So we walk in the house and there's a stench of just non-air conditioned must in the air. Everything that was illuminated and functional was dark and uncommunicative.
Considering the fact that I was batting a thousand by paying the wrong bill instead of the electric bill, my wife decided to make that phone call to the power company.
"Ma'am we've sent you 2 notices of non-payment."
"Really?!? Feel free to take a look at our payment history, we consistently pay on-time and all of a sudden we would just stop paying hoping you wouldn't shut off the power? That would be foolish!" my wife said.
"Yeah your record is pretty consistent."
"Well let's go ahead and pay it now. What's the soonest we can expect power?" my wife asked.
"The earliest we could restart the power would be Monday."
"MONDAY!" we exclaimed in unison.
This is where a fundamental difference between my wife and I showed through.
My theory would be to pay them on Monday to get our service back on Monday. Why give them the satisfaction of getting their money NOW if I'm going to suffer in the house with no power for 2 days?
Her theory is to pay them as soon as possible to get on their schedule to flip our switch on Monday regardless of the fact that we're paying excruciatingly early. Also this included late fees, service charges and a $75 security deposit.
Still I was no position to argue since this was my screw up, so I piped down and gave her my debit card.
"Don't you have anyone that lives close to us that can do us a favor and turn our electricity back on?" my wife pleaded.
"I'm afraid not. The only people we have on call are linemen and they're only trained to deal with downed power lines."
So for those of you keeping score at home, they have trained chimps whose job is to turn electric power to customers in arrears off and on, however; trained linemen who deal with thousands of volts of electricity during snow and thunderstorms are not competent enough to flip a switch and turn on my electricity, at no danger to themselves or others.
**Aside: I have to give this spouse of mine credit where credit is due. She could've flown off the handle, packed her bags, went to her sister's house and asked me to have my things out by tomorrow. She could have gone postal and started a screaming tirade starting with how much of an idiot I am, and ending with how much I'm going to pay for the divorce. She could've vowed to never fulfill her wifely duties for the next 8 months!
She did none of the above. She was "angry at the situation and not at me."**
"So what do you want for dinner?" I murmured.
"I'm not in a good place right now Darian. You don't want me in public right now..."
"Look. I f-ed up, but that doesn't mean we have to starve. Its 85 degrees in here. What's done is done. Let's go to a nice, air-conditioned restaurant and get ready for tonight."
Twenty minutes later, we more or less sat at the restaurant in silence. I give her the benefit that she was trying to make small talk. I don' know whose venom was worse: Her venom for me, her venom for our power company or my venom for myself.
Friday night was nightmare! NoVa was way too muggy to open the windows at night and sleep upstairs so we were relegated to the Basement hotel.
No futons here folks. In our basement/entertainment center we have an electrically dim: TiVo Box, Bose surround sound system, a 51 inch plasma television, a 4-year old overstuffed chair with ottoman and an overstuffed couch.
Given that I had made the error and was in for a hot sticky night in the cooler basement, I took the chair and ottoman and got about 5 hours of sleep and a crick in my neck and back. T, more or less slept comfortably, but only as well as expected considering the circumstances.
Saturday and Sunday we had grown accustomed to our Amish-like lifestyle and mentally we were racing to the Monday finish-line to return to our electric laced lives.
We made doubly and triply sure that they would be turning our power back on consider how early they had our cash. Everything came off without a hitch, but this snafu was something for the record books. I'm going to be hearing about this screw up well into my 70s.