Last December, we had a big rainstorm, followed by a windstorm with gusts up to 80 mph. The combination was too much for the 60-year-old block wall on the north boundary of our property. The rains softened the ground allowing the foundation to shift, and the winds blew down a twenty-foot section of the 130-foot wall.
I filed a claim with the insurance company, and started getting estimates for repairs. That was bad news. The whole wall was weakened, leaning, ready to topple. Replacement estimates ranged from $20K to almost $40K, and it wasn’t clear how much the insurance company would pay.
My wife was horrified. “Why do we need that wall? A wooden or chain-link fence would be just fine.”
I was adamant. We needed a big, beautiful wall to keep out the coyotes that were murdering a lot of the neighborhood cats and raping dogs. We needed that wall!
But my wife was equally adamant. “That’s silly! How is the wall a better barrier than a fence? We are not going to build your stupid wall!”
Now, I was really getting angry. Didn’t she know that I was the decider on things like this? Even though we usually consulted and agreed on household projects, I had the final say, and I told her so. Needless to say, that caused a blowup, and she told me in no uncertain terms that certain very important services would be withheld indefinitely if I insisted on building the wall, and she wasn’t talking about cooking meals or washing clothes.I had to put my foot down. I threatened to shut off the electricity and gas if she did that. Wrong thing to do. Her chin went up, and she looked me in the eye. “Go ahead and do that! You will suffer as much as I will.”
Well, what could I do? I couldn’t back down. So, we lived in the dark and cold for a couple days, and ate cold food. Stuff in the refrigerator started to spoil. I finally turned the juice and heat back on, but I warned her that I would do it again if she continued to stonewall me.
There hasn’t been much conversation in the house for the last few days. Meanwhile the insurance company sent out an adjuster, who said that the wall was old and falling down before the rain and wind, so they denied the claim. I blasted them, even though I knew it was in sad shape. It might have lasted for a few more years without those storms.
So, that’s where we stand right now. I am still not getting any…um, you know…and the hole in the wall is staring at us. I haven’t seen any coyotes recently. Maybe a wood fence would be okay, but I can’t just back down and let her win.
What should a red-blooded stand-up guy do in a case like this?
Feel free to make suggestions.
And PUH-LEEZE don’t tell me I should declare a household emergency.