The Curse

Dear %^@! Baby. You probably think this one is about you.

YOU’RE WRONG. Let’s keep it about me.

As a military wife, I have to put up with a lot of shit. And I can handle it. I honestly don’t even despise deployments.  I don’t love that he leaves for months at a time, but it is what it is. We sort of like having the time apart since it’s always been built into our relationship. We would have killed each other years ago if we didn’t have some separation occasionally. And it gives me a chance to miss him and remember why I like having him around.

Because he fixes things.

And as soon as he leaves, well. Shit breaks.

I have a curse. THE CURSE OF THE DEPLOYMENT.

The first deployment included the city turning off my water, me trying to wrench it back on in the rain, then walking into the house to find the dog had destroyed his bed but the insides of the bed were the color of the cat leading me to think he had destroyed the cat and that the pit bull had finally snapped. He hadn’t, obviously,  but I will never forget that 30 seconds of WTF PIT BULL PANIC. That was just the first day! A few weeks later there was a tornado about a quarter mile away, during which I stood at the open back door and listened to it instead of hiding in the closet like I would normally do. That was also the summer of the black widow infestation and the wasp attack.

OH GOD THE CAT IS DESTROYED.

The second included a broken air conditioner, the basement air thingie unit leaking, a mess with the cable company and a pain in the ass internet router. The car had multiple major problems. Then the dog got some weird bacterial infection that included trips to the emergency vet, steroids, cleaning the wound and trying not to vomit while doing it.

The third, oh man, the third. It was the shortest. It seemed like there was so little time for things to go wrong. I felt secure this time. This time would be different. I was wrong. IT WAS THE WORST. First, there was that crazy D.C.  earthquake. Then my sump pump malfunctioned and the back third of my carpet was soaked. I tried to clean it up myself, said %!^# this and made my first homeowners claim. BEST $500 DEDUCTIBLE EVER SPENT. See, they cut the carpet out (yay, now we get “free” carpet!) and the bottom section of the back wall (yay, I needed to paint anyway!). I thought it was over. That was easy.

Holy shit. Was I wrong.

Enter: Irene. Since the sump pump was repaired, the only concern I had was how long the back-up battery would last if the power went out. I thought the whole thing would be kind of fun. I wasn’t concerned. I should have been. LEAKS. LEAKS EVERYWHERE. Under the egress window, which explained why the wall was wet so far away from the sump pump. On another unfinished wall. In the crawl space. Water. Everywhere. I could SEE the crack where it was gushing out the worst because I had that wall and carpet cut out the week before. Without that, I would have been 94.3% more screwed. Like I said, best $500 ever spent and a rare piece of luck.

Thankfully, oh jebus thankfully, I never lost power. I Shop-Vac’ed the leak under the window all night. I had a rotation of towels that went from floor-spin cycle-dryer-floor. I couldn’t dump the water from the vac anywhere in the basement, so I hauled the vacuum base + ten or more gallons of water up the stairs and dumped it down the driveway. All. Night. Long. So. Many. Tears. And I drank. Oh man, did I drink. But I saved the basement. I was a crazed, water-logged, semi-drunk machine.

Contractors came and estimated the work to fix the leaks. It would not be covered under insurance because that’s how I roll. IT TAKES A LOT OF MONEY TO REPLACE YOUR DRAIN TILE SYSTEM, MY FRIENDS.

And then. THEN. Lee came in to town. Less hyped than Irene, I was worried but not too much. HOLY SHIT IT WAS SO MUCH WORSE. I had a friend staying with me that month and let me tell you, he made up for his “rent” in manual labor. The Shop Vac filled up in less than a minute and a half during the worst parts.  I was ready to throw in the towel (pun slightly intended) but this kid wouldn’t quit. We pulled up the laminate floor in the office. He MacGyver’ed a funnel system for one leak. We spent the entire night sopping and wringing and vaccing and dumping and drying and crying. Okay, so the crying was me. It was beyond insane.

Call Kenny Loggins.

Long story short (too late), the basement eventually got repaired, the rain and leaks stopped, I got to sleep at night. I still get paranoid when it rains and when the sump pumps. I never want to touch that stupid Shop-Vac ever again. POINT BEING – THIS ALL HAPPENED WHILE BIG A WAS GONE.

And now? Another deployment has begun. AND I’M PREGNANT. What’s going to happen this time!? So begins the next few months of being on edge, waiting for the roof to blow off, that crazy slanted tree in the neighbor’s back yard to fall on my house, the water heater to explode, something to go wrong with me and hamster fetus.

And I can’t even have a Manhattan to calm my nerves this time. But I can type super long self-centered blog rants.

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