Water Water Everywhere…
When I fantasize about a daughter getting married—okay, yes, I do—I figure California would be an ideal spot for the event. We’re so droughty, it’s a wedding planner’s dream: No chance of precipitation to dampen the mood and soil the bride’s satin slippers.
So thought the happy couple who planned their weather-proof nuptials in mid-July in a location where even in a wet year it’s blue skies from April to November.
Our friends David and Michelle came from D.C. to stay with us while they attended the ceremony of the two forty-somethings who, each tying the knot for the first time, were pulling out all the stops. One hundred fifty people would celebrate them at sunset, partying al fresco on a Malibu hilltop with sweeping views of all things California.
D. and M. and 148 other guests were finely and lightly dressed as they as they were shuttled up the long and winding road to the spectacular site. They arrived to a scene of barely controlled mayhem and a suicidal wedding planner. What was wrong with the picture? It was pouring rain.
I mean, for the first time in my memory (which admittedly is not razor sharp), we were having a big shot thunderstorm, one to rival any on the east coast.
It remains unclear whether the bride and groom considered their union to be blessed or cursed by this gift of the Weather Gods. As for David and Michelle, if while listening to a long sermon in the driving rain, shivering in their dripping clothes, they were not themselves feeling cursed, they would by Monday morning.
At 2:30 a.m. they woke me with the information that there was a flood in their quarters. Not just in their bedroom but in the surrounding area and bathrooms. Due to a toilet mishap, water had been having its way with my home for a good three hours.
My family will tell you that when I am awakened at off hours, I am not at my best. I am a bear, unless there is an exceptional reason for the wakeup call, in which case I am simply mentally disabled. The latter was the case in the wee hours as Sunday was becoming Monday .
I literally thought I was dreaming when, as I stood with water lapping at my flip flops, the flood emergency dude told me he’d have to remove and toss all the carpeting, tear open the walls, rip up the tile, and pretty much crush my quality of life for the foreseeable future.
Luckily Michelle is quick-witted any time of night, and she does not suffer fools gladly even in normal business hours. Just as I was about to sign a document that for all I could process may have bound me to surrender my first born child, she told the flood dude to suck up the water (with his vacuum, not his mouth), set up the dehumidifiers and get the hell out of the house. Seeing that in tangling with Michelle he was in over his head, he followed her instructions and bounced. At 5:30.
It’s now eight hours later. The carpet is in the dumpster and D. and M. have fled to higher ground in Santa Barbara. If you should meet them on the road as they travel further north this week, do the smart thing. Do NOT complain about our water shortage. You don’t want to tangle with Michelle.
And now I, having had close encounters with a contractor, a rug guy, a carpet-ripper guy, a plumber, a painter, a floor specialist and a dog walker, I am going to do the only sensible thing. I’m going to get a mani-pedi.
PS For post-flood comfort food, try this recipe from The Crabby Cook.