Wednesday, July 12, 2006

I’d Invite You Over, But You’d Have to Park in Duluth

The street in front of my house has been torn up for a couple of weeks now. What used to be blacktop is now a wide muddy trough full of bulldozers and blinky hazard markers and large men in orange vests. The trough is a good three feet below where the street used to be, and the curbs and driveway aprons are completely gone, so a steep gravel ramp temporarily allows me to get in and out of my driveway. Assuming that an earth mover hasn’t parked in front of my house, that is.

The work is scheduled to continue through the summer, and the thought of that is exhausting, because I never know from one day to the next what I’ll find when I arrive at my street. Some days one end is open, some days that same end has a huge hole full of workers in the middle of it, and I have to circle the block and try the other end. Sometimes that end turns out to have a giant pile of gravel blocking the way, and I have to circle back around and try the other end again. A more evolved individual might find this recurring challenge exciting, but I am not a person who likes having my routine f*cked with. At the end of the day, I just want to get my sorry self home, I don’t want to have to strategize new ways to get into my own blessed driveway on a daily basis.

To make matters worse, the parking lot of the building where I work is also being re-surfaced. Half of the lot looks eerily like the street in front of my house, which means that the number of available parking spaces has been cut in half. Yeah. You do the math. I’ve been arriving early enough in the mornings to find a spot without too much trouble, but on the one day when I made the mistake of leaving for lunch, the only available parking space when I returned was next to a dumpster. In Winnipeg.

Last Friday, after dodging a steamroller and weaving my way through the orange cones, I arrived home from work to find a bright pink notice attached to my front door informing me that, due to some utility work, the water would be turned off for most of the day on Monday. The notice included instructions for filling the bathtub with water, which could then be used to keep the toilet tank flushing until the water was turned back on.

The DemiGoddesses are astonishingly capable young women, but I really didn’t want them to have to deal with that all day. Knowing that one of The Ex’s sisters was in town with her new baby and would be staying at The Ex’s parents’ house, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone, and called The Ex’s mother to see if the Demis could spend Sunday night and Monday at her house as well. That way they could visit with their aunt and the baby, and be away from our house until the water was back on.

It seemed like a reasonable plan, except that making the arrangements turned out to involve much more hemming and hawing, taking of votes and general drama than I had anticipated, for reasons that rest entirely on shoulders of The Ex and the Universally Hated Step Psycho. Though the details are highly entertaining and I would very much love to share them, it seems that The Ex has been reading this blog for some time now and has taken issue with a few of the things I have written here. In spite of that, relations of late have been cordial (sort of), and for the sake of the children and my own serenity, I am trying to play nice. So I’m not going to post the specifics of what transpired. If you want the dirt, you’ll have to e-mail me.

In the end, the Demis did spend the night at their grandparents’ house. They had some quality time with their aunt and the baby, and enjoyed a lovely day with their grandmother on Monday, including going out for lunch. So I was feeling pretty good about having handled that mini-crisis until I arrived home from work on Monday to find another notice on my door, informing me that the water was going to be turned off again on Tuesday.

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