I’ve given up on trying to get through to TPKen on saving money. He spends it as if he thinks Warren Buffet or Bill Gates are going to leave him a bundle in their wills. His latest episode involved nine thousand dollars for a house sound system. This might be OK if…
1. We had 9 grand laying around.
2. He was a good music freak. He is a music freak. Only, the music he likes is better suited to a Joni Mitchell concert in a graveyard or Muzak in an elevator at the Old Folk Singer’s Rest Home. Seriously, how many damn times can one listen to a whiney, tinny, thin-voiced woman sing about her lover gone off to war without becoming so depressed that you want to shoot yourself right in the head? And, I use to like Bob Dylan….way back when you could almost understand him. I swear that if he tunes in to that damn folk station while I’m here, I’ll take a hatchet and chop all of the twenty speakers to shred. It’s sad enough that we don’t even have health insurance much less having to sit through a shitty and sad rendition of “Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ral” sung by The Great Grandaddy Longlegs :
Over in Killarney,
Many years ago,
Me mither sang a song to me
In tones so sweet and low.
Just a simple little ditty,
In her good ould Irish way,
And I’d give the world if she could sing
That song to me this day.
Hush, now don’t you cry!
That’s an Irish lullaby.
“Me mither”? “snicker snicker” WTH/WTH is a “mither”? And, when did the aliens come and replace the man that I married with a out-of-touch old fart?
3. It was MY decision. I always make the RIGHT decision.
This is not the first time that TPKen has done something financially retarded. I’ve had to clean up the financial messes more times than I can count. But, NO MORE! (well, not exactly, no more…just no more of him knowing that I’ve fixed the problem).
I decided on a new strategy. I would tighten up the ol’ belt buckle by rethinking how we spend money. So, I spent some time looking over the household budget trying to figure out how we could spend less (actually how I could keep more money is more like it). I got a headache from it and decided to take a break. I settled down in front of the television to watch Toddlers and Tiaras…because I just loooove those people who try to live through their kids. I refer to this show as Twaddlers and Tiaras cause most of those mamas are waddlers. That’s when a Suddenlink commercial came on about bundling your services. AHA! There was something that I could save money on. So, the next morning, I broached the subject with TPK. This was a definite WTF was I thinking moment. Ya see, TPKen does NOT like change. And, he was horrified that I would consider changing my phone service from Verizon to Suddenlink in order to bundle services and save FIFTY DOLLARS a month. He just about ordered me not to do it. Did I mention that TPK is a very anal retentive person. (The term anal retentive is used to describe a person with such attention to detail that the obsession becomes an annoyance to others. It’s nothing but tons of fun here at the trailerpark with me being bipolar and ADD and TPK being so damn anal/obsessive). He does not like anyone touching his stuff. Notice that I said, “just about ordered” because everyone in the family knows that I rebel to orders of any kind. However, he made it perfectly clear that he didn’t want “those stupid cable people” messing with his phone connections that he had put in when he built the house. I considered this only a small annoying set-back in my plan. The next morning, I called Suddenlink to request phone service. I was informed that I would need the driver’s license ( or a photocopy of it) of the person who’s name was on the phone bill. To my surprise, TPKen’s name was on it. This surprised me because I have always taken care of getting utility services. However, this ONE time, TPKen actually took some responsibility and had the cable/internet put in when he had this house under roof. The wheels and gears began turning in my head and I assured them that this was not a problem.
However, it was a small hurdle as I had to figure out how to get his license. I knew that he would not voluntarily surrender them to me if he knew why I needed them. So, I had to do a little trailerpark espionaging (I think I just made that word up). I would wait until he went to sleep and slip the license out of his wallet, copy it, and put it back. No biggie! The first night, I tiptoed into the bedroom to grab his wallet off of the dresser. Crap! He had left his wallet in the pocket of his jeans. His jeans were laying on the floor near the head of the bed. I quietly walked over to the jeans and then I heard, “What are you doing?”. I couldn’t believe that this man who sleeps thru a house alarm had been woke up by almost soundless footsteps. “Uh, I thought I saw a mouse run in here”, I said. “But, now, I don’t see it. Must have been my imagination.”. I’d wait until I knew he was in deep sleep and try again. It’s almost as if TPK could smell sabotage/rebellion in the air because I tried it again two more times and once he half-opened his eyes and made a mouth noise that sounded like, “Whaaaaaaa?” and the second time, he stirred in his sleep. Both times just about scared the crap out of me as I was only inches away from the pants…and his head.
