We are a wine loving family. It started with my mom—she tried for a number of years to turn me into a wine drinker. Then I realized that wine was a proverbial door to acceptance in the corporate world. In my industry, it’s not safe for me to open my mouth about politics, but wine—oh, we can talk wine for hours, each person one-upping the last person with unique winerry experiences and tales of that time the boss ordered a bottle of Screaming Eagle at dinner.
When we started exploring wineries, we realized quickly that we really need a better place to store our wine purchases. Our house doesn’t have central air conditioning, we have no basement, and temperatures where we live are known for soaring well into the 100s for a few months a year. Not the best environment for wine.
So, we bought ourselves a small wine cooler. It holds 18 bottles, fits neatly next to our buffet in the dining room, and keeps our wine at 55 degrees year round.
The trouble is that our wine cooler is always full. I’ve looked at bigger ones, but the price tag always discourages me.
You can imagine our surprise when we were out walking the dogs in July and came across one of our neighbors selling a wine cooler at their yard sale. After some discussion about whether it works and why they’re getting rid of it, we asked them how much they wanted for it. $35. We ran out for cash, grabbed Catch’s truck, and hauled that puppy home with the enthusiasm of teenagers who just got away with ditching school.
We are renters. Our house is a little 1940’s triplex situated on a big corner lot. We share one wall with a neighbor who works for the studios and is away for 3-6 months at a time. Each of the three units has its own private outdoor space, but ours is the only one with a full yard and large covered patio. Before we moved in, they had done a major renovation which included re-finishing the original wood floors, and adding beautiful moldings that you just don’t find in rentals. Our place has serious character—it was love at first sight for us.
In Los Angeles, the city conducts housing inspections for all rental properties with two or more units once every 5 years. It happens that our inspection is today. In the next few hours, our landlady (who we HATE) will arrive to meet the city inspector and they will go through each unit with a fine tooth comb looking for violations.
For that reason, we cleaned the house from top to bottom last night. I was cleaning the bathroom mirror when Catch called from the dining room, “Um—honey. Get in here—we have a problem.”
Boy, do we ever have a problem.
Ice had formed on a coil on the back of the “new” wine cooler at some point, and had been silently drip, drip, dripping onto our beautiful wood floors. We have no idea how long it’s been happening, but the damage is severe. The floor boards are totally warped in that whole area—the whole footprint of the wine cooler and the length of the buffet. Molding is destroyed, and drywall is decidedly un-dry.
The DAY BEFORE A HOUSING INSPECTION.
Universe, are you kidding me? You’ve got to be kidding me. Except you’re NOT! You’re totally serious, you little bastard.
On top of the water damage: Catch’s grandfather was admitted to the hospital this morning in bad shape, my dad had surgery this morning to have a mass of cancer cells removed from his face, that damn stick still hasn’t given us a positive, and my mom—the rock I could normally cry to about all of this—is about to board a flight from New Jersey to Dublin without me because silly me truly thought I could actually possibly be pregnant by the time this trip rolled around.
Sometimes, I want to just run away. Or stab someone with one of my knitting needles. Maybe both.