Well, that didn’t take long

By Mir
July 15, 2008

I tried. I really, really, really, really (with extra reallys!) tried to stay cheerful yesterday, I tried to take the annoyances as they came and tell myself that Hey! Coming back from a trip is hard! Keep expectations low! Everything will be perfectly fine!

But by the end of the day I just wasn’t feeling all that fine, you know? I was feeling rather sucky, in fact, and I was tired of trying to pretend that I wasn’t. I had a good cry and went to bed. (In my OWN DAMN BED. I may have whispered sweet nothings to my pillow before drifting off.)

We went away. We had a lovely trip. We saw lots of friends and family and enjoyed the wedding and ate all manner of delicious foods and encountered minimal travel difficulties (you know, if you don’t count my husband’s near eye explosion from the outbound leg) and it was all perfectly lovely. Until we got back.

Upon our arrival back in Atlanta, we foolishly tried to use one of the parking ticket machines to pay for our parking before going to the lot to retrieve our car. The machine sucked the card in and then decided it was out of order. We pressed the call button; after about twenty rings someone picked up and said she’d send someone “right over.” We waited and waited and waited and pressed the call button again, and blah blah blah blah, geez, I’m boring MYSELF with this story, but suffice it to say that EVENTUALLY the guy came and got our ticket and took our money and let us go. But that was annoying.

On the drive home from the airport our car was almost hit. TWICE. Now we all know I’m a bit prone to exaggeration (no, really?), but I have to tell you that amongst Otto’s many very fine qualities is the fact that 1) he is the best driver I know (handy for the racing stuff he does) and 2) he is not prone to road rage. I guess technically that’s two facts. Whatever. ANYWAY. Twice on the way home he had to swerve and stand on the brakes to prevent someone who wasn’t paying any attention from merging lanes via merging into our car. When I’ve just been on a ride with Otto where he’s laid on the horn twice, I’m a LITTLE NERVOUS, is all.

We arrived home to our new! wood! floors! finally! And there was much rejoicing! But only briefly. Because the wood is gorgeous. And the contractor has done quite a lot of work for us and seems like a great, conscientious guy. But the installation of THIS floor? Craptastic. There are gaps. Some of the gaps have gaps. There are missed cuts. There are uneven spots. I am not altogether unconvinced that this floor was installed by blind woodchucks. I VERY VERY VERY RARELY spend the kind of money something like a hardwood floor costs, and CALL ME CRAZY, but when I DO spend that money, I want it done right. We are waiting for the contractor to come over today and have a look but the reality is that the floor is in and the wood has all already been cut. So what’s the fix here? There IS no fix. They wrecked the floor. I am livid. Otto keeps trying to talk me off the ledge and I am running around sticking pens and pencils into the wood gaps and babbling “DO YOU SEE THIS?? DO YOU SEE???” (Unrelated: Otto seems a little tense. Not sure why.)

Our neighbors said they would water my plants for me while we were gone. The bad news is that they apparently forgot. The good news is that it rained a bunch! The bad news is that before it rained, two of my four tomato plants burned to a crisp. The good news is that those plants all have tomatoes with bottom rot, anyway, so at least I still have my Romas. The bad news is that I am not feeling very neighborly towards the neighbors right now.

After writing about my kids’ need for a decent piano I kicked the piano search into high gear and found an UNBELIEVABLE deal on a really nice Korg keyboard. I ordered it and it arrived yesterday. Three of the keys stick. They’re taking it back, no problem, and paying the shipping, but it was an “open box return” and they don’t have any more of those so I can’t get another. We are still pianoless. Also, we have to drive a gigantic, heavy box over to FedEx.

Last night my daughter called me in hysterics and it took a long time to unravel what was going on. She’s fine (I think) and this is the last trip this summer and there’s less than a week to go but it’s a hard and awful and helpless feeling, being so far away when she’s needing me. Also, Monkey got hit in the head with a rock on his first day of camp. He’s fine (I think). Five more days. Deep breaths.

So other than almost getting killed, having ruined floors, dead tomato plants, a broken piano, and feeling like being away from my babies right now is not so much breaking my heart as slowly shredding it, everything is just fanfuckingtastic, thanks.


  1. Megan

    Blergh. That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Blergh. Don’t they [the mighty beings who run the universe] realize that coming home is supposed to be a RELIEF and a JOY and that you can finally relax? Slackers.

  2. Jenny


    (I had a trip/tiredness/home improvement-induced meltdown this weekend, myself, and acted like kind of a jerk and I’m still feeling bad about it and it’s Tuesday.)

