This blog is going to document the process of a technical adult moving in with another technical adult (my boyfriend) and living together as grown ups. It will mostly be a running log of our consistent surprise at the rest of the world not quite meeting expectations.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

When A Bad Conversation Gets Worse, and Purplish

Last Sunday my apartment building had no hot water. After consulting my neighbor friend, we both resolved to call the company that manages the property repeatedly in an attempt to get something done. I called, left a message. She called, left a message. It was like relay racing, except we weren't losing weight, just patience.  At some point the hot water came back on. I lost my excuse for not doing dishes, and my neighbor got to shower.

Yesterday I got a call from the management company. I assumed it was about the call I'd put in the day before about the key that had broken off in our front door (because the lock was sticking) or the way the back door held onto your key (because the lock was sticking). I was wrong.

Management Secretary Person (MSP): Hi, I'm calling to see if your hot water is working!
Me: .. You mean since Sunday? Yes. Yes, it's been working for the last five days.
What if it hadn't been? What then? What if I had said "No, I've been showering in ice cold water for almost a week. You owe me a new pinky toe because my old one fell off. Also, I've caught pneumonia and my left lung has collapsed. Can you send the super up to fix it?"
MSP: Oh okay, good.
Me: Our front door still has the key stuck in it though. I called yesterday. I think I spoke to you.
MSP: Oh yes, I think I remember that.... what was it exactly?
So I proceeded to repeat the story again, putting emphasis on how the worst part was after you got to the front door and realized you weren't getting in that way, you needed to walk through the abysmally plowed parking lot to get around back.

MSP: Oh my....
Me: Yeah, and then at that point, your pants are wet, and your key sticks in that door, too.
MSP: Oh my! Let me get this down... you know they didn't plow very well where I live, either.
Me: ....Yeah...
MSP: The plow like, pushed snow into my car. And then you know the guy next to my space, he was digging out his own space, and put snow in front of my car!

At this point I saw the conversation veer off track, but wasn't sure how I could respond to get it back. I thought exclaiming "WOW, WHAT A [censored] MORON!" might have been inappropriate, so I just made a sort of noncomittal "Mmm," noise that encouraged her to continue.

MSP: You know my husband did a 360 trying to back out of my parking space because of the snow. I drive a stick.
Me: Oh wow. .
MSP: I just bought new tires, though, so that helps in this weather...

The conversation train was then completely off track, and chugga-chugga'ing away quickly. By now we were officially not talking about MY apartment issues (which is why she had called) and were instead talking about how her husband broke geometric laws of steering by going in reverse with her stick shift car.

At this point you're probably wondering why I didn't just end the conversation. The truth is I don't have an answer. It could have been the friendly voice she had, or the fact I was too dumbfounded to properly rope the conversation in. I ended up making the dire mistake of going along with things.

Me: ... Well, do you have a car that is good in the snow?
MSP: I drive a Scion XB. It's like a school bus. They call it the school bus.
Me: Yeah, I know those cars. My friend has one. It's bright green and we call it 'The Green Box.'
MSP: Oh, they call mine the school bus, but it's not yellow.
Me: Yeah...
MSP: ... I think it's purplish???
At this point the train of conversation was nothing but a speck in the distance, the exhaust of the choo choo engine forming letters in the sky that spelled "I think it's purplish...."
Then my boyfriend came in from the other room in a towel, just out of the shower, and silently mouthed "WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO?" while making confused gestures with his free hand.

I silently mouthed "I HAVE NO IDEA" back to him and made accompanying gestures with my free hand.
How did this happen? How did I go from complaining about how both of my building's doors were preventing tenants from entering the building to wondering what the absolute definition of "purplish" meant? And how does one think their own car is purplish? How does one not know? She was already being vague by using an "ish" in her color description; using "I think" is just cheating.

Me: Ahh. That's cool............
MSP: Yeaaah. My husband used to own it but I had to get new tires. I hate to say it but it's because he drives like an idiot. Excuse me for saying idiot.
This really happened. If you've come this far reading this, I salute you. You're probably making the same open mouthed "WHAT IN THE SAM HILL?" face I was making at the time.

Me: Haaah. So anyway, yeah, hot water's working.
MSP: Okay, I will put in this order for the key right away.
Me: Greeeeeeeat. Thanks.

I felt bad for hitting the e-break on her story but I had to. It had been going on four minutes and if I didn't stop it, I'd have to hear about her idiot husband and her purple car until the snow outside melted.
After we hung up I made a quick list of "Things I Now Knew" like I usually do when I talk to anyone who is supposed to be informative.
- She did get my message about the hot water not working. From five days previous.
- She knew both doors were not letting the people who pay rent into the building.
- Her car is not great in the snow, but, she has new tires!
- Her husband drives like an idiot.
- Her car is "purplish."

Then I thought about "Things I Did Not Know Yet"

- When my doors were getting fixed

Since this conversation our front door was fixed. (The back door was WD-40'd by a neighbor.) The next time someone breaks a key off in the lock I'm going to call the Management Secretary Person and explain to her it's too cold to struggle with a key outside because my fingers will turn purplish.

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