This weekend started out on a high note because on Friday morning, Matt was offered a new job. It was wonderful, long-awaited news, so we decided to go out to dinner to celebrate. He asked where I’d like to eat, but I told him that since it was his big day, he should pick. After going back and forth between a few possibilities, he chose Applebee’s, which thrilled me because Applebee’s is one of my favorite places.
I am very fancy.
We had a great time and a delicious dinner and were even feeling so philanthropic and flying high on the idea of a bigger paycheck that when we left the restaurant we decided to buy a bag of popcorn from the Cub Scouts who were sitting outside. We selected a nine ounce bag of chocolate drizzled popcorn from the table and the little boy said, “Thank you. That’ll be eighteen dollars.”
Matt was a cub scout and a boy scout, and to this day he recites that scout law on a very regular basis.
(A scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.)
I’m not sure what is thrifty about spending eighteen dollars for a small bag of popcorn, but we handed over our cash and headed home with our popcorn that was most certainly made from the FINEST POPCORN KERNELS IN ALL THE WORLD. We started talking about our weekend plans as we walked to our apartment, and Matt mentioned that he wanted to call and see if he could get in for a haircut the next morning.
We were almost to our door when we heard our neighbor Carol scream, “MATT!! LAURA!!”
(Actually, she yelled, “MORT!” but I hesitated writing that lest you think I was returning home with a man other than my husband. She calls Matt ‘Mort’ for reasons unknown, but we have been here for almost seven months now so it feels like it’s too late in the game to tell her his name is actually Matt.)
((That reminds me of a time in sixth grade when my math teacher, an Catholic nun named Sister Solange, would make the whole class go to the chalkboard to do our math problems, sign our names at the bottom, and then return to our seats so she could check them. One of my classmates was named Stanley, but one day when he signed his name below his math problem, he made the mistake of writing the ‘l’ and the ‘e’ too close together so that it looked like a ‘k.’ And Sister Solange read it as “Stanky.” She thought that was just the cleverest nickname and she called poor Stanley “Stanky” the rest of the year.))
Anyway, Carol is elderly so we thought she may have fallen or something had gone terribly wrong so we rushed back to her door. She was coming outside and said, “I have just been waiting for you two to get home!! Your air conditioner made the biggest bang while you were gone!! It scared me!! It was the loudest bang I’ve ever heard!!”
That was unfortunate news to hear since it was 91 degrees outside with approximately 110% humidity. Matt briefly investigated things and sure enough, the fan was blowing but there was no cold air to speak of. We called the landlord and then Matt immediately went into survival mode, and by that I mean he turned off all the lights, lit one small candle, and got out his flashlight and ham radio.
We hadn’t lost electricity, but he was so excited about the drama I didn’t say anything. It was like his inner boy scout came out again.
The next morning, the HVAC guy showed up at the crack of 8:00 and informed us that the capacitor had indeed exploded. He was able to go to the warehouse and get a new one which was a relief because the temperature was hovering somewhere around eighty five degrees and the surface of the sun.
Once the capacitor was fixed and the repairman and our landlord left, Matt picked up the phone to see if he could get in for a haircut.
Except the phone didn’t work.
And then we turned on the TV. And it didn’t work either.
All of our Comcast services were out, and since our cell phones don’t work in our apartment (hello cement walls), you could say there was some TROUBLE RIGHT HERE IN RIVER CITY.
Matt looked around and said, “Well, I guess I’m going to have to do some electrical work.” It was at that moment that I decided to head to Kohl’s.
When I returned home, everything was back in working order. The UPS man had even stopped by to deliver Matt’s benefits information for his new job, so I sat with him while he went through it and planned our next vacation in my head because TWO WEEKS, HOLLA.
And then Matt got to the part about health insurance. Let me just say that health insurance is not my wheelhouse. In fact, when I was hired for my first real job, I received my paperwork and saw there was an option for a “cafeteria plan.” And I brought that paperwork home to my father and told him I was so excited that my job included the option of lunch.
So I’m going to trust Matt to make the decisions in that department.
And I will stick to packing his lunches in my very own version of a cafeteria plan.