  3. Janet

    Uggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. So sorry on all accounts!!!!! Margaritas and a brain candy movie later this week? I’ll visit you in prison if you murder the contractors (justifiable homocide I’d say).

  4. suburbancorrespondent

    The wood floor thing? Yeah, that would kill me. I hate spending money in the first place, and then to have that happen….oooh….threaten to ding him on Angie’s list if he doesn’t fix it for free.

  5. All Adither

    That’s a lot of annoyances. And all completely valid. Perhaps you could fill the floor gaps with tomato rot. Sorry. I’m sure that didn’t go over well.

  6. Otto

    It was so bad around here last night she didn’t eat the ice cream I had bought her. I mean, there’s Magic Shell in there and everything …


  7. Jules

    Wow, talk about a welcome home. I am sorry your heart is shredding with your babies gone, I understand the feeling. Hang in there, the 5 days will go by before you know it!

  8. Headless Mom

    Like you, I hate it when summer comes crashing down around me.

  9. Crista

    wow. That’s a lot of suck to come home to. I think I would have had a stroke. Or be a blithering idiot by now. Thanks for being coherent enough to share all that with us :) Good luck with everything *hugs*

  10. Tammy

    You handled it much better than I would have Mir. After all, you’re still married to Otto and are on speaking (through clenched teeth) terms with the contractor.

    But, not eating ice cream? That might signal the need for an intervention. Just sayin’.

  11. Liza

    Oh Mir. I’m so sorry you’re having such a rotten time. I hope that in a few years, you’ll be able to look back at this summer and laugh about all the insanity and stress.

  12. Astrogirl426

    I was about to type something about how all this sucks, but this too shall pass, etc., and to remember the important things in life (everyone is ok, even if they are unhappy or angry or missing each other, and the house didn’t burn down, and on and on).

    But you know what? I’d be pissed off (should that have a hyphen?) too. I’d be missing my kids, too. I’d be frazzled and not eating ice cream and annoyed at the neighbors, too.

    Sometimes I feel like I tell myself the stuff in the first paragraph to try to make myself feel better, calm down, and get over the negative feelings. But sometimes, the only way out is through. So here’s my idea. You have a little less than a week before the kids get home. In that time, you can get angry, you can get sad, you can get depressed and grumpy and bitchy (well, except with clients. Let’s not get CRAZY, after all). You can eat shit food, you can take naps. Basically, the idea is just to survive this week, and make the decision that after the kids get home you will return to your calm, happy, nurturing mama self.

    But I think this is one of those times when you have to just let your feelings run their gamut. And then, after they have been given room to breathe and move around a bit, you can let them go. I bet it won’t even take a week.

    Good luck dear, pretty Mir, and remember, we love you no matter how cranky you are.

  13. elizabeth

    you would have felt so much better if you’d only eaten your ice cream last night.
    if the contractor is worth anything he will fix what he screwed up. otherwise, bury him under the new, new floor (next to the tomato killing neighbors)
    then lots of deep breaths till the kids come home and you can squeeze them to pieces. =)

  14. Kimmer

    Oy vey! I sure hope V in Ohio did not read this one. I’m trying to get her to come South in October and you may have just scared her into staying home.

  15. Meri

    I’m so sorry everything’s crashing down at the same time. Regarding the piano, would this one from Costco meet your needs?

  16. Rebecca

    I am so so sorry!! The floor all by itself is enough to send someone in meltdown mode. I hope the contractor fixes it (like replaces it) and things can all settle down!!

  17. Damsel

    Screw the ice cream. (No offense, Otto.) Just start carrying the Magic Shell around in a drunken fashion, sucking it straight out of the bottle.

    Works for me. :-P

  18. Jean

    How much ice cream should I send over? I’m not talking gallons, I’m talking the Vats of Ice Cream that you get at Baskin Robbins. I think three or four are in need.

    And I’m really sorry, not going to try and cheer you up, just acknowledging how much it all sucks.

  19. Amy

    You refused icecream?!?!?! It must be pretty bad!! Here’s to hoping that things turn around – and SOON!!

  20. Dawn

    Refused ice cream. I’m sorry. This does not compute.

    Booze, baby. Lots and lots of booze.

  21. Sheryl

    The floors. Oh my gosh, the floors! Must be fixed. This is totally unacceptable. How it is fixed is his problem, not yours. Did you pay him yet?

    Well, hopefully your worst day with Otto is better than your best day without him? Maybe?

