Well, you know how the saying goes.
We managed to make it back home on Saturday, after having to get a tow to a garage in the nearest town. Luckily, my FIL snuck his AAA membership card to my husband before MIL demanded they leave (without saying good-bye...or anything else, for that matter). So, the tow didn't cost us anything. The repairs were a different story, unfortunately, because it wasn't just the absent belt that was the problem, it was a part that holds the belt in place. After spending half of Friday in the smoky waiting area, we were able to drive back to the beach house, our wallets considerably lighter. We thought we would be able to relax then, but of course we discovered that in her haste to leave us, MIL hadn't cleaned a single thing in the beach house, leaving us to scrub down the entire thing. The way the rentals work is you either clean everything yourself before you leave, or you pay an extra $100 for maid service after you check out, which, at that point, we obviously did not have. So, instead of relaxing on the beach or the dock, our Friday evening was spent cleaning and packing. By the way, I found out that the reason she ended up hating me did not start out as my fault. She became irate that the brake pads on her car needed to be replaced (which she demanded be done the minute they started squeaking a little, on the first day we were at the beach house) and she didn't want to spend that amount of money. So, stewing about this, according to FIL, I became the easiest target because I began avoiding her when she was in such a mood- and when I say "mood," think of the way a sulky four-year-old child acts immediately after throwing a tantrum. She bitched about every single thing FIL did, and most things husband did, so I wasn't about to get in her path. Apparently this angered her to no end. I also didn't jump up right after every single meal and offer to do the dishes while she was slamming things around in the kitchen, which pretty much sealed my fate. And then, each morning when she emerged from her bedroom cursing and stomping and husband and I were safely watching TV out of her way, I neglected to say a cheerful "good morning, how did you sleep?" to her, the final nail in my coffin. My husband won't speak to her because he's so angry about the whole thing. Not that she has deigned to apologize, though.
I felt relieved, although still smarting from MIL's treatment on the ride home. Just when we thought we could finally relax and get back into our normal routine, we found out that husband had lost his job. This was not a total surprise, but it still didn't help matters considering what we spent the day before on the car. Then, I checked my e-mail, only to find that my summer teaching position at the university had been canceled. Newly unemployed, we looked over the pieces of mail that had arrived in our absence. Among them was a curious certified letter from the court system of the county where we lived a year ago. Lo and behold, it was an order to appear in court as a result of a claim our former landlord made- that we hadn't paid the final utility bills. Last summer, I thought all of this had been resolved when they sent us a letter demanding a ridiculous amount of money for it, and we sent them photocopies of the cancelled checks with the proper amount and "Utilities for [address]" written very clearly in the memo. They never responded to that letter, so we considered the matter closed. And now, here we are an entire year later, receiving this bullshit.
And lastly, we are moving to a new place, which should be a joyous occasion. The new place is smaller, but it has a tiny yard, plus a washer, dryer, and a dishwasher! Hallelujah! Also, it's $50 cheaper per month that what we've been paying. The not-so-joyous part is that we had to fork over the first month's rent yesterday when we picked up the keys. We also had to pay the final month's rent on our present apartment, which left us stretched a little thin. Then, we found out that the water company wants to charge us a whopping $75 to start service at the new place.
My husband turned to me and said, "Well, at least we can't say our lives are boring."
I looked at him for a moment, then replied, "Have I ever, in the six years you've known me, complained that my life has ever for a single minute been boring?"
"No," he said. "No, you haven't."