I don’t mean to be grumpy

Jimmy Tohill/National Geographic Contest

I’ve had better days.

I’d been looking forward to Sunday for weeks. A friend (who is a very talented artist and teacher) had suggested a meet up on Sunday afternoon at a restaurant/tavern several of us enjoy for the express purpose of drawing or otherwise arting together, while drinking with friends. Two of my New Year’s resolutions are to do more socializing that isn’t driven by specific projects, and to do more art and music. So this was a tangible way to do a bit of both. Then my favorite meteorology professor said, during his weekly science of weather segment on one of the local NPR stations, said that we had a probability of lowland snow this weekend, and the further north of Seattle one went, the higher the probability.

And specifically he said, “Bellingham will see it for sure.” Bellingham being where the host of the event lives, and the location of the event being a spot sort of midway between Seattle and Bellingham, therefore in the snow zone, there was a possibility the event would be canceled…

Now, long before I knew about this, some other things happened. On Thursday during the workday, my husband texted me to say that when he tried to make himself breakfast after I’d left in the morning, the microwave seemed to short out. I had used the microwave oven last on Tuesday to make some vegetables to go along with the main dish I’d cooked in the regular oven, and it had worked fine. But the oven is 8 or more years old (we were trying to remember when we bought it; for various reasons I know it was after we bought the living room furniture back in early 2001, and at least three years before I was laid off at my old job in 2008, but that’s all the further we could narrow it).

Anyway, 8 years seems to us as if we got our money’s worth, so it’s mostly just an annoyance having it die.

We were busy on Friday and Saturday getting the house cleaned up enough for company that was coming over Saturday night. And while we’re both feeling better, we’re still both a bit rundown from the latest illness, so cleaning and so forth took longer than it should. And it was way more messy than we usually let it get because between us at least one member of the household has been sick continuously since late December.

And I was feeling a little bit guilty that, between not feeling well and having a truly, embarrassingly messy house to clean up and not feeling up to doing even that, neither of us went to help a friend who was moving house this weekend.

Saturday there was a bit of snow up north of us. In fact, snow mixed with rain was coming down just 12 blocks north of our house at one point, but the last I’d heard, nothing was sticking anywhere, so it wasn’t making travel an issue. So, I was still hopeful about Sunday afternoon.

I got up early Sunday to sort laundry. We share a washer-dryer set (in the basement) with the tenants of the other three units in our building. It so happens that every place I’ve lived for the past 29 1/2 years has lacked a washer-dryer that is exclusively mine to use, so I’m pretty used to this. I was hoping that the machines would be free, so I could get our laundry done before we needed to leave.

When I got downstairs, there was a load of laundry sitting, wet, in the washer (I couldn’t tell how long ago it had run), and a couple of bags waiting nearby. I figured I’d have to do laundry when we got back from the drink ‘n’ draw.

I got upstairs and another friend, who happens to live next door to the person hosting the drink ‘n’ draw, tweeted a picture of the fairly deep snow that had fallen overnight at their place. Not long after, I received the message that the event was canceled.

When Michael got up, I told him the event was canceled and I mentioned the situation in the laundry room. He informed me that those bags of clothes I described have been sitting down there all week (he goes into the basement every weekday morning to get his bike to ride to work). I went downstairs, and the situation was exactly the same. So, I could either leave everything as it was, and not do any laundry. Or I could move the wet clothes (which seems like an invasion of privacy). Or I could knock on everyone’s door asking each neighbor if they forgot that they had laundry in the basement.

The latter is what I probably ought to have done, but some of the past neighbors (none of the current folks) have taken offense (or maybe just got hostilely defensive) at such questions, so I’ve developed this probably totally unreasonable reluctance to broach such topics.

The upshot was, that I couldn’t start on the laundry without doing something else first that I was reluctant to do. The get-together was not happening. We still hadn’t dealt with the dead microwave oven. And I haven’t gotten any significant writing down in days.

All of those minor annoyances combined to send me into a mope.

While I was cooking us a late breakfast, I shared my grumpiness with Michael, and he suggested that we should, at the very least, go look at microwave ovens. Even if we didn’t buy a new one, getting out of the house for a bit would probably help.

Which, of course, it did. We ran into one of the neighbors on our way out, and I asked if he knew whose laundry was in the washing machine. He did an “oh, crap! I forgot!” and ran down to the basement. We got to a store, spent a few minutes looking at microwaves, including a stroll through the clearance section, then settled on a Cuisinart microwave/convection oven that’s a bit smaller than our old one (but the old one was far bigger than anything we’ve ever cooked in it). We stopped at my favorite restaurant on the way home. I had a glass of a wine of which I am particularly fond, along with a very tasty roasted salmon dish. By which point I was no longer feeling like a grouch.

The rest of the evening consisted of pulling out the old microwave, setting up and testing the new one, doing the laundry, and me doing some writing for the blog and writing on my novel.

It would have been more fun with a couple of Fluttershy Mai Tais in there somewhere, but I can’t complain about how things turned out.

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About fontfolly

I've loved reading for as long as I can remember. I write fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and nonfiction. I publish an anthropomorphic sci-fi/space opera literary fanzine. I attend and work on the staff for several anthropormorphics, anime, and science fiction conventions. I live in Seattle with my wonderful husband, still completely amazed that he puts up with me at all.

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