  22. Karen

    Oh Mir! My husband just asked me what was wrong.(Guess I was making faces at the computer screen.) I had to tell him about your day yesterday. He who never makes much comment on this kind of stuff says, “Wow, that really sucks!” Today will be better! And your contractor better make things right!!

  23. Katie in MA

    Awwww, Mir. to you. That totally does suck. I think you should sit down on the floor here next to me. And pout and stamp your foot a little (oh, you can too do it when you’re sitting down). And have a margarita. And then, when you feel up to it? Read this: https://wouldashoulda.com/2008/07/08/getting-what-we-deserve/
    It made me feel like the sucky part in my life might end soon.

  24. Amy@UWM

    Re-entry is rough. And boy, do I hate the Atlanta airport.

  25. Janssen

    I would have an absolute heart attack over the wood. Good luck getting it fixed!

  26. Amy-Go

    Deep breaths. They will fix the floors. They WILL. Being away from the kids is bad, though. I’m really sorry about that. Soon they will be home…just keep chanting that until they’re back. And pray. Drinking is okay too, at this point. Sending happy thoughts and hugs your way…

  27. Little Bird

    I say you find out where the floor guy lives and lob the tomatoes with bottom-rot at his house. Aim for an open window. It’ll be great for venting some of that frustration.

  28. annie

    Uh-oh. This ice-cream refusal thing is serious… But I totally get it. There were just too many “annoyances” heaped upon another. And you know what? Some of just AREN’T Pollyanna. We need to rant and rave and all that. So don’t anybody eat all the ice-cream and Magic Shell just yet! We’ll come around. Eventually.

  29. ChristieNY

    Thinking of you, things WILL get better. They have to. For now, take a bath while you sip some wine, have Otto make some cheesy beer bread (even if it’s too hot out, it’ll be worth it I promise) and let yourself detox. It’s been a helluva week. Next week will be better. :)

  30. Bob

    I’ll worry when you refuse new shoes. ‘Till then, hang tight and think wicked thoughts.

  31. Me

    There is no excuse for your floors to have gaps. My stepfather and brother put in hardwood floors without gaps and they were amateurs. I can completely understand why you’re pissed – I would be too. I really hope they fix it for you!

  32. jen

    Hooboy NO! That contractor had better replace those floors with extreme haste if he knows what’s good for him! Gaps are not acceptable!
    And I like the idea of walking around with the Magic Shell and just sucking from the bottle as necessary. ;)

  33. Jean

    I’m with “Me” up above. Everything she said. And while I haven’t installed any wood floors lately, it just doesn’t seem like a group of people who do this for a living should do it so poorly. I’d be behaving exactly like you and I have the utmost sympathy for your plight.
    Here’s hoping all turns out well in the end. Otherwise I forsee carpeting going back in over the floor so you aren’t constantly staring at the gaps. And THEN you can take “Little Bird’s” recommendation about what to do with those tomatoes…..

  34. Jackie@agsoccermom

    Same thing happened to one of my dear friends with the floor. There is one board right under your feet while we were cooking that just squeaked and squeaked. All the corners were exposed where they cut the wood. They left the squeaky board for coversation starters since that where the bar is. The corners we are talking gallons of wood putty. So sorry this whole floor thingy has been a major pain in your A**.

  35. Deb@Bird On A Wire

    Shipping Ben & Jerry’s by the gallon. Reminds me of comming home from my last business trip, finding the fish aquarium had a pressure crack and leaked all over the pergo floor and into the white carpet, power had failed so AC was off and whoooo hoooo what a smell. Spent another night @ a hotel and figured out what to do the next day. Lots of chunky monkey helped.

  36. Tara

    Gaaaaaahhhhh….that sucks. I hate crap like this and you know what, you are totally justified in being upset about the floor. That would drive me absolutely nuts. I would just fume about it until it was fixed, that is how I would handle it. No sleep, nothing. We have a skunk who might get killed if it eats my tomatoes, my beauties, so I can understand why you would be upset if your neighbors didn’t water your plants.

    Welcome back. I hope things get better soon.

  37. bec 38

    Um, Steve from The Sneeze has come back to life. Does that cheer you up at all? Thought it was worth a try. Have some ice cream, or! Starbucks truffles! They were a dollar off here yesterday….

  38. Alison C


  39. Jess

    I’m so glad that this is the last trip. I still really, really can’t believe this particular arrangement.

    Soon they’ll be home.

    And, you know, you really needed issues with the floor right now. Good grief. I think this is beyond Magic Shell.

    Thinking good thoughts for you. :)

  40. Mother of Two


    Look the contractor in the eye and tell him he has one week to correct the floor to your specifications, otherwise you will see him in court where he can plan to not only pay your court costs, but for the new floor out of HIS pocket.

