Stephanie Shaver

Sometimes Writer Always Extremely Online

About Me

Hello, my name is Steph. I’ve been writing and publishing since 1988 and I’ve been in the games industry since 1996. I wrote a little bit more on the About Me page. This is my sometimes-updated website. Enjoy.

Water Pipes Popping, The Universe is Smiling, It Must be Christmastime!

On Thursday, I turned on the water tap in the kitchen and nothing came out.

The first thing I thought was, “Well, how am I going to fill the kettle for tea?” and the second thing I thought was, “Oh, shit.”

Because of course I knew what this meant.

Read more: Water Pipes Popping, The Universe is Smiling, It Must be Christmastime!

It seems like ever year I tell the Universe I’m not gonna go out Christmas Eve, and every year the Universe just smiles knowingly at me.

Hell no I’m not going to be one of those people going to the GROCERY STORE contributing to THE PROBLEM not ME, I say.

And the Universe just pats me gently on the back and smirks.

The temperature outside had gone down to 25F Wednesday, reaching a low of 18F. Definitely pipe freezing weather. The kitchen pipes are susceptible because they’re buddies with the outdoor garden hose. I’m not sure the previous owners did a good job insulating or what. The why doesn’t really matter, because we have a full on leak and that means we have shut off water to the house.

And then came the double whammy: a freezing rain storm that shut down the roads and kept anyone from coming to fix it. Someone did try — he got about 50 feet out his driveway before he admitted defeat. We told him not to risk it.

So here we are, Christmas Eve, no running water, most of the meal I’d planned to make canceled, no one coming out to fix anything until Monday. Our toilets still work if you pour water in them, but we needed about 12 gallons if we didn’t want a clogged shitter .

And since the roads had finally melted between Friday and Saturday, that meant I had to do…a grocery run.

On Christmas Eve.

The Universe pops its gum and grins.

I gave my Christmasy plans a moment of grief for their loss because they’d been very good (ribeye roast, pavlova, sauteed mushrooms, salad, etcetera) and very cozy (tea and gaming and not moving too much). I got comfortable with the fact I was going to feel grimy until Sunday when we got to shower at a hotel we’d rented. And then I got comfortable with the fact that I was about to potentially see some of the worst of my fellow humans over the next two hours.

Here’s how I stay sane when I need to deal with the stew of too many people and not enough of whatever (parking spots, shopping carts, merchandise, customer care) they’re looking for:

  • Headphones
    • Unconditional Patience

Everyone gets a pass. I don’t get mad. I just lean into the shittiness of it all and that I have no control over the ice storm that blew my water line, or kept plumbers from coming to my house, or whatever. I lean into the fact that we had a Shop-Vac on hand because we lived in Missouri and we’ve dealt with this shit before, and how we remembered our AC units have a dehumidifier setting. I lean into how much I really appreciate hot and cold running water.

And I think, I dunno, maybe I should adopt that attitude not just when life is going sideways. Maybe I’d be less stressed.

But maybe.

Next year.

I could do without so much attention from the Universe.