On Being Husbandless and Rudy the Rat Guy

I consider myself a resourceful person.  A doer.  Someone who can “tote the freight” as my Daddy would have said.  However, my strength, confidence, cleverness and energy have been stretched to their limits in the wake of my divorce.

Throughout, I have learned humility.  I have learned to ask others for help.  Most of all, I have learned that inevitably things will be OK.

Sometimes I am profoundly grateful.

One of my neighbors has fixed my kitchen sink three times.  Including on Thanksgiving Day.  He also gave me precise instructions on what to do when the sewer overflowed in my driveway (calm down; call this municipal department; tell them to come NOW).

Another neighbor searched for lost files on my computer while I wrung my hands and contemplated my malpractice insurance.  His equally technologically-savvy wife helped my daughter set up her science fair experiment, which won a blue ribbon.

Sometimes I am amused.

My ex-husband always told me that it was impossible to find a Home Depot employee when you needed to ask a question.  He clearly never went to Home Depot in a mini skirt .. and boots .. and fishnet stockings.  No less than four employees followed me through the store, found the things I needed and carried them to check-out.  I think Home Depot has amazing customer service.

Sometimes I want to spit and say impolite words.

When I take my car to a mechanic, I feel like I have the phrase “I believe anything and want to give you large sums of money” tattooed on my forehead.

Recently, however, I developed a special affinity for my exterminator.  When I heard scurrying, scratching sounds in the attic right before Christmas I hoped it was Santa scoping out logistics.  More realistically, I knew it was a rat – or maybe a whole mischief of rats.

Enter Rudy the Rat Guy.  Don’t get me wrong, Rudy was affable and he did his job.  To my knowledge, my house is now rat-free.  Where Rudy and I failed to be like-minded was when he treated me like an unintelligent ten-year-old.  Two graduate degrees?  Irrelevant.  Rudy the Rat Guy cared about three things:  (1) I was female; (2) I sure as hell wasn’t going to climb into the attic myself; and (3) as such, I needed him.

I asked Rudy for his business card.  I am saving it to pin on a voodoo doll.

Always, I grow.

I am an expert on stacking kits for Whirlpool washers/dryers.  I know that the gas is turned OFF when the knob is turned perpendicular to the floor.  Even if I don’t know which wrench to use, I know you can get a lot accomplished with pliers.

At first, I felt angry about these experiences; they weren’t in my life plan.  But, then I realized that these lessons allow me to cultivate wisdom and make me more human.  Most important, I am learning these lessons in the plain view of my daughter, who will be stronger and more whole and have her own ideas about how to deal with Rudy.

  11 comments for “On Being Husbandless and Rudy the Rat Guy

  1. April 10, 2014 at 11:14 am

    You ALWAYS had this in you. Unfortunately, divorce was the vehicle for revealing this inner strength, but the end result is such a huge positive. Rock on sistah!

    • April 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      Always good to hear from you – and get your encouragement. You know, speaking of people who know how to do things, I still have that amazing Yale scarf you knitted for me. I was just telling A the story about it a few weeks ago. 🙂

  2. April 10, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    That one made me nervous! I can’t do any of that. I could probably take the mechanic though…go “Toys R Us” as my kids call it (long story, but a good one). Luckily I now have two men to watch after me as my 17 year old can fix a car and about anything else his dad can. Time for A to learn about engines!

    • April 10, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Yet another reason I should move back to KY … so you could go with me to take my car to the mechanic … 🙂

  3. April 10, 2014 at 12:28 pm

    Keep it up, Kimberley! Soon enough you will be able to tackle just about anything but electrical work and complex plumbing. (And rats, I would put up with Rudy to avoid the rats.) As a lifelong singleton, I have had to learn my way around a tool box. Pliers are also my favorite. YouTube videos have saved me many a time.

    • April 10, 2014 at 3:11 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement, Michelle! I am becoming a big fan of YouTube videos as well!

  4. Sunny
    April 10, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    These experiences will make you feel more independent and confident. There’s nothing you can’t do. I find the key is patience. By the way, those folks at Ace Hardware are really helpful!

    • April 10, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      You are right: patience is always the key. Another lesson I could work on! Good to hear from you.

  5. Allyson
    April 12, 2014 at 4:49 am

    I’m ok. You’re ok. We’re all ok. (Or we will be.) xoxoxo

    • April 12, 2014 at 7:43 am

      You must have known that I thought of you when I made that comment in the post! 🙂 Yes, yes, yes, it will all be OK. Love to you. 🙂

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