Wink, Wink...

Okay, so you knew the cable guy was coming between 5 and 7 p.m.

Luckily for me it was 5:30. Which meant I was only about 30 minutes off schedule. (Schedules are very important in my life.)

He's a real friendly one, this cable guy. And I do appreciate that. Really I do. 

But unfortunately for me and my (cough) eccentric ways, friendly ones often want to shake hands. 

Now I know that doesn't sound like a catastrophe, but I'm not a hand shaker. 

As in: My heart will race and I stare down at their hand trying to figure out what to do as it starts to get...a tad uncomfortable.

Suffice it to say I have some compulsive issues. 

I had something in my right hand. 

Oh, but he insists. 

Think, Brenda. For the love of Pete, think. 

So I shrug and elbow him. 

He thinks that's funny. 

Must have some meaning I'm not aware of. Since I live out of the loop on the very fringes of society. 

He starts elbowing my elbow.

We manage to get past that. He starts playing with the dogs. 

A real trooper because Abi is yapping like a crazed fool. 

Like she rarely sees a human besides me. 

Which is pretty much true.

I tell him how the remote has been going out for months. How I've changed and changed the batteries. 

It's just a goner. 

He looks at me. Looks at the little box with the green light. Asks me which side of the bed I sleep on. Which baffled me there for a moment.

He then moves the little box, that I had even forgotten was there, to the other side of the TV. 

I have my little TV on my portable (won't-melt-in-a-fire-guaranteed) safe to bring it to the proper level. The safe was blocking the whatever communication of the little green light.

Feeling stupid here. But then that's not unusual. 

I'd made a bit of a fool of myself, going on about these things not working anymore. That it had been going out gradually.

So it's fixed. Can he do anything else for me? No. And I'm walking behind him toward the door, ushering him out on out so I can salvage what's left of my schedule.

He leaves. Or at least I think he leaves. 

I do what I always do when someone has come into my home and touched something I touch. I immediately get out the Ms. Meyer's surface cleaner and start cleaning.

You see, that's one of my compulsive idiosyncrasies. I simply can't touch something after someone else has. Or at least a stranger has. 

Well, let's be honest here. Pretty much everyone. (No, it doesn't make you very popular. Which is why I'm socially inept.)

It makes me nervous to be around the stranger to begin with. Hence my compulsive tics are on high alert. 

I start to turn the TV on for the dogs while I have a relaxing bath. 

And it's gone out again. 

As in no signal, it says.

I try to think what to do. I try to fix it and can't. 

I remember he said something about input on the side of the TV. You know, where the darned words are color-on-color and you can't read them.

No. Nada.

So I pick up the phone and dial the last number that called. Him. Nothing. 

Then I hear this big racket on the other side of my bedroom wall. 

Well, there's an alley there behind a strip mall, so I figure it's something going on over there. There are storage units back there.

Then the dogs start frantically yapping. I'm feverishly trying to figure out how I'm going to get myself out of this stupid mess. Again.

It's the front door, I think. Could someone be at the front door?

So I go to the door and he's standing there. Telepathy?

He explains that he's been on that outside wall checking everything out for me (like I said, real friendly guy. Bangs around a lot though.) 

And he tried to call to tell me my TV would be out, but it was busy.

It was when I was trying to call him of course.

I ask him to please check and make sure I haven't messed everything up again with the remote. Oh, what a relief. I hadn't!

Thank goodness I didn't have to call them back in the morning to explain that within three minutes of his leaving, I had managed to screw up the remote again.

By cleaning it. (No, that was my secret.)

No hand shakes this time. 

I was so relieved. Because I couldn't have told him about having to clean it. And I am the world's worst liar. 

Having to lie makes me really nervous.And when I'm really nervous, my left eye winces. 

It looks like I'm winking at you. The more nervous I get, the faster it winks. Until it begins to, I'm sure, look like an eyelid on crack or something.

I managed to wing my way out of that one before the winking commenced, and he would think I was the one who was a bit too friendly.

So I know I'm going to have to clean the remote again. And I do so very, very gently.

Even though he told me it wasn't working because he was out there banging around making sure there were no loose wires in the dark, I feel like karma will catch up to me, cleaning it again.