Second night…SCORED! Easily lifted the wallet, ran to the office, copied the office and returned it to the pants pocket. I panicked for a minute or two because I couldn’t remember how the wallet was placed in the pocket to start with. If you are not anal/obsessive or do not live with someone who is, then you probably will not get the problem of placing the wallet back just right. Ya see, the wallet has to be placed back EXACTLY right….which means was the fold toward the top of the pocket or down….was the trifold folded this way or that? You might think I’m being silly here but believe me…I AM NOT!
With that hurdle crossed, I was feeling rather confident, bordering on smug. Now, all I had to do was make sure the Suddenlink guy came while TPKen was not there. The problem with that is Suddenlink (like most companies) will not give you a certain time but, instead, a time frame….8-12 or 1-5. I chose the one to 5 since TPK usually gets home around 5:30 and I figured everything would be back in its place and there would be nothing that he could detect.
However, the Suddenlink guy didn’t show up until 4:15. Still, I surmised, no sweat…he’d be in-and-out by 5. That was before that he informed me that I had a problem. TPKen, in all his anal glory, had mounted the electrical box needed to a garage wall and had labeled each wire neatly. The guy was going to have to take some wires loose. I felt the panic swelling up in my throat and thought I’d have to make a mad dash to the toilet to throw-up. As he was telling me this, I was thinking, “If TPKen sees anything amiss, he will call SL and question it. Then, it will become evident that I committed marital fraud by taking his ID without his knowledge. He could hold this over my head anytime he chose. “gasp” I would become his servant…his slave…in order to keep out of the pokey. I watched in horror as the guy actually touched the wires. And, I felt faint when he took one loose.
My little plan was going to hell in a hand basket very fast. And, then, he asked me where my modem was and I showed him where it was hooked up in our unfinished-den. He wanted to move it to the garage and mount it next to the electrical box. I adamantly refused so he said he would try to hook up to one of the telephone outlets in the den. I breathed a sigh of relief…thanking God that it was almost a done deal. But, then, he went to hook up to a phone jack and it didn’t work. This was hard to believe since TPKen had installed them himself! So, he tried another…no luck…it was DEAD! And, it was almost 5 o’clock!!!! I was sweating buckets. He told me that since it was after 1pm, Verizon would have already shut off my service. Sure enough, I tried the phones and they had. Now, how in the heck was I gonna ‘splain this to TPK? How to break the news to him that not only did we not have phone service but who/what had had the nerve to touch his wires in the garage?
Just as I was mentally practicing my “I was wrong” speech, the guy noticed a 3rd jack clear across the room. He said that he was gonna try that one just to make sure that it was dead, too. But, it wasn’t and he told me that he could connect there. HALLELUJAH! Thank you, God. In gratitude, I would quit talking about people and help the bums that stand on the street corners begging for work…even the ones that I have given work info to and they never called. I would no longer hand them a ham sandwich and a bottle of water. Nooo, I would give them some actual money!
At 4:58, the cable guy was finished and handed me the paper to sign. I handed him a check and hurried him out the door. WHEW! I was congratulating myself for pulling off the BIG PHONE SWITCH as I turned to go down the stairs to the den. I wanted to make sure that nothing was out of place. That’s when I saw this….
Now, to normal people, this would be no big deal. But, TPK is not normal. And, he would be home at any minute. What to do? What to do? I did the only thing that I co tuld think of….I decided to cover it up…disguise it. The first thing that came to mind was a Christmas tree in a tree-bag that I was going to donate to a church garage sale. I ran at break-neck speed and dragged it from an upstairs closet down two sets of steps and plopped it down on all those wires. I was trying to buy time. Keep in mind that the picture does not show all the cables and wires. I just uncovered enough to take a picture for my post. No sirreeee….those cables and wires run from one end of the room clear across to the other end of the room…right thru the middle of the floor.
Criminal activity apparently makes me stupid. Now, I had a big-ass gray bag with wires running out from underneath it. Five minutes til TPK got home. I ran out to the garage where I had some more boxes of stuff that I was going to donate to that church sale. Faster than I had moved in a loooong time, I grab a box, ran to the den, back to the garage, grabbed another box and back to the den. I put the boxes next to the tree.
Still, wires and cables were sticking out. ONE MORE BOX! HURRY HURRY HURRY!
The cables and wired were almost covered up. DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! I looked around for something else. Time was running out. So, I grabbed the first thing that I saw. It was TPSkipper’s and Midge’s old baby cradle that was made out of a heavy barrel. I drug with all my might and mangaged to position it over the remaining wires.
