Friday, July 15, 2011

My Deep Thoughts as I Wait On the AC Man

by Susan McBride

We didn't have our air conditioner checked before the summer, and it's been a hot one.  So the thing has been running overtime (and, knock on wood, doing just fine). But I've been busy with deadlines so I put it off and put it off...until the Air Comfort people had called me twice to remind me that, per our contract, we get an AC exam and furnace exam annually.  And perhaps since August was fast approaching, we might want to do the AC check soon?  I finally said, "Okay, okay!  How about Wednesday?"

My favorite thing about waiting for a service call (whether it's to repair something or not) is the, "They'll be there between eight and noon" time frame.  So you can't leave the house, and you can work, but not on something that requires intense concentration because you may very well be interrupted.  If you're the spouse at home, you know how this goes.  Usually it's closer to noon than to eight, but you never know.  So you're too afraid to get deeply absorbed in anything, sure the doorbell will ring just as you're writing that all-important final graph of a very critical chapter.

I'm not sure spouses or significant others who work outside the house understand how this throws off a day.  I did make Ed stay home once when the electricians showed up to rewire our electrical box, mostly because he has frequently reminded me that his undergrad degree was in electrical engineering.  So I told him, "Then you should be here to make sure they do things right."  I think he enjoyed himself, hanging out with the guys in toolbelts, talking about wiring and amps and tripping switches.

I have to say that we have very nice plumbers, electricians, AC/furnace guys, and so on.  I've known most since 1996 when I bought my condo, and I've depended on them in this house that we purchased five years ago.  In fact, when they show up at the door, I'm tempted to hug them. I feel like they're old pals as well as heroes who can rescue us from dripping pipes, electrical boxes that are fire hazards, and so much more. 

Take the AC/Furnance Dude, for example.  The last time he was here was November of 2010 to check the furnace. I was madly working on LITTLE BLACK DRESS with the deadline fast approaching.  His wife had just had a baby, and I had found out I was pregnant.  So we talked about books and babies before, during, and after he worked.  When he showed up today, he asked how things went, and I had to tell him that we'd lost the bambino at eight weeks.  He shared some stories with me about his and his wife's road to having two kids, and then we yakked about scars and sun damage and books again.

Ed's a lot more reserved than I am, so sometimes he's surprised at my conversations with people outside the family (and online!).  I remember my grandfather saying once to my grandma, "You know people's life stories from being on an elevator with them," and Ed feels much the same way about me.  Only whomever I'm talking to probably learns a bit about me as well!  I think it's the Internet Effect.  Once you have an online presence with web site, blogs, Facebook pages, and interviews scattered across the World Wide Web, sharing pieces of your life isn't such a big deal.

Granted, I have a line I wouldn't cross.  There are portions of my life that aren't for public consumption.  But I figure that if I'm comfortable enough to talk about certain aspects of my health, for example, in a presentation to 800 women at the Susan G. Komen Survivors' Luncheon, I'd better not be shy when I get questions like, "How's the boob?"  Or, "How did that Moh's surgery go?" 

That's what this morning's visit with our lovely AC/Furnance Dude made me think about.  Well, that and the fact that I hate waiting on anyone (especially when I'm given a four-hour window).  But then I'm not sure anybody likes that.  ;-)


  1. Glad your A/C and the newest book writing is going well. My hubby is also astonished at my "chatting" with people I meet. I enjoy it and I think it enriches my writing.

    Marian (who with the Southern half of Evelyn David is "this" close to finishing the newest Brianna story!)

  2. Me, too, Marian! I can't imagine not chatting with people. I've learned a lot of really interesting things that I otherwise wouldn't know. Congrats on getting the story nearly finished! I've got a bit to go on Dead Address before I can say that, but hopefully I'll catch up soon! :-)


    P.S. Sorry for the delay in my post going up. I had it written last week and scheduled it, but Blogger must've decided it wanted to make my Friday start out frantically instead of calmly. Thanks, Blogger! :-P

  3. Jim and I joke about this all the time! A friend, a former detective, said that the reason people tell me everything is that I always "ask the follow up question." (He says I would have made a fantastic investigator, a comment that makes me very proud. :-) See, most people just nod and move on but I want to know more. I think it's the writers in us who find other people fascinating, even if others don't. Maggie

  4. "The follow up question." Interesting comment Maggie! I will now be pondering that in relationship to my characters.

    And since Sue had to do the same thing for my blog (Ahhhh!!! I swear I pushed the publish button! Ahhhh!!), I'm going to say "Bad, Blogger, bad!

  5. My big goal when repair people are coming is to be sure to be awake and dressed. You are right about the waiting being distracting, and only allowing for little time-filling tasks, nothing requiring deep concentration -- unsettling . . .
    I didn't know about the lost baby. I'm so sorry . . . and I'll make you a baby apple hat whenever it's time for one. Hugs!

  6. Maggie, you've got detecting in your blood! I think it's so cool that your dad was a police officer and you write mysteries. It's rather poetic. ;-)

    Bethany, there be gremlins on the InterWebs! I'm almost afraid to come out of my hidey-hole and look online every day.

    Mary, that's definitely important! Yeah, we found out we were pregnant last year just before Thanksgiving. I'd been so busy with a fundraiser, my mom's diagnosis, Blue the Cat almost dying, and my LBD deadline that my mom was the first to realize why I felt out of whack and ran over with a pregnancy test kit! I peed on seven sticks before I believed it. Anyway, it wasn't meant to be, I guess, but we're hoping lightning might strike twice before I'm too ancient! I'll holler if we need that apple hat! (I wish!) Thanks for your sympathy. It was tough, but I'm okay. :-)