Friday, February 1, 2013

A Slow, Slow, Take It Slow... Crumbling

For awhile there, especially after I got divorced, I was blogging every single Turkey challenge I clumsily managed like it was some kind of major fucking triumph. I couldn't help it. It felt good. Getting divorced felt good and getting people to do what I wanted felt good and dealing with simple things like ordering a bottle of water over the phone felt good. Even going to the market and coming home with some parsley and an onion felt good.

Actually, all of that still feels good. I'm not really off the divorce cloud yet, be sure. But I thought maybe the whole "making such-and-such my bitch" blogthing was getting a little old. It's not that I've stopped making stuff be my bitch. It's just that I've stopped writing about it so much.

I read something recently (I can't say where because I read a lot of crap every day) about how people's ability to delude themselves about their own selves is one of the things that gets us through the day, every day. Maybe it's because my 40th is looming, or maybe it's because it's hard to believe that things are mostly good, that I started thinking all of this bitch-making, plus some other stuff, plus the drinking, is all just masking some kind of profound unhappiness and deep dissatisfaction with everything. Maybe I'm masterfully deluding myself that everything is as good as it seems to be.

Or maybe I really do just like booze and other stuff and making shit my bitch and life is surprisingly still okay, knock on wood. It's hard to say what's true and what's a masterful lie, in terms of just about everything.

So the other night, some friends came over for dinner and it was a good idea all around. We had mulled wine, and I was going to make some pasta, and we talked an awful lot of shop (most of my friends are work friends, after all) plus some juicy as fuck gossip about people who I have to face this coming Monday without giggling, or bitch slapping then giggling.

I am a useless piece of annoying shit.
I have this thing in my kitchen I never wanted, which is some goddamn apparatus that detects gas leaks. Given the smell of gas, I suppose my nose is a good enough detector of gas leaks. I guess it's possible the gas could start leaking at night while I was asleep, but WTF? I've had gas in my house since my late teens and I've never died from it, so as far as I'm concerned, the gas leak detector is a useless piece of shit that people buy because of a terror they never knew they had.

Seriously, if someone were going to make a useful detector, it would be an earthquake detector that warned me 24 hours in advance that there was going to be a big earthquake so I could get the fuck out of Dodge with the requisite paperwork and bottled water. In light of the earthquake, the gas leak detector is a whole lot of meh.

The problem with gas leak detectors is that, like cheap smoke detectors, they get set off by all kinds of things, like steam and interesting smells. The pot of mulled wine heating on the stove, plus perhaps the heat of 4 people snarking in the kitchen and the gas detector started making its horrible buzz. The only way to shut it up was to open all the windows.

I channel you sometimes.
In our old house upstairs, the gas detector started going off all the time in a similarly useless way. I made BE call the Bosch servis guy to check that all was in order and to find out if it was okay if we just killed the fucking gas detector. The Bosch servis guy assured us that as long as we didn't mention we heard it from him, it would be fine to kill the gas detector. Since I was the person in the house that fixed shit, I cut the power at the main, and then I climbed our metal ladder with a flashlight between my teeth wearing rubber soled shoes because I'm such a fucking expert in electricity or whatever, and I used my Felcos to cut the wires of the gas detector. In the interest of safety, I wrapped the cut wire-ends in electrical tape. Nobody died in the process, and we never heard a peep from the stupid gas detector again.

In our new house downstairs, the other night was the first time the stupid gas detector went off. It was fucking annoying. And just to show it was cooler than the one upstairs, this one automatically cut the gas off in addition to buzzing annoyingly.

Whatever. I still made the food on the one electric burner. The house was getting cold because it was like 0 C outside, but the wine and the company and the giggling made up for that wee problem and I just figured everything would sort itself out eventually because often enough, that's what happens.

Except it didn't sort itself out. The next morning the house was cold enough that LE bitched about he cold and he's the guy who whips all his clothes off like Bruce Lee while I'm shivering in a wool sweater and a fleece, unable to feel the hand the works the mouse.

I have nothing better to do than solve your stupid problems.

But I had to go to work and give some make-up exams to people who don't seem to understand what break means, because teachers are just their personal exam-giving robots or something. And when I came home from work, the gas problem has still failed to sort itself out.

Cleverly, first thing in the morning, I had presented my gas problem on Facebook because, while I was totally prepared to make someone my bitch and get the gas turned on, I had no idea who I was supposed to call. The gas people? The Bosch people? My landlord? Some other people? God forbid I would have to involve my ex somehow, since it's his name on the gas account and the rental contract.

