What went wrong? A good day goes to Hell!

Doors are slamming here right now. People, myself and my girlfriend, are pissed at each other and the world in general.

It started out as a great day. Went to brunch at a nice little place I hadn’t been to before. Really good breakfast, fresh fruit, nice company. It’s kind of a regular thing for my girlfriend and I, brunch with these two other couples.

We had our day sort of mapped out. Brunch, then to Buckhead to buy a thing for the back of our pantry door, so we could put spices there instead of all over tucked in everywhere else. We’ve seen a couple of people who have similar deals on the back of their pantry doors, and we wanted in on the action.

So off to the Container Store we go. We buy our back-of-pantry shelving, and some hooks that we intended to screw into the built-in bookshelves that are in our dining room. These are bookshelves that we had our favorite handyman’s crew build last year, and we love them. Now we want to add some hooks and a canvas pouchy thing so we can sort our mail more easily. I was a bit nervous about screwing things into the nice bookshelves.

After the Container Store we stopped by the mall, where the GF bought a giant fake diamond ring to serve as her wedding band while she portrays Lady Capulet in an upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet. Cool, things turning out so far as we expected.

Then, the Apple Store. Are they really called “The Apple Store”? Outside there’s just a big bitten-apple logo, not a sign that says “The Apple Store”. Just wondering. In the “Apple Store”, if that’s it’s real name, my girlfriend inquired about bringing her iPhone to the Genius bar for some looking at. Her Google Maps application won’t start. Add to that the fact that on her iBook, which she uses to sync her iPhone, the Address Book application won’t start. And she has all her contacts, which she needs for her job, on the phone. We can’t back up her contacts, so what to do?

There’s an hour-and-a-half wait for a standby appointment with a Genius. She puts her name in, but we decide not to wait around. This iPhone thing is a sore spot for her already, and consequently myself as well. I’m frustrated when technology that I want desperately to succeed only succeeds in making my loved-ones lives more difficult.

We get home. The shelving thing that attaches to the door is too short, and there is only one screw-hole that we can use to attach it to the door. GF is all “I don’t want to go the whole way back up there” so I volunteer to take the thing back and exchange it.

Meantime, we’ve begun the process of attaching the hooks to the bookshelves. Remember the hooks? Yeah, well, that doesn’t go very smoothly and now the shelves are marred a bit where we tried to get the hooks to slide onto their attachment thingies only to figure out that we put the attachment thingies on upside down, and so we’ve now taken the screws in and out of the wood about three times, each time lessening the grip of the screws. Great.

We get that sorted out, and I leave to take the shelving back to the Container Store. I’m in my car when GF calls. The hooks won’t go through the eyelets of the mail-sorting canvas thing we got, can I get new hooks please. So now I have marred my bookshelves and we have to take the screws out *again* and I’m getting pretty frustrated. I really hate when my stuff get’s fucked up. Hate it even more when it’s through my own stupidity.

Oh, and GF cut her finger on the god damned hook while we were putting it on upside down. That scared me, not only for that moment but at the prospect that we might have this sharp thing waiting to cut her again as she breezed by unwarily on her way to get some tea from the fridge.

I get the stuff and the other stuff at the container store, and go back home. We take off the bitch-ass too-big yuppie hooks and screw in the new ones I got. There’s an extra hole staring at me from the wood now, just taunting me with “nice work, asshole, you fucked up your dining room”.

I try to shake it off, and we manage to attach the new thing to the back of the pantry door without any trouble. Woohoo! We start putting stuff in, and our frustration is kind of evident as we’re very close to snapping at each other over where to put stuff in the fucking pantry and our newly-empty shelves. What a petty thing I am sometimes. God.

I forgot to mention that we had also stopped at Lowe’s where I got some nylon anchor things. I wanted to attach a piece of wood to the wall inside the pantry, so I could add a shelf. There was already a piece of wood on the other side, so all I had to do in my vast manliness was cut a piece of wood to size and fix it to the goddamned motherfucking sonofamotherfucking bitch wall. Cock!

I tried to insert the anchors into the holes I had drilled, carefully following the scanty instructions. Failed. The anchors wouldn’t go the whole way in, and when I tried to push them in they wouldn’t budge. And then when I tried to pull them out they wouldn’t budge either! God damned plaster fucking wall.

While trying to pull one of the anchors out of the wall, I managed to pinch the hell out of the meat of my finger. Then I re-noticed something I had forgotten: one of the hinges of the pantry door is not actually attached to the door. The screws are totally loose in the holes, and you can’t screw them back in. Great, all this effort is going to result in the door falling off.

