Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Monopoly Money

Sometimes there's a fine line between brave and stupid.

That "provisional money" that the bank put back in my account has been burning a hole in my pocket.  The email from the bank said only "Funds have been deposited provisionally in your account.  If our investigation determines that the transaction was a valid one, the funds may be reversed."  Huh?  

I called Banker Dude first and read the email to him.

"So what they're saying is that this is just Monopoly money, right?" I asked.

He told me that it's not Monopoly money, it's real money that I can use, and then he explained in detail what provisional funds are and how a dispute investigation works.  Or at least I think that's what he was talking about, because I didn't hear anything after the words "real money".  When he paused, I told him I had to go right quick because the cat ran away.  Whew.  There's only so much talk about money that I can take.

Then I called my bank just to double-check.  

Me:  "I have a question about what provisional funds are and I don't need a big explanation, okay?  I just want to know if it's real money I can use or if it's like Monopoly money."

Customer Service Person at Capital One:  "Yes, provisional funds are real money you can use.  The only way the funds would be reversed is if we discover that you filed a fraudulent dispute inquiry."

Me:  "Okay, thanks, bye."

Kudos to the guy at Capital One for not laughing at me.  

And then I did the thing that's either brave or stupid.  I called back the company that I originally ordered my porch posts from (Vintage Woodworks in Quinlan, Texas) and I told them I wanted to cancel my first order and place a new one for exactly the same thing.  I stayed on the phone with them to make sure my debit card went through.  They said that my posts will be shipped out on Thursday and I should have them on Monday or Tuesday.  

Sending another big chunk of money to the same folks that lost an identical big chunk of money just a couple of weeks ago?  That's either really brave and we'll be starting on the porch next week, or it's really stupid and I'll be filing another dispute inquiry with the bank next week.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Cursed Porch

This porch project might be cursed, y'all.  No, really. 

It all started back in April or so when I thought I could just tear the roof off myself and then saw through the rafters and have the whole shebang torn down in a week or so.  Then I had to call in my son to help out, and he caught the porch roof on fire with the sparks from a saw.  After that, he called upon one of his friends who used to be a contractor, and it still took them three weeks to tear the dang thing down, during which time Steve (the former contractor) declared that it was the worst porch roof he'd ever seen, and ending with the porch unexpectedly collapsing in a heap.  Then we had the problems with the building permit and the evil specter of frost heave.  

All that pales in comparison, though, to what happened last week.  Last week I ordered reproduction porch posts (which ain't a cheap date, folks) and the company I ordered them from lost my money.  Yes, you read that right. They lost my freakin' money.  My money is gone.  There's a great big hole in my bank account where that money used to be, and a payment to the porch post people, but they claim that the money never showed up in their bank account.  They say that nothing like this has ever happened before in the history of their company (which has been in business since 1978) and that they feel real bad about it.  They feel bad?! Hey, I'm the one who's out a whole pile of money.

After I freaked out about that and screamed and threw a hammer out into the street and then went in the house and cried (which I've been doing a lot lately and I am not a fan of it) it occurred to me that the new beau might be able to help with this situation, since he's a banker.  And he did help.  He advised me to file a Disputed Item Inquiry with my bank and he told me that it's absolutely impossible that the money didn't get to the porch post company, since the funds show as a completed transaction on my bank account.  "That money's not just floating around out there in space," he said.  So I called the bank and they started a Dispute Investigation, and in the meantime the bank put the money back in my account "provisionally", so that's kinda good, but I still don't have any porch posts.

Without porch posts, Mare can't start building the new porch.  (The posts are the first thing he needs.)  He's had to rearrange the other three jobs that he put on hold when he thought we'd be building my porch this week, so now he won't be able to get to my porch until at least August 25th.  That is, if I have porch posts by then....

Monday, August 11, 2014

Y'all Know Me

Y'all know that I'm not good at relationships.  Give me a lady screaming into the phone because her house is on fire and I'll handle that just fine, but when my cell phone rings and the caller ID shows the name of a guy I liked way back in high school and haven't seen since, I'll panic and let it go to voicemail at least twice.  And then I'll listen to the voicemail over and over and dissect it and ask my bestie things like, "Does his voice sound like he might be fat?" and "He said he can't wait to see me.  Do you think he's gonna be a clinger?"

Y'all know I don't plan ahead very well.  So when I bought a giant side-by-side Bosch refrigerator at an auction down the street from my house, I was pretty proud of myself for not only getting a great deal on it but also for measuring it before I bought it to make sure it would fit through both doorways and in the space in my kitchen.  I just didn't consider how I'd get it out of the house down the street and into my house.

And then I devised a cunning plan.  I texted that guy from high school and said, "What's up?  Got your voicemail.  Sorry I didn't call you back."  And he texted right back, "Just hanging out with my son.  What are you up to?" This was a good sign.  "Oh, nothing," I texted, "just at an auction trying to figure out how to move a fridge I just bought."  And the guy said, "Need some help?"  I love it when people fall into a trap that I've cleverly (or not so much) laid for them.

So that's how a guy I haven't seen in almost thirty years ended up helping me roll a behemoth fridge down the sidewalk and into my house.  The rolling-down-the-sidewalk was the easy part; the into-my-house was not.  That ended up taking the combined efforts of the guy from high school (whose name is Greg), his 15-year-old son, a dude from the auctioneer's place, and a guy who lives next door to the house where the auction was held.  And even after all of that, Greg still asked me out for supper the next night.  And I went and we had a great time.  And we've gone on three more dates since then.  And I hope at some point I'll stop giggling at nothing and gnawing on my fingers, but I make no guarantees.

Greg thinks my house is really cool and the work I've done on it is impressive.  That's the word he used, impressive.  Actually, not to brag, but I think he said "seriously impressive".  So when he offered to help me on the house, I took him up on it.

I discussed this offer with Mare and my bestie Amy a couple of days ago.  Mare said, "If he's never worked on old houses before, you might want to kinda ease him into it."

Y'all know I'm not good at relationships.  So I said, "Well, I was thinking that he could climb up on the roof at the front of the house and scrape the paint off the eaves."  And Mare's eyes rolled so far back in his head that I thought he was having a seizure, but all he said was, "Welllllll...."  Amy is far more blunt.  She whacked me on the arm and said, "If you ever want to see that sweet man again, do not--I repeat, do not--ask him to do that.  What is wrong with you?"  Oh.  Maybe that's not such a great idea after all.

So that's how a guy I've been seeing for only three weeks ended up helping me paint the front of the house gray.  No scraping of paint at all.  He carefully followed my directions (which I practiced with Amy beforehand) to not paint over the witness marks, which is why there's a yellow stripe at the top there. And he even said he'd be back to help me with the unmitigated disaster on the side of the house, which you can kinda see in the photo.  If I don't run him off somehow before the end of painting season.  Lordy.