With relief, I saw that no more cables/wires were visible if you didn’t get too close.
I’m not a member of Mensa so I knew that this was at the best temporary. Just buyin’ some time. TPKen came home and all even I waited with baited breath for him to go down there and see the mess. It wasn’t until he got ready to go to bed that he asked me what was that big pile of stuff in front of the door in the (un-finished) den. I nonchalantly answered that I had been cleaning some stuff out to donate to the church sale. “The cradle, too?” he asked with hurt in his eyes. Afterall, he had made that cradle. “No”, I said, “I just moved it so I could sweep down there.” Lying was getting much too easy.
My plan was to somehow fix the mess the next day. However, I had a family emergency out of town and had to leave. I thought that maybe, I could call him long distance and ‘fess up. But, truthfully, I forgot. And, when I called that next night, he said that he had been putting ceiling speakers in the den. I calmly waited to hear an angry speech about doing something that he told me not to do and how I had screwed up his perfectly positioned wires/cables. But..he never mentioned a word about it. HUH? When I got home, I went to check it out and somehow he had managed to move all those boxes and crap over a bit without seeing what was under them. And, that pile of stuff is still there because I’m at a loss on how to hide the wires/cables in a better way. (Note to fakename2….I said that I hid that big-ass mess…I didn’t say that I hid it well.)
The next evening after I got home, the phone rang and the number appeared on the television screen. That’s part of Suddenlink’s service. Weird…TPK never said a word about it. I was beginning to think that he was psyching me out to teach me a lesson. But, I wasn’t giving in. Only after a number appeared on our TV screen a few days later and TPK said, “What’s that?”, I realized that he was not playin’ me. He really had not noticed the screen number…or the wires/cables.
Now….anybody got a suggestion on how to camouflage that mess?
edited 6/23 to add….
The Girl From The Ghetto (who has a fantastic blog and you should go read it) commented and I replied with…”GG…crazy but about an hour ago, TPK asked me when Suddenlink was coming? He caught me off-guard and I over-rode the question with, “check out that knife-thrower on television”. Sooner or later, he’s gonna see and mention it. But, I’m pretty darn good at faking him out. Sometimes, if I buy something new or something in general is different, I’ll give him my serious face and tell him that whatever it is has been in the house for YEARS. I can usually confuse/convince him. I’m just trying to come up with a story about how those cable/wires have been laying there all along and he just didn’t notice them. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go into a big crying, hysterical jag and mumble non-words until he feels sorry for me. I’ve done that many times before this.”
Well, it seems like once again, I got too cocky and smug. TPKen had just gone off to bed right before I wrote that. About an hour later, I heard him get up, go down the hall, and down the steps to the (damn unfinished) den. I yelled and asked him what he was doing. He said that he wanted to go look at the telephone wires/cables/connections. Apparently, he had been lying in bed for the last hour obsessing about it. And, he was agitated. Listen y’all, when I say that he is “anal”, that’s an understatment. He more borders on “sometimes asshole”. He was locked and loaded and wound up tighter than Dick’s hatband! So, I had to go to my third method of dealing with him. I have 6 methods and here they are:
1. Pretend that nothing took place or was changed or purchased. Thus, convincing him that he is imagining it or not paying attention.
2. HIDE IT!
3. Divert his attention by changing the subject. Also, known as outwitting him.
4. Hysterical crying or other acts of insanity.
5. Out-argue him.
6. Leave and pretend that I’m NEVER coming back
One, two, and three had already been played. I thought that I was home safe but found out that I was not. Number 4 didn’t look very promising so I skipped to number 5. Out arguing is not who argues the loudest but who can argue using the most and biggest words and who can last the longest. If it begins to look like we are tying on this one, I pull the old “I refuse to talk about this any further until you quit acting so foolishly!” Then, I add the ignore/silence treatment. As he continue to bombard with all the reasons I should not have switched to Suddenlink (one was we wouldn’t be in the phone book anymore????), I turned my attention to the acts on America’s Got Talent. TPKen folded and went back to bed. Thank goodness, it was past his bedtime and he didn’t have the stamina to continue with the discussion/fight.
So, next step is number 6. No problem….I’m ready for some “me” time anyway!
I will not be here for a few days. There has been a death in my family and I will be out of town. So, if you want to comment, please do. I will read and comment back as soon as I return.
Also, I’m sure some one reading this is thinking, “How can she be writing about this crap when there has been a death in her family?”
It’s how I cope…….
R.I.P. Glenna…I’m going to miss you very much!