Tuesday, October 20, 2009

keeping me wildly off-kilter and not sure how to respond

Get some popcorn. This is a long post, but I don't want to make it shorter because it's not as good a story!

Yesterday was a weird day. We slept in (Rob gets Mondays off, and I don't have to work until the afternoon), enjoyed a leisurely breakfast together, and proceeded to go about our business.

My business was doing the dishes and paint touch up. I have had white spots of spackle throughout the house for WELL over a year. I got around to filling nail holes, but, uh, not around to anything beyond that. The house looked like a teenager who'd left their acne medication on their face, then went out in public. It was still functional, but it wasn't pretty. And to think it took less than an hour for me to fix it... I'm embarrassed that I left our poor little place in such a state for so long!

Rob's business was finishing the repair work on our bathroom ceiling. When we first got married, we replaced the bathroom fan/light (original one was TERRIBLY noisy and awful), but the downside of bathroom fan replacement is that you always always always have to cut a new hole in the ceiling. They do not have any sort of standard so that replacing a fan/light is like replacing a switch cover. Because that would make sense and be easy. Thankfully, there was some leftover tape from the Spokane drywall work, and a small tub of mud was easily gotten. The only thing left was sanding and texturing yesterday, which is dusty, smelly work. Using spray texture is kind of like sniffing Magic Markers. Now all that's left is paint touch up, so the bathroom should be done in about a year, if my time table is any indicator.

Blake's business was singing the two phrases he knows from Enter Sandman while constructing grids and buildings of blocks, Lego guns, and Lincoln Log cabins.

We tidied up in the garage as well, figuring out where to put things so that it didn't feel so crowded, deciding what we could trash and what we'd sell. We're trying to complete our first baby step for the Dave Ramsey class we're attending: put $1000 cash in the bank. One of Dave's suggestions for how to do this is to sell so much stuff that the kids think they're next. Blake joined us and alternately found cool old toys in Rob's boxes or dodged between our legs in order to trip us up or pestered us to ride his bike in the garage because all the boxes, the ladder, and the various other things we'd pulled out seemed more like an obstacle course than a barrier to biking.

We found a nice coat of Rob's that I cautiously agreed to wash (rather than dry clean), in the hopes that it would remain the same size while becoming wearable again. He checked the pockets, I got the water ready, and we tossed both that coat and the one he'd worn while cleaning in the wash.

Side note: Rob applied for a sales position (formal title: Product Advisor) at Vann's in the hopes that he'd have a more regular hourly schedule, could avoid delivering in the Bozeman winter, and could bring our income above the poverty line so that we might one day be able to buy a house with a yard and maybe have more children... all while knowing we could feed them real food rather than teaching them how to graze (which would save us the cost of a lawn mower, but I think I'd rather have the mower than a family of goat-kids).

He made it to a second interview and was asked about his long-term plans. He'd been clear that delivery was simply a short-term path to provide for his family, but was by no means a career. However, he could see investing himself in "product advising" for a longer period of time, because it involves a few things he loves: people, electronics, and the puzzle of what will fit best with what a customer wants and can afford. This surprised me, mostly because I have always thought of my husband as a videographer, and one way or another, we were going to really try to make that work (regardless of how long he might have to put it off until video got going in Bozeman). I think it surprised him too, but he was genuinely excited about the prospect of getting the job, and it wasn't hard to back him up. His boss, D, was going to give him a call yesterday afternoon to let him know.

At 6:00, I realized we hadn't heard from D and asked Rob if we'd missed a call while out in the garage. He said he didn't think so, but couldn't find his phone to check. I called it, and when the call went straight to voicemail without me hearing the dulcet tones of Rob's ring for me ("sci-fi," which sounds like an old-school alien movie soundtrack), I asked him if he'd left it in his coat pocket.

OH, SHIT. In the pocket of the coat I'd thrown in the wash? I darted to the washing machine (not yet to the spin cycle) and grabbed through the water until, with a sinking heart, I felt the hard rectangle that indicated Rob's phone was now cleaner than mine, inside and out.

A mere week ago, Rob had updated his iPhone beyond what his cell carrier could service (because Apple and AT&T are an evil monopoly on that cool gadget and make it very difficult for non-AT&T users to have a working one). We thought he was royally screwed, until he figured out how to unlock it... and all was right with the world again. He had his favorite toy, it worked, and we didn't have to cough up for a new phone.

Well, now we do. It would have been better to wash MY phone, because I have a backup, and I'm the one who is so uptight about cleanliness. Rob emailed D and let him know the new number to call (mine) and was then promptly informed that he got the job.

Wait, what?!

HE GOT THE JOB! He starts next Monday! Praise the Lord for answered prayer!

We're still bummed about the iPhone, disproportionately so. Why is it that a short-term painful thing can outweigh a long-term big huge blessing? Ah, well. Evidently we can't be pleased. And we're in the market for a Cell-One-compatible phone, since, barring an act of God, we can't afford another iPhone because Apple (and everyone else) is awfully proud of the little buggers.

I don't know what the job will mean for our Thanksgiving and Christmas plans (we might be forced to stay so close to home that we don't actually leave it), nor when we'll make it to our next baby step (paying off all debt other than the mortgage), nor if anyone will ever buy the Spokane house that is showing well and reduced in price again...

But my husband has a job he thinks he can love... our son wants to be the lead singer and guitar player for a Metallica cover band and regularly tells us how much he loves us and how beautiful I am... the rest will fall into place eventually, right?


Gailzee said...

You're right! Wouldn't have wanted any omissions! Thanks for the great narrative! Good job, Rob! on the job!
God is faithful and just and keeps us humble and grounded! But, I just wonder why a new job and an iphone was such a big deal to Him!? Others would look at this and say...wow!, you got a washer and dryer?!...still others would say wow! you got 2 coats?! and a husband!! All relative I guess.

aubyn said...

I say quit all savings and rely on Blake's music career. They really blossom under immense pressure such as supporting their family.
Plus, rock stars make a lot of money and good life decisions.

Lindsey K said...

I think Aubyn might be on to something....Be encouraged though, we took the Dave Ramsey course a year ago and we are still on step #2 but we have paid off a lot of debt and will keep truckin along!

Lindsey K said...

Oh, and Congrats to Rob!!

Jenn Schneider said...

Congrats to Rob! From a former Best Buy employee, try to stay sane during Christmas!
Everything else will come together. You've trusted God's timing before, he won't fail you now.

Grammie Perrine said...

"a family of goat kids"? You are the funniest person alive. All your money woes would be over if you would write a column like Erma Bombeck. Gotta get a weird psuedonym though. Addie Bedford isn't quirky enough.

Keep the Faith said...

I think a small funeral for the Iphone is an appropriate way to mourn the loss and then have a big party to offset with Rob's good news. And of course, Blake should be the musical talent for both.