Letters to Holly

Friday, July 9

Strangle That Salesman

The plan was for the Lowe's folks to call us before they showed up with the new dryer. I say this was the plan because that is what we were told by whom I now know is an Exuberant Salesman. They did not call. They arrived at the crack of fuck-thirty, and we were in chaos. I hadn't yet moved the washer out of the way. I hadn't even gotten out of bed yet. That call was to be my alarm clock.

Your Sister came into the room clutching a nursing baby with word of their arrival. I staggered out to the garage and watched as they put the dryer in the carport. I was then told that they would come back to get the old dryer; they had to wait for the installation guy to disconnect it from the gas line.

Lowe's was already pissing me off. The coordination between the store and the installer was nil. He called me first to ask if the store had set up a time yet. Then he asked what Exuberant Salesman had told me about any installation kits. ES said the installer would provide them. The installer told me they were not free; I had to pay for them. I decided to let them hash it out, and apparently the store decided not to charge me because of ES's claims.

Later, I realized that the dryer they delivered didn't look like the floor model. The doors were different. I called the store and talked to someone who wasn't Exuberant Salesman, saying I didn't know what else might be different. I was assured the dryers were deemed comparable. I let whoever answered the phone hear all about my retail frustrations. I told them I wasn't looking for anything but confidence that my significant purchase was given its due attention. I also suggested they rein in the salesperson.

Between delivery and installation, Your Sister and I each saw the eye doctor and were given many drops to make our eyes go wonky. I stopped by Lowe's right after my appointment and took a picture of the floor model in the now fading intention to send a multimedia complaint letter. The installer showed up on time and quickly discovered that our gas outlet was a relic. It took him a long time to get the connection set up for the new dryer, proving that the installation fee was well worth it. There's no way Your Sis and I could have managed the new connection on our own. The machine was in place within a half hour, and the installer gave me his card for his plumbing business. I put it right on the fridge, and I will call him when we need help. He struck me as a decent fella.

We used the new dryer within an hour of his departure. The old dryer was taken away by him and his assistant who knows someone in the junk metal business. The new dryer is much quieter and quicker. We still have no idea how old its predecessor was.

We're trying a new trick with the boy: A bottle feeding before our bedtime. The hope is that he'll be comatose longer, and we can sleep more. Last night didn't work so well as he took forever to sleep. We see the doctor today for a follow-up, and I'm sure our baby sponge will wigh significantly more.

Also, we have both tried her milk. Eh. It's milk. It tastes like milk. It's milky in all the milkish ways.

Picture of the Day will return soon.

Wednesday, July 7

And So.

The common question for new parents concerns sleep. How often does the baby wake you up, I hear. He wakes up about twice a night for milk and changing, but that's not the real problem. No, what really affects you are these: the paranoia over every sound he makes, and the inability to fall back to sleep.

It's rare for him to sleep quietly. He wheezes. He snores. He clears his throat. All that mixes with my intention to get him to a bottle before the crying begins. My ears are cocked for the start of an outburst, and every chirp rouses me. Your Sister has it worse; she reacts to imaginary sounds. I'm at least dealing with real ones. But I can't drift asleep as easily as she can, as apparently all you people can. Half of my bedtime is spent trying to get unconscious. That's what racks up the damage.

Yesterday was a drama. Your Sister's younger cat was given a terminal diagnosis. It's an intestinal tumor, and the vet said she maybe has a few weeks. We'll keep her comfortable here and put her out of her misery when she inevitably can no longer eat. Also, our dryer gave out, and I rushed out to buy a new one. We hope it's delivered before the weekend. Fortunately, this nice weather let us sun-dry all the wet laundry.

We watched the semifinal World Cup match, and that first Netherlands goal may be my favorite of the tournament.

We visited a teacher friend Monday night and gave her the pineapple cake. We continue to savor the bakery cake ourselves.