    As for the neighbor… put all the rotten tomatoes in a bag and attach a little note saying “Thank you so much for taking care of my plants while we were away. Here are some of the tomatoes that resulted in the fruits of your labor. I hope you enjoy!”

    The kids… from experience.. I know… it sucky hurts! I hate it when my kids leave to go to their dads, or anywhere else for the summer. Especially when my heart is hurting. I feel the need to have them close because I know… they are part of me and that love is stronger than even my wonderful husbands…
    HOWEVER… try to get through by thinking… they will soon be home, fighting, bored, new rashes to mend, and you’ll be pulling your hair out. That will help you get through that one for the next 5 days. =)

    Otto bought you ice cream to heal your angst.. he’s so good to you! Smile at him and ya’ll go watch an episode of Bridezillas! (I do think the sippy cup ‘o chocolate is pretty funny though!)


  41. Lucinda

    Even for a mellow person (which I’m far from), that’s a lot in a short period of time. I’m sorry. I don’t even know you but I’m sending you hugs and prayers.

  42. Mike Golch

    Sounds like some one needs a HUGS and A HUG and a HUG! and so there for I have give you some. I hope that you have a grear day tomarrow! that’s my silly story and I’m sticking to it!

  43. Heather

    Oh wow! I will send chocolate and wine ;) Hang in there!!

  44. Sue @ My Party of 6

    Awwww, Mir. Another (((HUG))). That damn contractor WILL fix that floor – otherwise you will unleash the power of the internet on him. (I hope he is quaking in his boots right now.)

    Hang in there.

  45. Kimmers

    SHEESH what a day. Having just had my own hardwood floors installed a few days ago, I 100% understand your frustration – a purchase like that costs way too much money to not be done right. I’m sorry! I vote for Putting the Fear of God into the Contractor. Good luck. It will all work itself out I promise.

  46. Zee

    Totally agree with you on the floor thing. I would be livid too… Stick to your guns on this one and, if necessary, super-glue the contractor’s testicles to his thigh (…err… or something equally traumatic for him but having less contact with his man-parts for you :-D) if he doesn’t fix it.

  47. Trisha

    When it rains -it pours. You will survive this if you have someone as wonderful as Otto bringing you ice cream AND magic shell.

  48. J (Goteeman)

    I am so sorry… we put in 3/4″ hardwoods a few years ago, and when it isn’t right, it just isn’t right… and dealing with Atlanta parking, well – know that feeling – we fly out of there every 3 months…
    Hope your week is a much better one…


  49. Dawn

    Your floors CAN be fixed. They will have to take them up and relay them. This happened to us when they did not put the sub-flooring down and so there was a one inch level difference between the kitchen and the great room. It looked ridiculous. Anyway, they can be fixed and I hope you demand that they do. They had to take them all up very, very carefully and then try again. The upside though? We went through Lowe’s and ended up getting our $10,000 floor for free. Then we moved and paid for wood floors here. Sigh…

  50. carrien

    So I just assaulted the contractor husband on the way to bed to ask his helpful opinion. He refuses to offer an opinion unless you send pictures. Send or post pictures of the gaps. He’s laid many wood floors in his time and he knows what he’s talking about.

    If your guy really screwed up he should spring for new materials and relay it gratis.

    (He did say there are supposed to be gaps between the floor and the wall that are covered by baseboard but I get the feeling those aren’t the kind of gaps you are referring too.)

  51. mama speak

    Sorry Otto, only thing that will help in this type of situation involves a blender and alcohol. Perhaps a bit of Bailey’s and Magic Shell could be included then. That might help Mir forget the level of suckatude, but until you get some resolution I’m not sure you can really “forget” it.

    Hang in there, it’ll get better, it has too right?

  52. Inzaburbs

    The floor would kill me too. I am terrible at being assertive with tradespeople who are nice to me, so I end up apologizing for even asking them to fix their shoddy work. Which just makes me feel worse about the whole situation.

    Around here we say bad luck comes in threes and I truly believe it. Everything seems to go topsy-turvy at once and then you get a break…
    The good news is that you are way past three there if my math is right. So in theory you should be in for a very long break. Good luck!

  53. Holly

    Kick the contractor in the knees! That really blows, I’m sorry. You need a hot bath and lots and LOTS of alcohol.

  54. Sheila

    You KNOW it’s bad when you refuse Magic Shell. So sorry.

  55. mommytherobot

    well mir, i think its just your house’s way of saying WELCOME HOME BITCH!

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