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.
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.