Saturday, October 24, 2015

Then and now

Last night, in the shower, it seemed like I had to have the hot water cranked up higher than normal for it to be an acceptable temperature. I wrote that off as, "Well, maybe you're still slightly feverish."

Then, this morning, washing up, I realized: the water isn't getting very hot.

Crud. Water heater is apparently on the fritz again.

I looked up my plumber-of-choice; they say they are "open 24 hours." And I debated it: do I put that to the test, wait for a "decent" hour this morning and see if I can get someone out? Or do I limp along and not change the sheets (not washing the other set on hot like I normally do) and not really shower until Monday afternoon when I can get someone out? I know places like that charge a premium to send someone out on the weekend. (And maybe they only come for true emergencies, I don't know. But then again, if they have a guy on call and he's doing nothing, wouldn't he rather be paid?)

And, because I started reading  "Bossypants" (apparently Tina Fey is very close to me in age, and while her experiences are in many ways different, the 1970s frugality thing was as much in force in my family as it was in hers), I got to thinking: My father would NEVER have called a plumber in on the weekend. Oh, okay, maybe if a big pipe had broken and water was spraying everywhere (though he might also have just turned the water off from the main and told us to "go play at a friend's house and use the bathroom there." He would never have paid the "convenience fee" a weekend plumber would charge.

But there's also one big difference between his life and mine: he had a stay-at-home wife, who could call the plumber at 8 am Monday morning and then reschedule her day to be home for the "I'll be out between 9 and 4" window he gave. I don't have that luxury; the earliest I could get someone out would be 1 pm Monday. And I've found with everything, the later in the day you have to make the appointment for, typically the longer you have to wait: true at the dentist, true with the plumber....and once or twice, when my situation was a non-emergency and they had a BIG emergency to deal with, they called and asked if they could "reschedule." And I hate that.

And anyway, if the heater IS totally shot (and it's not just what I'm hoping it is, a bad thermocouple like it was a few years ago), I will need a little time to consider and arrange to get a new one. (Dangit, I hope it's not shot; it's only 8 years old.) And finding that out Monday would not be good. Not after a weekend of heating water in the crockpot and on the stove to wash myself with, or getting in the shower and HOPING the warm water holds out.

But still. I admit I feel slightly guilty over paying the weekend rate instead of toughing it out until Monday or Tuesday. It's how I was raised. (On the other hand: at the rate inflation is going, sometimes I feel that completely denying myself comfort in-the-now to save money for some future time is maybe a foolish move. Inflation, I don't know what they CLAIM it is but it seems to be at least 5%  a year in groceries, and if I put the money in a savings account it earns like that's a losing proposition, and I don't know of too many fairly safe ways to invest money that keeps pace with a 5% inflation rate.....)

And yeah, I know inflation was worse in the 1970s, but sometimes, there are a heck of a lot of things that kind of feel like the 1970s all over again....

Also, I still don't feel great today. I expect I will feel better on Monday and maybe I would rather spend that afternoon entering data over at work than sitting at home waiting on a plumber, whereas today, sitting at home staring at the tv or something seems like it would be about my speed.

ETA: Plumber is so busy he will have to "fit me in" today. Also, Saturday calls are not after-hours rates until after 5 pm. Who know? I'm glad I didn't wait until Monday.

And there is a chance the heater will need to be replaced; it is eight years old and with our hard water the average lifespan is from six to ten years. However, he quoted me a price for that - about $750, which isn't really much more than last time, and hopefully it will be smoother because I will be scheduling it with a plumber, rather than a carpenter-plumber who was running all over creation, and also, these guys seem to have a clearer concept of "no hot water is not good."

Still, when you're not feeling 100% well, all of these things seem so much harder.

No comments: