Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Save My Washing Machine, Save Me
Roger is a saviour. The laundry had been piled up for a week, just awaiting the expertise (and hose) of a guy like him, one of several upbeat super-helpful repairmen deployed by Lenny of Len's Appliance Service that have come in to our home and restored order and orderliness. Granted, it took them a few days for the part to come in and I had to be flexible in accordance with their busy schedule, but they were patient and so was I.
"I need you, now!" I'd joked to Lenny, the owner over the phone.
"I love you, but..." he'd said. The "but" in this case totally negated the love. There were so many other women, truly desperate housewives, he couldn't even pretend to differentiate us. It was first come first served with Len.
"I had a boyfriend named Lenny in high school..." I told him, as if he cared, as if this would make him schedule the belt getting put in my washer any faster. It's always worth a try.
It reminded me of my days soliciting grocery buyers over the phone all across the country to ferret out the latest package-goods marketing secrets. One of them, a hilarious man I adored in upstate New York, was always on the money when it was my time of the month, the first to guess I was pregnant with my second.
When Roger finally arrived with the part, the stench in my place was beginning to grow a little fermented.
"You must be very popular," I said to Roger, giddy when he closed the lid on my newly fixed washer and carefully wiped the machine with a cloth to remove the smudges he'd placed there.
"People do tend to appreciate me," he said with a big happy-with-his-job smile. "Actually, sometimes, it's like it was the first time someone was ever nice to them. I make them feel comfortable in their own home, like I'm not sure they normally are."
Roger was proud of his efforts and rightly so. He was sure to tell me he didn't set the prices. Better to separate yourself from the bill if you want to be popular and appreciated. Smart man, Roger. And for this I gave him a big gold star.