So by this time I’m completely fed. The. Hell. Up. I decide to try one more time to stick the wood on the plaster wall. I try just screwing the screws in real fast. Of course not. Then I try nails, because it looks like the other boards are all affixed using nails. No good, it just hits something inside the wall and starts to bounce. Like I’m pounding on a rubber ball. ARGH the FUCKING ARGH!

Yeah, I totally failed. I also failed at this same task a couple days ago. In the process I totally bitched up the wall so even someone who knew what the fuck they were doing probably couldn’t put a shelf in there now. Nice work, asshole.

And you know, the handyman I want to call to make it all better has completely and totally flaked on me lately. He did some work on my doors and was going to return the next morning to do the basement door– and never showed up. I called him a couple times; the second time went straight to voice mail. I left a pleasantly perplexed messaged, and he’s never called me back. It’s really frustrating, because I like the guy a lot and he does good work. His crew built the bookshelves, like I mentioned.

Not only because I’d love to call him and have him make my pantry pain go away, but we also wanted to hire him to build us a deck and enclose our little side porch. I wanted to give this guy like $12,000 and for him to help make my house more awesome. And he won’t call me back. Fucking A.

When he was here last week working on the doors (he was kick-proofing them, because it’s a dangerous part of town, another frustrating recent item) we got to talking about how I’m afraid to do handywork myself. I want to learn how to do some basic wiring, and change the light fixtures in a bunch of rooms. But I’ve never done much of this sort of thing– I didn’t grow up in a handy-household. I wouldn’t know where to start in changing my car’s oil. I don’t have much idea how a toilet works.

He encouraged me to just try it. Just try doing something, and let yourself screw up. Well, here I go trying this, attach a board to a plaster wall, and it did NOT turn out well. So that’s frustrating. Yeah, I know the thing to do is try try again but god DAMN it that motherfucking piece of shit plaster wall! And, I didn’t even know it was plaster when I started; I thought it was drywall like the rest of the house. That’s how ignorant I am– I even knocked on it to make sure it was drywall, and thought the “tok tok” I got confirmed my theory.


So we’re cleaning up shortly after all of this goes down. GF is putting stuff away, anticipating that the cleaning service will be coming tomorrow. She’s doing her best to be helpful, and kind of being hands-off with me because I’m obviously at my wits’ end. I start putting stuff away, occasionally scratching at a mosquito bite. Where did that come from? I’ve been inside all this time! Fucking mosquitos! I got five bites this morning just standing in the back yard watching the dog do his morning business. (Yeah, that’s on my tally of frustrating recent things.)

Anyway, we’re cleaning up like I said. Unfortunately, she also is using the tone of voice that you use with a crazy tiger that you’re trying to convince not to eat you. I don’t know why, I can’t explain it, but this bugs me.

I feel like she expects me to explode at any second, which is frustrating because I never explode like that. That’s probably not what she’s thinking, she’s probably just trying to make me feel better about failing a something so simple and yet so masculine as putting up a shelf. It doesn’t work, and I snap at her: “You don’t need to use that tone of voice like I’m about to freak out. That’s almost more infuriating than anything else.”

Why? Why did I say that? Was I lashing out, in this sad little way? Biting the hand that’s trying to rub my back and make me feel better. She sure didn’t have it coming.

I apologized almost immediately. I don’t think it worked, really. I’m going to have to just wait for her to accept that I know I shouldn’t have said that and that I regret it. For now, it’s tense. She’s going around with that air of ticked-offedness about her, doing the same thing I do which is get all uber-efficient and get-things-done-I’ll-show-that-bastard. It would be cute if I didn’t feel queasy at the knowledge that I’m the reason she’s angry. It’s very cute because it’s exactly what I do when I get mad. Well, except not this time, because she beat me to it, so I did the so-weary-at-the-world thing and dramatically paused at the pantry door rubbing my face for effect.

I felt compelled to write this all down. I dunno why. Maybe because I know she’ll read it, and because I hope it exorcises some of this pent-up frustration I’ve been experiencing.

Now I’m going to finish this and go nurse a soda and hope she lets me sit next to her on the couch while I wait for the last few hours of this godawful Sunday to expire, and I’ll try to work the kinks out of my back, and I’ll try to ignore the pinched meat of my finger, and the hangnail on my other finger, and the bitter thorn in my stomach that I always get when the girl I love is mad at me.


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