House Stressing

The weekend that Tyler and I were married, we tried very hard to provide a place to stay for as many of our guests as possible. It was not possible to fit everyone, even with the small numbers invited to our little backyard wedding, but we tried. One small bedroom was wall to wall air mattresses intended to house seven friends. As we learned over the course of the weekend, this particular room is also the last room in our house to receive any cool air via the AC ducts that wind through our house.

It was 112 degrees the day of our wedding and the air cooled only by a few degrees throughout the rest of the weekend. The bedroom, which quickly became known as the orphanage, was soon characterized by its sauna-like qualities. Guests crawled out in the morning glistening with sweaty skin and matted hair and pleaded for liquids of some sort necessary to replenish their lost hydration from their fitful night's sleep.

This was our first realization that we probably had a situation that needed tending in our new home, and it obviously wasn't going to be dealt with at that time. We even made it through the summer, but I constantly fretted over the inefficiency with which I knew our old system was functioning since it wasn't just that back bedroom, but that whole side of the house that was suffering. Fast forward 11 months and I am siting out on my back porch, having taken the day off from work, listening to all kinds of banging and grunting as our system of ducting is reorganized for efficiency and our brand new AC unit is installed. I'm shedding a tear and waving goodbye to a strong army of large bills as they salute and march right out the door and onto the large truck parked in my driveway.

It's been about six hours and I've created a little outdoor office for myself to grade papers, write a little, and play on the computer. It is absolutely gorgeous out. The sun is shining and a nice breeze is blowing. Normally, I'd say this is my dream except that it hasn't really been fun. Two guys showed up this morning, neither of which being the "gentleman" we initially sat down with and who said, "let's get this done before it gets too hot, because I don't want to be back up in that attic when it's 90 outside". He was the same guy who said he was going to redesign the duct work. Now admittedly he easily could have created plans for these guys to follow, but I feel like he purposely created an impression about being one of only so many certified AC guys in Arizona as well as specifically listed out all of his credentials so that we'd ultimately choose the company only to then have him simply send out workers to do the job.

Naturally I think the whole situation is sketchy, even though I can hear the guys in there working. I've been siting out here with the dogs trying to keep busy but I can't relax. I can't ignore the fact that so far I let two dudes into the house, let them back their huge truck into the driveway, opened up the garage door to make it all a little more accessible, and I'm just hanging out in the backyard. I keep picturing a moving procession with all of our shit leaving the house to some pitiful soundtrack of fake "worker" noises...and the thing is, as I'm sitting here, I don't even care about the stuff, I'm way more bothered by the fact that I'd have been scammed.

I am so caught up in this "reality"that when the mail woman knocked on the door and greeted me by asking if I was getting my AC replaced, it was a good minute before I believed she was anything but some hired hand trying to get information from me. As it turns out, she really is our mail woman, and she was here to deliver the rubber duckies I ordered for Leah's birthday pool party, but in my own defense she wasn't wearing her uniform. Coincidentally, she has to replace her AC unit and was saying how she doesn't want to get screwed. Her insecurities about not knowing what she was doing instantly made me feel better, like I'm not alone.

And so now it is time to show Leah each of the 100 ducks I bought for her in preparation for her choosing her favorite. She needs time to consider her options.


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