According to what I learned on Facebook from people who are way smarter than I am, I called the gas people. The first guy I talked to seemed willing to help, and got our tesisat number off an old gas bill I'd had the foresight to have handy, and transferred me to another guy who was maybe willing to help, but I couldn't tell since he apparently had no teeth and talked without moving his lips. Granted my phone skills have improved, but I do have my limits. He was saying something about a black circular thing near the numbers on the meter, that all I had to do was pull it. The only black circular thing near the numbers on my meter was a screw that I could tell wasn't connected to anything, but I pulled it and pushed it and turned it a little and told the guy there wasn't any circular thing near the numbers on my meter. There was another silver circular thingy up above the meter, and I turned it too, for good measure, but truth be told, anything to do with gas or electricity scares the bejeezus out of me and I wasn't willing to fuck around with anything else on the meter, circular or otherwise.

He told me I had to talk to the Bosch people, and gave me a number. While I was looking for a pen, LE turned on one of his Calliou videos that has gut-wrenching high volume so I yelled at him and found a pen and took the number.

Then I felt bad about yelling at LE even though I'd warned him in advance that I had to sort out a difficult phone problem and there was a good chance I'd get all yell-y. So I gave him a cuddle and apologized and he apologized and then he accidentally broke the cigarette I was about to go out and smoke by way of a break from all of this, and he apologized again and I cuddled him again and went out and smoked the cigarette without the filter and LE laughed at me through the window as I spit bits of tobacco into the trash can. It was a totally unsatisfying cigarette, which I probably deserved in some way.

I called Bosch and explained the problem, but the call center lady was inordinately focussed on whether my stove was working or not. I assured her the stove was fine but we had no gas because of the fucking gas detector. So was it my kombi that wasn't working, she wondered? I told her assumed the kombi was working fine, but I had no way of knowing because of the goddamned gas detector. In fact, all she was interested in was which of my Bosch white goods wasn't working, and she transferred me to the heating department. I explained the problem all over again to the heating department lady, and she told me I needed to call the gas company. I told her the gas company had told me to call them. I totally fucked up the embedded noun clause required to tell her this, but she took it like a champ and gave me another phone number. I repeated it back to her to make sure I'd written it right. It was right.

So I called the other phone number and it was someone's house. I apologized appropriately. The woman who answered the phone was nice about it, though she seemed faintly disappointed I didn't want to talk more. I thought about all the wrong number calls I've had here, where the person calling acts like you've done something with the person they're calling for and then just wants to keep on chatting, so maybe my apology wasn't so appropriate after all.

Fuck. I decided just to start all over again.

The gas company guy transferred me to another guy who had teeth and used his lips to speak. That guy started going on again about the circular thing near the numbers and I told him I had no idea what what he was talking about and he offered to send some guys over to check it out and I happily accepted his offer. He said they'd be over within the hour.

It's a matter of form.
I told LE that if those guys came within the hour, he was for sure going to have a bath. He was beyond due for a bath and getting stinky. LE pitched his usual bath fuss even though once he's in the bath, he thinks it's the best place ever.

The guys really did turn up within the hour. And that silver circular thing on the meter nowhere near the numbers that I'd turned earlier? All I'd needed to do was pull it. The guy pushed and pulled it a few times to show me how easy it was. He seemed to want to treat me like I was an idiot, but he also seemed to enjoy being my gas-turning-on hero, so he was torn. I tried to explain to him that the guy on the phone had mentioned a black circular thing near the numbers, which was why I hadn't messed with that other silver circular thing, but that required an even more complicated embedded noun clause. He told me to go turn on the stove to make sure the gas was working. It was. So then I asked him if there was any way I could just kill the stupid gas detector, but he thought that was inadvisable. I told him I hated the gas detector and that it was useless if it goes from steam and cooking, and he was all, "Yeah, even garlic and kolonya sets those things off." He pushed and pulled the silver circular thingie a few more times to demonstrate what I should do if the gas detector went off uselessly again.

And I thanked him the five different ways you thank people and they went on their way and LE had his bath and everyone was happy.

I still haven't killed the gas detector. I'm considering it, but I'm afraid it'll make my landlord suspicious if two gas detectors are disabled.

And even after all of that, I didn't feel like I made anything my bitch. For sure I'm never calling Bosch servis again about the actual problems I'm having with my kombi, but that's about the only take-away I have from this.

Ah, Turkey. It was fun making you my bitch, you voodoo minx princess. But for now, I'm just gonna make love to you in my sleep, and Lord knows you'll feel no pain.

 Our relationship has moved to the next level somehow.


Ayak said...

I still feel good when I sort out stuff myself and actually resent having to hand over sorting out to my husband...especially when I've taken days to resolve a problem and he manages to speak to the right person and sort it out within minutes.

Stranger said...

The most frustrating thing about people's ability to sort things out in a few minutes is that you can't learn anything from it. The same solution never works on a future problem.

Liz Cameron said...

For me, my divorce was all about making the world my bitch for a time. I embrace that phase of your Istanbul strangerness and this new one too! Bravissima!

Stranger said...

I do love making the world my bitch.

Thanks, Liz!