Monday, July 24, 2006

I just don't understand me, sometimes

Captain Adventure cried a lot last night. He’d wake up every hour or so and let off a few yowls – just enough to make sure I was fully awake, not quite enough to get me out of bed.

I’m pretty sure he was hot and pissed off about it. Because we were all hot and pissed off about it. Why? Because our lousy rotten piece of crap ancient excuse of an air conditioner can’t cool the house down. It does a pretty good job on the downstairs hallway (where the thermostat is), but upstairs or in the playroom? Eh. Not so good.

My parents actually complained about it the last time they stayed here with the kids. “Honey, we tried to figure out the air conditioner…” my mom said. “But it seemed like it just didn’t work upstairs?”

No. No it doesn’t. The ducts are falling apart, and the unit itself is barely puffing along. It also doesn’t heat well in the winter. Costs about $50 per instance to even look at the thermostat, but doesn’t actually heat or cool the house.

Thanks for noticing.

And for a mere ten thousand dollars, I can have it all fixed. The ducts (or lack thereof), and a new HVAC unit to push cool and/or hot air through them.

These are the times that take me back to my misspent youth. Misspent as in, “I misspent so much money it absolutely boggles the mind!”

Because right now, as I sit here allegedly working but really thinking only about how hot it is and resisting the urge to wash my hands for about the six hundredth time today because they feel sticky, I’m more than ready to spend ten thousand dollars I don’t technically have on the theory that I’m only going to go through this life once, and I don’t want to do it with sweaty hands.

271% interest? $700 monthly payments for ten years? No problem. As long as it means I can go to bed tonight without feeling as though I’m going to sweat to death, I’m sold. I don’t care that this is only going to last another month, or that it’s only two-three months out of twelve (plus another two-three months of the ‘now I’m too cold’ part, which I guess makes it up to six months out of the year misery is upon us because of the stupid piece of crap HVAC unit and associated poor ductwork).

I want it fixed, and I want it fixed now.

Being a grownup sucks.

It’s like when my husband says, “You’re getting all stressed out. Why don’t you take a weekend away, I’ll stay with the kids, you just go do a spa trip or something” and I, as CFO of the Den, have to say, “No, that would be fiscally imprudent at this particular time.”

That’s just wrong. Because of course I resent it, but who am I going to resent? Who’s the big bad guy creating this problem?

Me, that’s who. I’m the one saying I can’t go. And how am I supposed to punish myself for being such a stuck-up jerk? Whine at myself? Refuse to make me coffee in the morning on the basis that I am not, all appearances to the contrary aside, my slave?

Which doesn’t work anyway, because then I just say to myself, “OK, fine, go sulk. I’ll make my own damned coffee. When you want to discuss this like a rational adult instead of being a petulant little brat, come see me. I’ll be in my office researching tax-exempt bonds.”

And then I go stalking off with my coffee and leave me kicking dirt clumps and slamming kitchen cupboards.

I just don’t understand me, that’s the problem. I never have understood me. I probably never will, any more than I understand why I put up with me. Anybody else would have left me long ago but no! I stay with me.

Most of the time, anyway.

Even though I make me so mad sometimes I could spit nails…


Very Herodotus said...

FWIW, we had our heat pump completely replaced last June (cost was $4400), and our power usage dropped by 50%. I was pleasantly shocked!! Our old unit was about 13 years old. It's nice to use so much less power, since BGE just increased their rates by 72%. Yes, that's right - SEVENTY TWO PERCENT. They've got a phase-in plan, but still.

I've never heard of replacing duct work though. I thought ducts lasted pretty much forever. Wouldn't you have to rip out some walls to get to the ducts to replace them? I can't imagine that mess!!

wrnglrjan said...

It’s like when my husband says, “You’re getting all stressed out. Why don’t you take a weekend away, I’ll stay with the kids, you just go do a spa trip or something” and I, as CFO of the Den, have to say, “No, that would be fiscally imprudent at this particular time.”

Just wanted to say that you could screw the spa and go camp out somewhere, relaxing and reading chick lit or whatever strikes your fancy and it would still be a weekend away.

My husband, Lord love him, would never ever ever make this offer and I think on behalf of all the women in my boat (which is, I feel confident, a lot larger than yours -- think cruise ship versus life raft) you should take him up on it should he offer again.

I hear you on the heat thing. Sucks sucks sucks. I recommend a cold shower just before bed and sleeping in front of a fan.


Mother of Chaos said...

The ducts are an interesting problem. When we had our air conditioner tuned up a couple years ago, they did a "blow test" (stop laughing) and found that the air flow upstairs was pretty bad - in our master bedroom, it's barely coming out at all and in the master bath (coincidentally The Single Hottest Area In The House) it doesn't even reach the level of a sigh, force-wise.

Apparently what happens is the seal around the ducts erodes over time, and an increasing percentage of your cold/hot air gets ejected into the walls and crawlspaces.

I guess duct tape doesn't necessarily hold the world together. Can't even hold our ducts together which, I feel, is ironic.

21st Century Mom said...

I feel your pain. My bedroom is the only upstairs room in the house and it gets really hot - even when the rest of the house manages to get down to 78 (which is as low as it will go). I feel like my AC unit is going to have a meltdown and end up in China.

You can come stay at my place. I have nail polish! I have a pool that refuses to clear up and is green and cloudy - just like going to camp on a lake! Come on down! You can see how much work my house needs and you will feel very on top of things. You change the name of your blog from 'Den of Chaos' to 'Island of Chic'.

Anonymous said...

It might be a good idea to invest in fixing or replacing the a/c, because I don't think we're going to have global *cooling* anytime soon! If you think you might want to sell at some point, it would definitely up the value of your home as well.
Besides, why suffer?!

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this isn't the kind of thing you can somehow learn to do yourself. Not install a new air conditioner, but ducts are just hunks of metal. Surely there are books that say how to install these! For ten thousand bucks I think I would be highly motivated to learn how ^---^

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