Spouse and I fight about a PG&E bill
|One afternoon on the way home from work I stopped at the mailbox. It was the end of the month, and that meant a pile of bills. I opened the box with some dread hoping it wouldn't be too bad and...I was pleasantly surprised! Only two envelopes. I plucked them both out to have a look. One plain white envelope I recognized as the water bill. That wouldn't be too bad. The other was a ghastly blue and yellow envelope, and I recognized that one too. My heart sank and a knot formed in the pit of my stomach. Pacific Gas & Electric. Good ol' PG&E. That company was a monthly source of battles between Spouse and me.
"Too high," he'd yell during the winter and spring.
"Too cold," I'd yell back.
"Too high," he'd yell during the summer and fall.
"Too hot," I'd yell back.
And so it went every month.
I pinched the current envelope from PG&E between my thumb and forefinger. I sighed. Now that it had arrived I thought I'd better brace myself for battle.
I laid the offending bill on the kitchen counter. Then I went to work on dinner. My plan was to prepare something elegant, along with a bottle of fancy wine to help ease the pain. I figured by the time we got through the wine we'd be ready to open the envelope and maybe, just maybe, we could get through one month without yelling.
When Spouse arrived he was whistling a little familiar tune. Aha! He was in a good mood, so I was in luck! He threw everything down in a chair and spotted the wine. He pulled a bottle opener from a drawer and that's when he saw the envelope - the ghastly blue and yellow PG&E envelope. He stopped whistling, and looked at me. Then he held the envelope to the light to see if he could see any numbers on the inside.
"You'd better open this," he stated and laid the envelope in front of me.
"No, you open it," I said as I pushed it back.
"Well it's probably gigantic. Because of you." Again he pushed the envelope in front of me.
"Well that's too bad because it's been just flippin' hot." I pushed the envelope back.
"Oh, cry me a river, you big baby." he said.
The envelope lay in between us. We both stared. And there it stayed since neither of us made a move to open it. And the fancy wine from the elegant dinner stayed unopened as well.
The next day we met again at the kitchen counter to stare at the envelope.
"How much was the Anderson's bill?" asked Spouse.
"$485.50," I replied.
"Damn that's high! Ours better not be that high! I'm tellin' ya' I'll turn it off. Ours better not be that high."
"Ours isn't that high," I sighed.
"All I'm saying is that ours better not be that high."
"Have you noticed how hot it's been?" I asked flippantly.
"Yeah, but ours better not be that high."
"Are you nuts? It's 105!" I spat.
Disgusted with each other again we went our separate ways for the evening. And once again neither of us made a move to open the envelope. And the fancy wine with no elegant dinner remained unopened as well.
And just like times past, we met yet again the next night to stare at the envelope.
"We really have to open this thing."
"Yeah, I know."
"Okay, you open it."
"I'm not opening it. You open it."
"I am so tired of this!" I shrieked. "Can you just open the damn envelope!"
"Fine," Spouse hissed as he shot me a dirty look.
He cut the top open with a knife and pulled the bill from the envelope. He sucked in his breath.
"So...how is it?" I cautiously asked.
Spouse blew out his breath. "Well...not as bad as the Anderson's."
"Well, how much is it?"
"$285. And some change."
"Well, that's not so bad," I said in a gush of relief. "Let's open the wine!"
"We still have to turn up the cooler," said Spouse.
"You're nuts. It's 105!"
And so it went. The wine stayed unopened. It was apparent to me that Pacific Gas & Electric, good ol' PG&E would forever be a source of battle between Spouse and me. Unless of course...one of us actually turned up the cooler.