unloaded their tools into the basement, because it looked like rain and they needed to take their truck to Home Despot for the remaining supplies. (For the record: Didn’t rain.) They checked out the pump I bought, measured a few things, and headed out again.

While they were gone, I checked my hair. (Huh. Still short!) I fluffed it a little, feeling like a complete jackass. The kids became engrossed in a game and I tried to do some work.

The men returned, asked me a couple of questions, and set to work. I waited until they called for me, then went down to the basement to admire the hole in the floor. The water level was just a couple of inches below the concrete. I was alarmed (was the water going to come up further? hurry up and put the pump in!) but they assured me that everything was going just as planned. And then Oscar pointed out to Christian that they’d forgotten something they needed, and they’d have to go back to HD.

“What? Wait, you can’t leave!” I stood over the hole in the floor, eyeing the bilge water. “What do I do if the water comes up?”

Oscar laughed at me, though not unkindly. “I think it’ll be fine. Really. We’ll be quick, okay?” I responded with something witty, in my head, but out loud managed something that sounded like “Mmmphh uhhhkay.” They left to pick up the rest of the materials while I tried to collect my dignity and go back upstairs.

The children were playing upstairs, by now, and I checked the clock. I could get in a little bit more work before stopping to make them lunch. I was making good progress when I realized that the kids were awfully quiet. Scary quiet. Doing something they shouldn’t quiet.

It’s really too bad that my tingly mommy-sense doesn’t kick in just a wee bit sooner, sometimes.

It turned out that my darling offspring had decided to sharpen some crayons. How that progressed to turning all of the crayons into a pile of shavings and then ATTEMPTING TO WASH THE PILE OF SHAVINGS DOWN THE BATHROOM SINK, I cannot tell you. I can, however, tell you that a drain full of crayon shavings is not my idea of a good time.

So I spent some quality time shooting flames out of my eyes (which came in handy while trying to clear the drain) and then made the kids some lunch instead of killing them.

I kept going back down to the basement to check the water level. It did seem to be rising. I wondered where the guys were.

Finally, they returned, and I worked until they called for me again. This time, they wanted to show me something about how the drywell was plumbed, and I heard “blah blah blah blah” and tried to chime in at the appropriate time with “Well, what do you think we should do?” and then pretended to consider Christian’s suggestion very carefully before saying “Okay, that sounds good.” I tried not to look directly at Oscar. His cell phone rang and he took it outside, while Christian continued showing me the finer points of how they were configuring the pump setup.

Monkey came to the top of the stairs and yelled down, asking how to spell something for a “report” he was working on. I gave him the spelling and Christian commented on what a great little guy Monkey is. I thanked him, then couldn’t resist the opening.

“Yeah, yours too. I mean, Oscar’s about six, right?” I giggled as he cracked up. “Okay, let me guess. He’s, what? About twenty?”

“Yep,” Christian fixed me with an approving look. “Very good. Most people assume he’s older, you know. He’s really good at this stuff, and he’s a very level-headed guy. Really responsible for his age, great worker.”

“Well, he seems great. At his job, I mean. But yeah, he’s clearly a FETUS. Cute and all, but–” Oh. My. God. I just told my contractor I think his assistant is cute. What the hell is the matter with me? “Ummmmm. Young. That’s all,” I finished lamely.

“I love working with him,” Christian continued, seemingly oblivious to my foot-in-mouth disease. “Really on the ball.”

“That’s good,” I said. “You guys certainly seem to be getting the pump in pretty quickly.”

Oscar came storming down the bulkhead stairs.

“DUDE.” He flung his cell phone down on top of one of the tool boxes, while facing Christian and barely noticing me. “That was my neighbor. She cleaned me OUT. She came back to the apartment and took EVERYTHING. He said the place is empty. She took the TV, the washer and dryer, my computer, my COMFORTER. Who takes a comforter??” I stood there, frozen, having no idea how to extricate myself gracefully. Oscar turned to me. “My ex-girlfriend is CRAZY. She left a couple of weeks ago and I KNEW this was going to happen. I knew.”

“Is her name on the lease?” Christian was all business, all solutionary. “If her name isn’t on the lease, dude, call the police. File a report.”

“Nah, her name’s on the lease. They won’t do anything. She took the comforter and the pillows. And the plasma TV. Her mother put her up to this, I know it. Christian, I’ll be right back, okay?” Christian nodded, and Oscar grabbed his phone again and hopped up the stairs and back outside.

Christian and I stood there a minute, looking after him.

“Poor guy,” I said. “That really sucks.”

“Yeah, he wasn’t kidding, his ex is kinda insane. I can’t say I’m surprised. You know, his parents go to my church, and I’ve been trying to get him to come, too….” I couldn’t help it. I started laughing. He raised an eyebrow at me.

“Well, you should be all set, now. Guy just lost everything. ‘Job! Time to get to church!'” We laughed together.

“He’s been boxing,” Christian added, “which’s been great for him, you know? I mean, he makes good money for it, but it’s a whole ‘nother thing for him to think about, that’s for sure.”

“Is that what happened…?” I gestured to my eye, and Christian nodded. Boxing. Of course. That explained the shiner, and the body chiselled out of marble.

We moved on to discussing how to run the dehumidifier directly into the sump pit, and by the time Oscar came back down to the basement, we were wrestling with the valves on the dehumidifier and trying to attach the tubing. Oscar strode over to where I was craning to see up into the underside of the unit and picked it up and held it at an angle so that I could attach the hose. He was standing directly over me and smelled way better than any other contractor I’ve ever met. I tried to attach the hose with my ten thumbs and scrambled out from under his gaze as soon as possible.