Oh, it works!

My life, in case you haven't figured out, is a wee bit complicated.


  1. Oh Brenda, life is so hard sometimes when we have phobias. Glad your TV remote is working and you got it cleaned up. Relax now and stay on schedule!

    1. Abi has her own schedule as well. And she reminds me of it daily. I think schedules get more important with age perhaps.

  2. Oh Brenda, your idiosyncrasies may be a tiny bit further down the crazy track than most but we all have them. I think many of us feel a little uncomfortable when a stranger is working in our house but it does help if they are friendly. I think I would just tell people that I've had a cold when I don't want to shake their hand. And look at it this way, it gave you an entertaining story to tell us this morning!

    1. Ah! A good idea about "having a cold!" Yes, I realize I'm a little further down "the crazy track." I would not wish this on anyone. But then, I guess we all have our little idiosyncrasies. Maybe just not as big as mine...

  3. You are not the only one who isn't comfortable with people in your home. If a repairman is a talker, I'm wondering how soon he will complete his job and leave. Had to pin a picture of Charlie and Abi...adorable...

    1. They are little stinkers, but I think they are truly adorable myself!

  4. lol.. although I'm sure it wasn't very funny to you at the time. Thank you for making me smile this morning. Have a beautiful day.

    1. No, never is funny at the time. But then I get a little distance and think about it, I see the humor!

  5. Same thing happened with me. Black box fell on floor and I didn't notice it. Repair man came in and picked it up and put it back on top of the TV. He said that when the remote can't find it the signal can't get through. I felt so dumb. I don't like strangers in my house either. I feel that I should follow them around to keep my stuff safe. Ha Ha, like i could stop them from doing anything if I tried. I'm too old to fight.

  6. Yes, we all have our phobias. One of mine is that I cannot sleep if the bedroom closet door is open. Weird, but still there for me.

    1. I don't find it weird. But then, I'm a bit weird...

  7. Glad you are back on schedule and everything is working. xo Laura

    1. I guess schedules give me a feeling of being in control. They are soothing to me.

  8. I love the story. I don't shake hands either. My kids call me a germ aphbobe. I am, but it keeps me healthy. I also won't eat at pot lucks. I always worry about things like cats on cupboards and the person preparing the food having clean hands and licking spoons. Such is life. We all have something.

    1. When I was a teen, I lived with a foster family, a woman and her two children, for about a year. There were lots of cats and they were all over the cabinets and eating out of the pots cooking on the stove. I hated it, but had nowhere else to eat.

  9. Brenda, I'm sitting here, chuckling to myself, because I relate so well! I can't stand for anyone to be in my home besides the ones who are suppose to be here. That will send me into a tailspin that will take days to get over! I can be a gracious hostess, when someone is here, but the minute they, out comes the bleach and air sanitizer! I don't even know when this started to be a problem! must laugh at us crazy gals!

    Grace & Peace,

    1. The anxiety of having people here is almost not worth it because, like you, it sends me into a tailspin.

  10. Brenda, have you always had those intesne phobias or is this something that came on in later years? It must be very difficult for you to go out into the world on any level. You do a beautiful job making a your home a refuge, I can see why it's so very important. I am coveting the green glass S & P shakers, love!

    1. As a person with Asperger's Syndrome, I have always had little "oddities." The more stressed I feel, I suppose the more intense it becomes.

    2. I did not know you had Aspergers! I have missed those posts, obviously. We've known several people who have the same issue and it seems to vary greatly from person to person. One thing seems to be common - high level of intelligence.

  11. Another hilarious post! Winking, huh? That would have been so funny.....after the fact of course. I just read this and pictured it in my mind and laughed out loud, so thank you for sharing!!

    1. Not funny when it was happening. But yes, funny later.

  12. Today I hope your schedule is running smoothly. I need to have a schedule also, which is written down so I don't forget it!? I'm very stressed if it changes. I have my compulsions and phobias. As I think about them, some almost seem silly. I'm definitely an odd person, but that's my normal...

    1. And they usually seem silly to others. But that's not what matters. They aren't feeling it. Maybe not odd, just different.

