I thought he loved me. He’d answer my call with a “be there in 30” no matter where he was. He gave me time and attention. I knew I was a lucky girl. I held onto him. How many women could say that about their plumber?
As a newly single woman, I appreciated him even more. Before putting my house on the market, I had to deal with leaks and toilets and sump pumps, and my plumber would be there no matter how small, no matter what time or day of the week.
“How much do I owe you?” I asked.
“Don’t worry about it.” He waved his hand. “We’ll get it next time.”
When I moved into New York City, he checked on my house and shut off my water during cold snaps. Once when he called me early in the morning and I had to call him back.
“Sorry I missed your call. I was talking to my therapist.”
“You have a therapist? You’re always in a good mood,” he said.
“That’s because I complain to my therapist,” I replied.
He laughed out loud and quoted me every time I saw him. He thought I was funny!
When my boiler broke, he was there first thing in the morning. He brushed his hands free from the debris, “It’s dead. When was the last time you had it serviced?”
“When was the last time YOU serviced it?” I replied.
‘Because there’s only you, Frank, only you,’ I thought.
“It’s going to cost five figures. I’ll see what I can do.”
But then I never received the estimate. I texted. He apologized. Another week went by. Still no estimate.
Then a friend asked me if I had heat yet.
“No. No I don’t.” I needed to get painters in there. I needed to pack. But it was too fucking cold. Because I still didn’t have a fucking boiler. Where was the fucking estimate?
“Frank,” I said into the voicemail. “I really need a boiler! You’re holding me up. I’m NOT IN A GOOD MOOD!”
I sent a text. “Frank. I need you to come by with the estimate on Saturday. I will have a check for you.”
What happened to the witty texting banter? I recognized when a guy was checking out. Was my plumber checking out?
My realtor said, “Ginny, it’s time to move on.”
“No, no. He loves me. He’s busy or something.”
Saturday came and went and no plumber. No call. No text. Nothing.
I started to panic. Did he block me? Did he die? I even googled to see if there were any accidents or deaths reported. His name came up.
‘Holy shit. My plumber died!’
But no, it was some 94-year-old guy with the same name. But, let me tell you, I wanted it to be my plumber. I didn’t want to think that my plumber no longer loved me. Death was better than being ghosted by my fucking plumber.
I sent a break-up text.
‘Frank. I’m assuming from your lack of communication that you are either uninterested and unable to do my job. I will find another plumber.’
My contractor recommended another plumber. “You’ll like him.” Yea, yea. Sure, sure. I hated the idea of starting all over. I still mourned Frank.
I texted the new guy. He replied immediately. He set up a meeting time. He showed up on time. He said he’d have an estimate for me in two days. And he DID.
Whoa. This might work. He texted daily with the progress of the work. He cleaned up after himself.
I think I’m in love. Let me tell you about Eliott.