The pump works great. The dehumidifier drains directly into the pit, and can be left to run now without having to check the bucket four times a day. It all looked fine to me. Christian started cleaning up, and explained that they’d need to come back tomorrow morning to fit a lid over the pit.

“Does it NEED a lid?” I actually rather enjoyed watching the pump suck the water out of the bucket every few minutes, truthfully.

“You don’t want your kids falling into it or anything,” Christian pointed out.

“Hmmm. That’s a tough call, Christian. Today, I might not mind them falling in.” Both men peered at me and I gave them the Cliff Notes version of the crayons in the bathroom sink. They laughed. Oscar suggested having the lid fitted, but then just taking it off for child-dunking as needed. Ha!

The entire afternoon had passed and the guys reloaded their truck and got ready to leave. I thanked Christian and wrote him a check. I bid Oscar good luck with getting his stuff back; he just sort of chuckled and shook his head. Then he shook my hand again, before they left. It’s very hard to act casual when your hand is on fire and you feel a deep desire to BLEACH YOUR BRAIN. But I think I pulled it off.

Tomorrow morning they’re coming back to fit the lid. After that, I can return to my regularly scheduled urges-free existence. And enjoy the upcoming drought, courtesy of my new sump pump.


  1. Susan

    I’m taking Charlie to a birthday party at a petting zoo on Saturday–I swear to god if it rains here I am coming after you and your sump pump.

    That is all.

  2. Karen Rani

    I’d send you a shower head (heh, I said head) that only spouts cold water, but you’ve had your fair share of the water. Instead perhaps a vibrator? KIDDING.

  3. Lisa

    20 is perfectly legal. Wear something tomorrow morning that is equal parts Mom + Slutty.

    Dude obviously is in need of a comforter…and comfort.

  4. ben

    Greet him at the door with nothing on but a comforter… and holding a plasma television.

    no man (or boy) could resist that.

  5. Carolie

    Thank you. I needed the laughter you always seem to provide! And younger = more stamina and more malleable. My husband is considerably younger than I am, and I LIKE it that way!

  6. Patricia

    Sweetie, just because you were in high school when he was born, doesn’t mean he’s completely off limits. Now I wouldn’t take him to raise or anything — but a fling? hello, everyone needs a rebound every once in awhile.
    Perhaps you could offer a few items from the gift closet to hold him over until he gets a comforter again?

  7. Cele

    My hot flashes never look like that.

    And Ben gets my spit take award of the night…sooooo typical male

  8. Laura

    Last year (when I was 44) I went to our usual Tuesday-night bar with a friend. Bartender flirted with us, as he always did. “He like you, you know,” said friend. “Oh, don’t be silly,” says me. “He’s a bartender. Flirting is good for tips. He’s not interested. Besides, he’s way too young.”

    I can be wrong, you know. He suggested he and I go out after!! “Um, how old are you?” I need to know.

    “How old do you think?” Yeah, right. A coy bartender.

    “Thirty-two?” Which was TOO YOUNG.

    “Reverse the numbers.”

    My friend (she’s blond) is trying to figure out what he means, and I’m saying,


    My daughter was 19 at the time.

    Ha! This mama’s still got it.

  9. Kestralyn

    Welcome to the fun/agony of working on a university campus — especially during the summer! Wrestling camp is my personal downfall ;-)

  10. Elleoz

    I agree with the above posters. Who cares if he’s 20!?! Go for it mama! No one says he has to be the daddy baby or anything. Get you some!

    I’d definately dress it up a little and offer some refinements to “help him out” in his situation if you could. If nothing else, you are helping the guy out.

    I can sympathize with you Kestralyn, I work for a Police Department. Lots of yummy men in uniform running around on a daily basis.

  11. Bob

    You aren’t ancient and he isn’t a baby. GO FOR IT!!!!!

    listen to the voice of experience.

    (this was a compensated endorsement on behalf of the committee for young adonis’ in search of their athena).

  12. Lesley

    I look forward to reading your blog every morning. Never fails to make me laugh.

  13. diane

    Ha! I’m with everyone. My fella is 5 years younger than me & great! So, 5×2 = lots of fun for Mir. :-)

  14. chris

    ben’s comment killed me.

  15. dad

    You’ll feel normal if you go upstairs and take a cold shower.

    Now that you have ensured that it will never rain in New England again you may have to prepare to be blamed for the coming drought. Can locusts and pestilence be far behind?

  16. Angela

    Girl!!!! Have a GOOD time, even if it means just looking and then taking a long shower in which you give your fruitful imagination a whirl. However, if you get a chance to give the real thing a whirl, pull out the Mrs. Robinson pumps and GO FOR IT!!!!!

  17. InterstellarLass

    Yeah, he’s street legal. Go for it. I mean, he needs somewhere to sleep after all.

  18. Jenn2

    Yowzers. Ya know, the last time I had that reaction to a man, he was my mechanic. I married him. Just sayin’.

  19. Randi

    Nothing like posting about a hot guy you’d like to jump on and having your dad comment on it.


  20. Erica

    This is too funny… I just had a similar experience being hit on by a boy (it actually caused me to Blog! and that takes some doing!). Big differences: he’s not legal and I’m not single. So you go, Mir!

  21. Brenda

    Mir, Oscar is in great need of a sane rebound. You would be perfect.

    Go for it! Jump him! Use him! Show him how a great a sane, slightly older woman is; so much better than the insane child freak he was living with.

    Oops. Sorry. Forgot you are a good Christian girl.

    Never mind.

  22. Dangerous

    This post totally makes me want to break something at the house just to see if a hot repair-man shows up. Sadly, history in this arena indicates that you won the “hot-repair-man lottery” (seeing as your odds of winning are 1 in 4,325,657.79) and stole him from the rest of us. Thanks alot!

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