  13. I had to laugh at your "wink wink" eye! I know this wasn't funny at the time, but your description MADE it funny! As I've gotten older, I need much more of a routine too.. when I was younger, I prided myself on being a "spur of the moment" gal... I could drop everything and just go and do. But now, I have to have things planned out with my lists and schedules, etc. I don't like it but it does help me also feel in control of my life. Hope things are back to normal now and your TV and remote are back to their former selves!

    1. Every year that passes, I think I get more ingrained in my ways. Routine is calming.

  14. So happy your TV is working again! I would like to suggest that maybe it was worth the discomfort of having a stranger,(TV repair guy), in your home. Sometimes we have to just "grin and bare it". FYI I don't like strangers in my home, either!

    1. Yes, it was indeed worth it. So I had to grin and bear it.

  15. and I thought I was the ONLY one who cleaned after strangers and repairmen came!
    don't forget the doorknobs... both outside and in!
    and I always clean the steering wheel and gear shift afterward whenever my car is worked on!
    I don't think of myself as one with phobias... but maybe I am!
    I used to love the series 'monk.' :D
    if I do have phobias I hope they're as funny and adorable as YOURS!
    and speaking of adorable...
    those tiny furry roommates of yours... oh! be still my heart!
    I meant to mention charlie's close~up in the last post. oh. my. gosh.

  16. careful Brenda, you might end up with a boyfriend...maybe you could get free cable, te he.

  17. OMG this reminded me of troubles I had here a few years ago / took three visits for someone smart enough to solve the problem ( loose wire in the basement (

  18. I'm glad you got the TV remote thing figured out, and you are able to take a wry look at it now. Here's a funny thing -- my son has some autism-like behaviors, and he used to be a cable guy! He was never diagnosed with autism, but instead was diagnosed with ADD and learning disabilities as a child, which never seemed quite the right diagnosis. But if he was tested now I think Asperger's or some category of autism would be the diagnosis. He has always been uncomfortable talking with people, and I was worried how he would manage in a job talking with customers. But, one day he stopped by my house to pick up something while he was making his rounds, and I overheard him calling up a customer to verify an appointment time. He sounded so polite and professional. I was amazed at how far he'd come. His job now is installing windshields and other types of glass, so he still has to talk with customers. It still isn't easy for him, but he keeps working at it. There was a time he was petrified to place an order at a restaurant or ask for help in a store, and he wanted someone else to do it for him. But he had to work to get past that issue too in order to be out on his own. You just never know who might have some sort of phobia that makes life more of a challenge. Also, meeting a customer who didn't want to shake hands was the least of my son's challenges as a cable guy. He would have thought you were a great customer who was easy to deal with! (You are, after all, a very nice person who wants to get along and not be a bother.) He was confronted with behaviors in homes at times that was sometimes frightening, and even illegal. Everything from giant snakes to drug activity! He likes installing windshields now because he doesn't have to go inside of anyone's house!

  19. Laughing at Debra's comment above. I couldn't find where to comment on the latest post...I remember reading Breathing Lessons years ago and some of her other books. This makes me want to go to the library and start on her stuff all over again. Love the look of the candles glowing on the pretty mirror :)

  20. Those photos of the pups snuggling together in their little bed - oh my gosh, too cute for words!! My left eye used to twitch when I was driving to a job that I hated years ago....the closer I got the job, the more it twitched and drove me crazy. It would twitch all day at the office, and then when I got in my car to go the time I got home it was gone! Needless to say the man that I worked for at that time was the worst boss I have ever had in my life! I'm so glad to be away from there!

  21. I've always been a bit odd routines, numbers and such getting stuck in my head...I do not like strangers in my home either...I feel sick in my stomach when I know a repair person is coming...I am nauseous every time I have a medical appointment and I have to talk myself into going there or I will call and cancel it...Glad you got the TV fixed...even if there was nothing wrong with


I always enjoy reading your comments and having you join the conversation here at Cozy Little House. It is like having a gathering of friends sitting in my cozy apartment. Enjoying coffee and dessert, chatting and having a good time. I appreciate each and every one of you!


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Brenda has been writing since grade school. She majored in professional writing/journalism in college, where she won awards for her feature writing. She loves to decorate, garden, enjoy nature, read and spend time with her Yorkies.


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