Challenges – You Were Really Mad?

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So summer is here, the heat is kicking – and I do mean kicking, where we live. Triple digits with heat index higher. Humidity is so thick you feel like you are breathing straight from a steam bath. Got to love Southern summers. Or not. Me – not so much. I hate the heat. I hate the humidity. It makes me feel dizzy, sick, tired, and grumpy. I like my air conditioning. A lot. So I come home about 10 days ago on a Thursday morning and it’s kind of warm in the apartment. So I listen, sure enough, the AC is making some strange noises. Hmm, well that’s the benefit of living in an apartment, right? So I tell hubby to go let the office know the AC isn’t working when they open. I go to bed comforted by the knowledge that the men will come in and fix it while I sleep. But when I get up it is decidedly warmer. Not good. Friday morning we make another attempt to get them to fix it. The maintenance guy actually does come, but after several attempts to fix it, and flipping our breakers several times, I lose some confidence. We get a couple of fans and suffer through the weekend with the fans stirring the near record breaking heat. The dog, the cat, my two sons and I spend the weekend wilting in the heat and spending as much time as we can doing nothing but sit in front of the fans. But, we make it to Monday. I feel confident that with the record temperatures they can’t make us wait any longer. Can they? Yes, yes they can. I spend the week sending my husband, who is my bulldog, to the office. By Friday, I’m furious. I’m yelling, I’m kicking, I’m having fits – to my husband. Who then goes to the office and passes along my furious words. By Friday morning, I am to the point where I tell him to inform them that they have until 5pm Friday to fix this, or Monday morning I am going down to code compliance and turning them in for not fixing our AC in temperatures over 100 degrees. They do not seem intimidated. So, by 4:30pm on Friday, with no AC, I’m done. I’m going to have to pack up kids, dog, cat, hubby, myself and all our gear and go to my mom’s house. We can not spend another weekend in this oven. But husband seems to think I should call and talk to them. I’m furious. I’m spitting fire. But when I get off the phone with them, hubby looks at me and says “you were too nice”. What? Too nice? Yes, he says, they couldn’t even tell you were mad. Rats. He’s right. I was nice. I was polite, I was agreeable. I didn’t put my foot down. I didn’t threaten, or stand my ground, or make any demands. Instead, I let them tell me they had no clue, they weren’t sure, they were working on it. Crap. Why is it I can look my husband in the eye and tell him like it is with no problem? Why can I put my foot down with my kids in no uncertain terms and mean it. Yet outside of them, I am just not able to stand my ground. I am not able to be either assertive (which is good) or even aggressive (which is probably not good). I can’t raise my voice. I can’t demand things. Even when I am in the right. I was right, there was no reason it should take 8 days to fix the AC in the middle of a heat wave. It is illegal, it is dangerous, and it was wrong. Yet, I couldn’t even make that clear to them. Now, I know my husband is good at getting results. And I am perfectly happy letting him be the tough one. But I should at least be able to stand up for what is right and what me and my family deserve, such as air conditioning in a heat wave. Sigh, off we went. And while the good news is, we came home Sunday afternoon to a very chilly, well air conditioned apartment – it shouldn’t have taken 10 days to get that done. I am seriously wondering what it is going to take for me to learn how to assert myself.

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