Does this happen to you? It happens to me every single time — and I can't seem to ever remember that it does. And then (for some reason) I'm actually surprised by it. And then mad at myself for being surprised. Because (after all) I should have expected it. It happens every time, right?
The point being that I should just never take actual vacations. Not even a weekend's worth. And definitely not at my favorite place in the world (apart from the Sahara), and that would be Big Sur.
This time it was a camping trip with the new girlfriend. I'd made reservations for this camping spot long before I'd even met the new girlfriend, that's how determined I was to take a couple days off. Don't get me wrong, I DID bring work with me. Papers to grade, because it's already that season. So. I felt pretty protected from god forbid having too much of a good time.
Unfortunately, I had a good time.
More than a good time.
And when the weekend was over and I got home — there was a flood in the garage. And no, I won't describe it.
So. Instead of taking that well-needed post-camping shower, I got out the good plunger and worked at the drain in the garage. After about an hour, the flood subsided, but not enough to proclaim it cured. After all, this has happened before. After a trip to Paris (for work, of course) and some other trip I don't remember, except that I had fun. Fun being the operative word that brings down the waterworks chez moi.
I'd been warned the last time or two that the sewer pipes (like the water line before it) was in far from stellar condition. The house is, after all, over a hundred years old. The pipes may or may not be original, but they're old. And ceramic. And broken. They've been at war with the tree roots out front for decades. I've observed their war up close and personal when I had to replace my water line.
So. Was I surprised at the diagnosis? No. Sticker shock, yes. Half my savings, down the drain — literally.
Is there a point at which everything that can go wrong will already have done so, and I can go away for two days of camping in the dirt and smoke and pretend I'm relaxing, and not come back to some portion of my 1907 cottage having a little shit fit?
Is it just bad timing? Am I unconsciously going on vacation exactly at the time my house most needs my attention? Is my house really a big furry cat who needs to make a fuss every single time I go away? Or am I supposed to go away more often in order to train it?
I'm pretty sure that if I'd had a crappy time, I would have come home to an intact house. I'm pretty sure it's the fun my house is complaining about. I'm pretty sure. But I just can't prove it. The experiments are just too costly.
All I know, is that next time I plan a trip just for fun, I'm going to sneak off and not tell my house at all.
Except that now, with a broken sewer line, there's not going to be a next time any time soon.
This has all happened before. And it will all happen again. Just when we're the most decadent. The cylons attack.