Why DH is awesome even when he screws up

Also my sister is occasionally brilliant.


DH and I made a list of all the stuff we needed to do before we got home from Paradise.  He put the list on his phone.

Item 3 was to set up the utilities.

DH was all, I’ll take care of it.  After all, he took off vacation days from work and I was rushing about to finish things before leaving.

Taking care of the internet was a huge pain in the rear because the internet provider wouldn’t let us set up until our tenant had closed out, but the tenant couldn’t close out until the people who owned the home they just bought closed out and it was a huge mess.

I kept asking, is there anything I can do on the moving list?  What should I do on the moving list?  “I’ll take care of it,” DH would say.  Or I’d say, “Well, how about I change our address for providers” and then I’d go do that.

Since I knew he’d finally gotten the internet scheduled, and he didn’t ever mention that we still needed to change all the other utilities, I assumed that he’d taken care of those without hassle.  Because of course, electricity and water are more important than internet.  Also they’re easier to set up appointments for.  And our tenant had specifically mentioned that we were good to go with setting up our utilities.

We got home in the afternoon on a Friday.  I cranked the a/c to bring the temp down to the high 70s.  We went to Target to pick up necessities like toilet paper and cat litter.  Thankfully we didn’t go to the grocery store.  Because at 5pm all of a sudden the power went out.

Turns out DH had *meant* to set up the other utilities, but what with one thing and another had kept putting it off and then just forgot to do it.

Turns out that having the power off is not an emergency if it’s your own fault and the emergency power guy can’t do anything until billing processes your credit history and ok’s you.  Even if you had an account at the same place a year ago.  Even if you beg and plead.  Even if there’s a woman hysterically sobbing in the background.  Even if it’s 100+ degrees in the shade and WE COULD DIE.

Billing, of course, can’t process your credit until Tuesday.  TUESDAY.

DH’s first suggestion was to go to a hotel.  But we’d been in hotels for a WEEK and I wanted to be home and to unpack and to wait for the Pod and get stuff ready for the kids’ daycare/camp on and on and on.

His second suggestion was to stay at my sister’s in a city that’s an hour and a half away.  She texted me (via cell, since we didn’t have internet yet) right as he suggested that so I took it as a sign and gave her a call.  She obviously invited us to visit, but had a pretty packed weekend with her best friend leaving for an important job in a bigger more paradise-like city and a first date and a bunch of other stuff.  She jokingly suggested a generator.

How much do generators cost?   I asked.  $1K? she guessed.   I want that!  I said, wiping sweat from my brow.  Where do I get one?  Home Depot?

Turns out Home Depot RENTS generators and so ~$500 later we had a generator rental ($250 for a week), a window unit air conditioner (~200), and gasoline.  Only enough to power the guest bedroom (which is one of two rooms in the house that allow for a window unit).  But we didn’t have to reschedule our internet connection (which DID happen on Saturday, as promised).  The Home Depot lady was very nice.

Thankfully our water and natural gas both stayed on, so we’ve even been able to take hot showers.  Flashlight lit.

So what does this have to do with the title?

Well, DH screwed up.  He could have yelled at me (particularly after the, “I hate you so much right now” comment after he got off the phone with the electricity guy).  He could have gotten upset.  He could have given up and told me to figure out what to do.  He definitely felt bad about things– he always takes it really hard when he makes a mistake like this.   But instead he worked on things until he was able to find a solution.  (Something I gave him full credit for, but not until after the room temperature dropped to bearable.  I am NOT a good person when my basic needs aren’t being met.)  He went to Home Depot and figured out our options, he got gasoline to power the generator and filled it, he bought an air conditioner, he dug our extension cords out of the shed.  He even offered to spend his allowance and leftover birthday money on the fiasco, so the family budget isn’t out that $500.

Basically, he’s a hero.  A hero bringing cool breezes and internet.   I am so lucky.

Next time the to-do list is going to go on paper like we usually do these things and if I’m not in charge of the list, I’m asking more questions.

20 Responses to “Why DH is awesome even when he screws up”

  1. Omdg Says:

    That’s basically the same reason my own husband is awesome. Otoh, “putting up with me being upset about his f-up,” I don’t know…. sits not quite right with me, even though I (often) feel that way.

