Seeing how this is a fashion blog, I write about fashion…but sometimes there are things that fall under fashion that are not clothing or hairstyle but je ne sais quoi. Gentility falls under the latter. A man needs only to cultivate this quality in order to become highly esteemed by any woman he may meet. I digress.
Poo Poo Platter
My weekend began with poo…literally. I got a call from one of my tenants. She is a single mother with three kids and has been my tenant for close to seven years now. She only calls for important things so when my phone rang and it was her number I knew it could not be good. Her voice was nervous on the other line and as she began to explain her situation I went cold. Water…backing up…poo…toilet overflow…death…disaster…poo in shower…plague. My weekend was immediately hijacked by phone calls to plumbers and most of them thieves. It just so happened that last weekend was one of the busiest all year because I volunteered for fundraising for my husband’s favorite cause which meant I was not good for the fundraising nor the plumber finding, but yet I dredged on. Apparently, money is nothing to plumbers and Saturdays are meant for teasing clients. I think that all plumbers work together to NOT be available on Saturdays so that when the odd plumber finally does show up on Sunday you are so desperate to get things done that you are no longer thinking like a rational human being and yes, I fell into that category. Sunday evening rolled around and there I find two idiots on my roof augering my main drain…yes, from the roof. See, idiot one was telling desperate idiot two that the retirement investment did not have a main drain access other than the roof…which costs twice the original quote just to aug. $150. Btw, in case you did not catch it, I am idiot two, desperate. When the Auger choked and gagged a few times bringing up nothing but hair I was told that apparently the tree out front has eaten my pipes or crushed them or has grown into them or has….basically the wicked oak has done about $3000 of something to my main drain…and possibly to the city pipe as well. (I always hated oak trees with their sprawling roots.) And of course, nothing could be done Sunday because I was not desperate enough to close the deal by signing the binding contract and the plumber would have to come back on Monday. He left with the glimmer of hope that I would be calling them at the crack of dawn ready to run my credit and start the $3000 worth of work to the pipes my evil oak tree had destroyed.
Monday morning my cell phone goes on the blink. I cannot get calls or send them. No text, nothing. And I could not find the website of the plumbing company that had come out the night before. I googled. I searched. So, I turned to Facebook and ran across an earlier post I made asking for plumber recommendations. A friend had put up the name of RC the plumber and his number. I had called him on Saturday and he was “out of town but would be back on Monday.” I said a short prayer and then called him. The old man answered the phone and he was a slow-talking southern gent. He let me ramble all about the plumbing mess and he said he’d be out for certain on Monday afternoon and he was. He called me to tell me he would be back out on Tuesday and he was certain he could fix it…lickety-split (that’s southern talk for quick). Sure enough he came out on Tuesday. He told me to call the city and ask for the water main map so as to know where my pipes were located. Guess what? My pipes were no where near the misunderstood oak out front but out my back toward the alley. Then he mentioned the main drain trap which the other plumber said I didn’t have. RC found one trap in the laundry room and the second he found under a concrete pad (without tearing it up) He literally tapped the concrete until the sound changed then hit it hard with a hammer and the concrete shattered right over the main trap and he twisted the lid off and started auging. Within ten minutes RC auged my main drain and pulled up a huge wad of diaper wipes whilst I stood amazed, half from the wretched smell of the main drain and half from the expertise of the aged man. I remained amazed all day because here was an apparent expert who knew his business, but yet was humble. He didn’t try to talk over my head or belittle me and he treated me like his daughter or sister. (You know that old southern saying, “Treat every female the way you’d want other men to treat your daughter or sister”. ) Well, RC’s mother raised him right, and she should be proud. He was one gentile man.
See, gentility is not something you use to get ahead. You will not find it anywhere in “The Art of War” or in “Seven Habits of Highly Productive People” but you will find it the needs of a woman and it will be a necessity in a marriage. Gentility is a classic and will always be in fashion.