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.