Lessons from Wednesday

I learned a few more lessons today.

First, I am not above throwing a tantrum when something goes wrong. Let me explain.

The other day, the hot water went out in our kitchen sink. There was no hot water pressure at all. The hot water in the bathroom, however, was unaffected, so it was more of an inconvenience than anything else. When I got home from work, though, the hot water pressure suddenly came back on– and then the water started running reddish-brown. Yuck.

So, the next day, I got a hold of our landlord. He went over to our apartment and seemingly fixed the problem. The rest of the night, we had hot water in the kitchen.

This morning, the hot water pressure was off again. But when I got back to the apartment after work, the sink was running and the water was running warm.

Hooray!I thought to myself. Our landlord followed up on the problem!

I decided I would get a glass of water, make dinner, and maybe do the dishes. So, I turned the sink on all the way, got my glass of water, and shut off the sink.

But the water was still running at full blast.

No matter which position the handle was in, the water was at full pressure, and it was either hot or warm. Great.

Called our landlord. Left a message. Freaked out. Stomped around, and even jumped up and down several times, whining, “Whyyyyy are you doing this?!”

Called Roto-Rooter. They’re completely booked because all the pipes are freezing in western Washington. Stomp stomp stomp. Whine whine whine.

Tried the emergency valve under the sink. It was stuck. Called our landlord again. No answer. Freak out more.

I finally got the valve to turn, after maybe 10 minutes of nearly ripping my hand apart. Even now, the water’s still running about half power. (Or whatever you want to call it.)

The only reason I believe I didn’t start crying with panic was because I bawled on the way home from shopping, listening to the stupid Christmas music station. They played a really great song, about a girl named Maria and a bird with a broken wing, okay?

Okay, so I throw tantrums and cry during random Christmas songs.

What else did I learn today?

I learned that I am much more of a methodical shopper than I was even a few months ago. Even with a list of what I wanted to get my friends and family, I still spent a great deal of time evaluating each choice.

I started out at Barnes & Noble, and I honestly could buy thousands and thousands of dollars worth of stuff from there. There was a book on how to tie knots, mini penguin bowling sets, a book about Filipinos in the Puget Sound region, classics on sale, and tons of new fiction. I wasn’t shopping for myself, though, so that ruled out most of those items. Instead, I thought about what kind of present I could get for my dad, my godson, and several friends. I came away with some quality items, but that was only after I picked up a bunch of different things, walked around with them, then decided they weren’t right for the recipients.

I spent about 30 minutes in a store as big as my living room. It was the shop where I had planned on buying cute and funny gifts for several of my friends. But there was nothing in the shop that meant anything. Sure, the items would be cute and funny for a few days, but then they would probably end up on a shelf or in a closet somewhere, taking up space. That’s not how my friendship should be represented, right? I came away with nothing during that round.

Taking just those two situations into account, I can tell I’ve grown in some ways. I’m trying to unclutter my own life while making sure I don’t clutter others’ with plain old stuff. I want whatever I give my friends and family to be meaningful.

And you know what?

I think it’s entirely possible this year.

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