Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is it hot in here, or is it me?

"Welcome to NStar. If this is an emergency, please hang up and call our emergency line. Otherwise please listen to the following options..."

You can't decide if you have an emergency, but it sounds like if you do, then a real person will appear on the other line, and that tips it. Better safe than sorry, no?

It turns out that if your heat breaks in Massachusetts in January, you do indeed qualify as an emergency (lucky girl), and they will send a service technician to your house who resembles... Cindy Crawford. While you are bundled up in wool socks, two pairs of sweatpants and a ratty old sweater that was black 342 washes ago. And your hair piled up in a frizzy mass of scrunchies and Goody hair clips. For good measure, your nose is running.

For this, they send you a technician who has fabulously engineered blonde hair. When you open the door, you know a very stylish gay guy spent all afternoon streaking it with shades like "Tawny" "Honeycomb" and "Winterwheat", while YOU still haven't wiped the Nice N' Easy splatters off your bathroom mirror.

It takes you several minutes to regain your composure. This bombshell on your doorstep is going to crawl around in your spider-infested basement? What if she gets a cobweb in her $300 haircut?? You start to suspect that you are being punk'd, and look down the driveway for Ashton Kutcher. Nope. There's the utility truck. You are now officially nonplussed.

She is very nice. She asks how many zones you have. You didn't know you had zones. She takes you around your house and at each thermostat explains that it is for a separate heating zone. You tell her you know of three, in that case. And the one upstairs is the trouble maker. You go upstairs together to inspect the offending thermostat. You stand there with random toys in your hands and try to decide if you should stand and wait, or go on about your business. Just as you opt for moving on, she starts to chat amiable about her own kids. Same age as yours.

When she is done, she smiles at you kindly and tells you to stay warm and call back if you need any help. You have just been saved by a designer-jean-wearing, well-coiffed plumber and working mother of three. You have two kids, no job and haven't left the house in four days. HELP.

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