Sharkey emails. He’s bought me a ticket to a Supersuckers show on a Saturday night in December. This is his way of saying, “We’re all going. You’re going. And by the way, you’re GOING!” I threaten to pay him back. He says I’m like a cat shivering in the rain and that makes him feel generous. I don’t know whether to thank him or have myself blow-dried.
Last night, I suggested to a dear friend that he consider rehab. Surprisingly, he didn’t tell me to go fuck myself. This morning, I woke up happy despite the rain. I love the rain and wish it didn’t damage people so. On the news, North Jersey looks like the Gulf Coast minus the floating bodies. Miss Sasha and I called each other back and forth all afternoon on Saturday. The baker’s rack went back to Pensacola but we finally know most of its mysterious epic. Skip this if you hate convoluted stories in which people triumph through dogged determination, judicious use of bad language and not knowing when to quit:
Long ago, which is to say two Wednesdays into the past, Mr. Sasha wrapped the baker’s rack, addressed it and took it to a UPS store. Mr. Sasha, bless his heart, grafted together two of my addresses and improvised a third. Over a week later, a postcard from UPS arrives. All the significant numbers and information are somehow obscured by the postmark but I see clearly that UPS intends to send it back if they don’t hear from me early and often by Monday morning. I don’t even notice how completely off the address is. After all: the postcard arrived, did it not? At 8:32 a.m. last Monday, I discussed the package with a lovely woman who answered the phone and was just as mystified as I was. Illegible postcard. Odd, large package. Locked building. I recall telling her my address as part of the verifying process. She assured me the package would be delivered on Wednesday. Just after 11 a.m. the package was sent back to Pensacola, so it comes as no surprise that on Wednesday, the package did not arrive and on Thursday, it continued its naughty not-arriving.
Last Friday, Miss Sasha received notice of some sort that the package had returned. Then she and I spent Saturday afternoon trying to figure out how that postcard miraculously came to me when it was addressed to an imaginary street in a different town. Plus, the box was damaged in shipping. When Miss Sasha proposed that UPS send it back to me per the agreement I’d made with the phone representative the manager of the store sneered at her. Against all odds, she did not call him “you pigfucker”. She called customer service, where another representative assured Miss Sasha the store manager would be happy to send me that package.
So. The repaired package is on its way to me. I will believe it when I see it. I can’t give my heart to furniture when I’ve been burned before. The new thing that happened was that at no time did I have to call someone and – as Grandma taught all us girls – tell someone what they were going to do for me. I didn’t have to because:
Tata: Okay, Mommy will handle this on Monday.
Miss Sasha: No, I will handle this now.
Tata: Wait, what just happened?
And why do I refer to myself in the wacky third person while talking to my adult daughter?
The good news is I went to Sears on Sunday, determined to boost the Gross National Product by one electric screwdriver, possibly a microwave and a small TV for the bedroom. Reading this, two of my exceedingly thrifty sisters are now deeply horrified that I skipped scouring the classifieds for used appliances and went straight for the gigundo retailer but they understand I’m just as short on patience for appliance failure as I am on money. Nobody fixes TVs anymore and repairing a microwave is asking for trouble. So: Sears. I stared. I stared. I wondered if I were dreaming the price tags. I wondered why I was still standing there, dumbfounded by consumer electronics. Then I bought the screwdriver.
Monday night, I installed the roman shade in my kitchen that will prevent me from being arrested if I decide to brew coffee topless. Suddenly, everything was a different kind of okay. I have the correct tool for the job. I can solve some of my problems without waiting for someone to help me. I want that baker’s rack, and its precise measurements for the microwave I will buy. And I want all this today.