After an amazingly stressful day on Friday, which culminated in an emergency visit to the pediatrician (mother and child are both fine), I was really looking forward to a Saturday BBQ and swim, but the saga only continued. I stayed home all morning waiting for the delivery of two chairs and an umbrella to complete the set of patio furniture that we’d ordered back in March, but from which two chairs and an umbrella were “missing” when the rest of the order was finally delivered in May. It took no less than 186 telephone calls since then to accomplish trying to find, not finding, and then re-ordering the missing items. Items we’d originally been promised we’d have in four to six weeks. Items for which we paid full retail cost. Items we ordered in “standard” colors rather than “custom” colors, so we could have them in four to six weeks. Or not. This time only the umbrella showed up. No chairs. Just the flippin’ umbrella. So I called the store, and, of course, neither one of the gals with whom I’d been working to get my order completed were there. But the original sales guy was, and so I recapped the last four months of adventures for him, prefacing it by saying, “Look, I know there are a lot of people in the world with problems a lot worse than missing a few pieces of patio furniture, so maybe crying over this is excessive, but . . .” Sniff. He said he’d track down the order. A few hours later he called back and said that he couldn’t find out anything, but he had an idea. It seemed that there was a duplicate set of furniture on their showroom floor, and if I could arrange to come pick it up, I could have their two chairs until they could find mine. Well, that sounded peachy. And it turns out that those chairs match my set perfectly and are in perfect condition, so they can take all the time they want and make 186 telephone calls to find mine, because I’m perfectly happy with theirs. But, no, it couldn’t have been as easy as that, no, no, no. Courtney went over to the store to pick up the chairs (her ride is bigger than my ride). As the dudes loaded the chairs into her car, one of them smashed her windshield. Now Courtney has been having a tough summer, complete with $500 worth of unexpected car repairs, the insurance company refusing to pay for the loss of all of her worldly possessions in a flood of the storage place they were in, someone stealing her debit card number and wiping out her bank account, and working 24/7. So this windshield thing sent her over the edge and she came busting into the house sobbing, where we were now entertaining one of Tom’s colleagues and his family. I’m pretty sure these people will never set foot here again because they probably think I’m a completely stressed-out shrew, instead of the partial one that I actually am. But my Super Mommy powers kicked in for Courtney, and with a couple of telephone calls I got her new windshield ordered, and it has since been installed. Also, the guy at the store provided Courtney with a copy of an incident report in which he accepted liability. (Go Courtney!) Back at the BBQ, when all seemed calm, and the food had been prepped and cooked, and the wine uncorked, I sat down to eat. I picked up my fork, and I swear to you that before I could get the first bite to my mouth, I heard an awful crash and the sound of glass shattering in the kitchen. There stood Tom, barefoot, and in a puddle of red wine strewn with shards of green bottle. I knew I’d look back on it and laugh eventually, but at that moment I was just trying to will myself to not bolt through the front door without so much as a glance over my shoulder. Courtney handed Tom his flip flops, we picked up all of the glass we could, sopped up the wine with towels, and I went to get the vacuum cleaner to get the teeny, tiny pieces. This is when I discovered that our one-year-old vacuum cleaner isn’t sucking, which sucks. Go figure. So Tom got to use the Dustbuster, which he pulls out so often anyway that Laura calls him Mr. Dustbuster. (As an aside, our Dustbuster is a Black & Decker 14.4 volt, so he considers it a power tool.) Anyway, I knew that it was an accident, but in front of our friends, I accused Tom of being a spiller, which he denied, and which denial I refuted with several key pieces of evidence in the form of “Remember the time we were at . . . and you spilled your . . . ?” And although my delivery was in a joking manner, and Tom already stopped paying attention to the content of anything I say years ago, it still wasn’t nice of me. The next day, Karma took a whack back. I dropped my just-opened, full can of soda smack on the same kitchen floor that had been doused with red wine the day before. Think of the jingle from the old Dr. Pepper commercial, but with these lyrics: “I’m a spiller, he’s a spiller, wouldn’t you like to be a spiller too?”

3 comments on “Red, Red Whine”

  1. It wasn’t PMS, it was that darn Mercury Retrograde – It will be over in a couple weeks. Keep the expensive stuff in the cabinet until it’s over… July 4 – July 29, 2006

    Mercury Retro
    The traditional astrological meaning assigned to Mercury going “retrograde” in the sky is that one should prepare for unexpected delays, frustrations, and surprises in everyday life. Sometimes called Red Letter days. (For the red wine that gets spilled I bet)


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