I love my plumber. I really do. But I’m in a state of half panic and most of it is probably my own fault. Or at least the husband’s.

So much easier to blame someone else, I think.

See, when the new dining room table was delivered three months ago, (I know — three months ago) the men who brought it in put both leaves in the table and shook their heads, then looked at me as if to say they’d seen this situation before. That it wasn’t going to work.

“But I measured,” I say, proud of myself for not telling them that I’d failed math several times throughout my school years. “My husband measured,” I add, knowing that would hold more weight.

“Might work,” one of them says as he points to the big, ugly, old fashioned radiator, “if that goes.”

Perfect, I think. That’s going. It’s out of here. Buh-bye. I call the plumber immediately. We discuss it. It’s so out of here. No problem. We’ll recess it. It’ll be perfect. I invite a bazillion people to Christmas Eve dinner because, what the hell, I don’t cook and I can pull the table out all the way. (It’s okay — everyone knows about the no cooking thing. The chalk it up to the — she’s getting crazier, she’s a writer, kind of thing. Before the writing thing they had nothing to blame it on, so this is good)

So yesterday the husband calls the plumber, who I still love and who I know will get the job done, despite the date on the top of this post. Despite the fact that suddenly there’s a contractor involved.

So let me set the scene that’s occurring right now, along with a slight backstory dump. The husband decides that yesterday was the time to repaint the bedroom (so not my idea on the timing, BTW.) He thought it would be finished yesterday — didn’t happen. So the entire bedroom is in the hall, we’re sleeping in another room and the upstairs is a giant mess. Okay — deep breaths and I’ll just ignore it. Christmas isn’t really coming and I will pretend Larissa is just some crazy woman with no real grip on reality. The husband gets up early to finish painting.

Doorbell rings. It’s plumber with new radiator. Husband gets called into duty and away from painting. Suddenly entire dining room is pulled apart. There is talk of ‘bleeding the system.’ and ‘cutting through the floor.’ I have minor heart attack, the migraine returns and I realize that I have absolutely no assurance beyond the two men who delivered the table that the recessing of the radiator will actually make the table fit. I decide now is not the time to bring this up and start praying to anyone who will listen.. And then I hear — “The contractor didn’t call me, but don’t worry, he will.” And the two of them, the husband and the plumber, seem so happy doing all of this. They are walking around laughing, clanging things, ripping things out of walls and making a lot of noise.

So here’s what I know, right now, at this moment: There will be no heat in my dining room for the next three days. Maybe on Monday or Tuesday men will come into my house, cut a hole in the wall in my dining room and cut a hole in my floor so plumber can come back and put in the new, recessed radiator into the wall. And said radiator and surrounding area then must be painted before Friday to ensure paint smell will not gag those coming to eat food I’m not cooking on Christmas Eve. Supposedly, there will be a brand new strip of flooring placed that will replace what must be ripped up but it will not match the pretty, sanded, stained golden oak flooring that’s there. Which is okay since we need to have all floors re-sanded when we begin our major house reconstruction in the spring. But THAT is a story for another day. Because if I tell you that, I really will cry.

Fa.La.La. Thanks for listening.

Steph T.