  2. hollyatclubthrifty Says:

    It has been so hot, I would have to rent a generator, too. It has been absolutely unbearable.

    I’m glad your husband didn’t get too upset about the mistake and focused on fixing it instead.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We’ve been literally having heat advisories and it doesn’t get below 80 something at night and the real feel has been in the triple digits during the day. At least our water didn’t get shut off too.

  3. gwinne Says:

    Hope the re-entry is smoother from here on out! Yay for window AC.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Me too! And yes, thank goodness for window units! (And I’m glad that we have at least one window in the house that fits them– we actually have exactly 2 windows that allow for a window unit. One in the guest bedroom and one in DC1’s room. All the other windows are either ginormous or open differently.)

  4. jjiraffe Says:

    Yay! I love hearing about husbands being awesome. Glad power is back.

  5. First Gen American Says:

    It’s times like these where money helps a lot. There were times when a $500 expense would have been devastating and much more stressful and upsetting.

    • First Gen American Says:

      Ps how has it been a year already. Seemed to go fast.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:


      I believe we even have a post on exactly that topic. https://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/october-mortgage-update-perspectives-on-500/

      We did a lot of “what do people who can’t afford to go to a hotel/rent a generator/etc. or have a sister who lives nearby DO?” It’s not like the library is open all day every day either. It does get down to the 80s at night, but there’s a lot of dangerous weather there. In other places we’ve lived they are extremely careful about heat during the winter even for people who can’t afford it, and I had always assumed about electricity for a/c, but maybe not! Of course, we’ve always lived in blue states before where government cared about people. :/

      • gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

        I grew up in Illinois without air conditioning. The 98°F days with 99% humidity were not pleasant, but if you sat in the shade, drank plenty of water, and didn’t try to do anything, they were certainly manageable, not dangerous to kids or middle-age adults. (Note: I understand that it is much worse for elderly people, as body temperature control starts to get uncertain after age 70 or 80—so I do support the idea of having easily accessible cooling centers in places where heat waves are a problem.)

        That said, as an adult I chose to live in coastal California, despite the much higher cost of housing, because the weather is almost always pleasant. (People from the South find Santa Cruz a bit chilly, but it suits my wife and me.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        98 is not the same as 100+ and we literally had a heat advisory warning. Also IL has basements.

      • gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

        We didn’t have a basement, just a concrete slab (the recently built McMansion that replaced our house after my Dad sold the property almost certainly has a basement). Once the temperature gets over about 105° with high humidity, then it starts getting really dangerous, as even normal adults have a hard time maintaining proper body temperature. Illinois never got that hot when I was a kid there, but it might now. If you have to work outdoors, then even 95° can be dangerous at high humidity, as sweat doesn’t evaporate. OSHA puts limits based on wet-bulb temperature, which takes into account evaporative cooling.

      • First Gen American Says:

        I didn’t have AC as a kid and it did get very hot and humid on the 3rd floor of our 3 decker. I mostly remember not being able to sleep at night but it was only unbearable for a handful of nights in the summer. I can’t imagine what it would be like down south, but then again there weren’t as many people living in the super hot places then as there are now.

        I would walk to the mall or hope I had a shift at work so I could cool off. My mom worked in a factory with no AC except in the offices.

  6. Cloud Says:

    Growing up in AZ, our air condition broke roughly once every 2-3 years, so I feel your pain. Of course, AZ is mostly dry heat so at least if you were youngish, healthy, didn’t try to do much and just drank lots and lots of water, you weren’t generally in much danger.

    I’m glad you guys found a solution. I would have been mad, too, and unlikely to behave at my best. And in your DH’s place, I would have felt terrible, too. I HATE it when I drop the ball.

    We tend to do our shared lists like this sort of thing in Google Docs. I’d prefer a kanban board, but my husband won’t really check that whereas he will check a Google Doc. I have stopped trying to understand why and just roll with it now.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      In the past we’ve kept things in a big yellow notepad. But we got the iphone, so… have to use the new toy. But yes it should have been a shared document, not just his own notes. Now we know!

  7. Obnoxious post: things that being rich (and high income) makes easier | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] able to ignore (or being highly focused on) work pressures, being able to pay (or not) to make big problems go away, and then being able to pay (or not) even more to make problems go away.  Really, I enjoy the lack […]

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