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  • Writer's pictureelise

Chapter 29 - We came home to a surprise indeed...

We came home to a surprise indeed. I was babysitting my friend’s geriatric dog and the poor little thing had so much anxiety. Even with her thunder shirt, a comfy bed, and the companionship of Milo, she was still so nervous and in turn had several accidents on my bathroom floor mats. I hugged the sweet girl and took the bath mats and put them in the washing machine. Within about 10 minutes of what seemed like a normal wash, my Mom and I noticed that water was overflowing from the laundry room and before you know it I was running around the house like a crazy woman gathering every towel in the house, to soak up the soapy water before it caused any damage.

After an intense cleanup, I stood there like a wet noodle, staring at the washing machine and thought - wow, what next? Why did my house seem to be falling apart right before my very eyes? I looked to my left with the chandelier hanging out of the ceiling, I looked in front of me at the pile of sopping wet towels, I felt totally defeated knowing I didn't have the knowledge or ability to fix these issues, and this is how my parents were seeing my typically beautiful, spotless house that I worked so hard on.

There was an obvious machine malfunction, so I decided to do some research. Naturally, my next step was to turn to YouTube videos, boring, terrible, watching paint dry - washing machine YouTube videos, not cool makeup tutorials. As I was well into video number four, my parents recommended that I just go ahead and pay for a professional to come out, diagnose the problem and fix it, or even worse, buy a brand new washer/dryer set.

At this point, I’ve checked out and my imagination is running wild. All I can see is dollar bills flying out the window. Perhaps one of those flying dollar bills would take me on a magic carpet ride to Miami?

Just then my phone rings and I snap out of my fantasyland magic carpet ride to paradise. It’s Guapo. I’m happy to hear from him, but a little overwhelmed by everything that just went wrong and at the same time a bit embarrassed to tell him about yet another home incident. I answer with a somewhat exasperated ‘hola.’ My parents smile. They get a kick out of me saying hola and wait to see if the rest of the conversation will be in Spanish. After all, they want to see if that college semester abroad in Spain paid off.

He asks how my time with my family is going and I skip over our fabulous day in New Hope and instead launch right into the story of the washing machine. I tell him that I’ve YouTubed it and I think I have a clogged tube…we both laugh a little and then he tells me that yes, indeed I have a clogged tube. He mentions to please not bother calling someone in, because he can easily fix it when he’s here to hang the chandelier and install all of the faucets.

I pause and let this sink in. Guapo - of course. Why didn’t I think to ask the man who can do everything? I guess I’m still getting used to having such a handy and capable man in my life who actually loves to help. Maybe it’s deeper than that? Was my grandmother in on this? Was she causing problems in the house so that I could learn to ask for help and he could show me love through helping me? There must be something going on behind the scenes, it's just too coincidental that prior to Guapo in my life, I hadn't had a single house issue.

As I stood there covered in soapy water from head to toe I finally understood the term damsel in distress. With just a few passing moments, I came to the conclusion that I was in fact, a young girl, helpless in the field of home repairs, desperately in need of an expert. Perhaps the strong-willed, stubborn, fiercely independent Elise Ivy was actually the exact definition of a damsel in distress? That's when a light bulb moment came over me and I realized for the first time that although I wanted help, I was uncomfortable asking for it.

I had to dig deeper. What did this mean? Why was this hard for me? Why did asking for help make me feel weak, not capable, or less worthy? Why did I feel I didn't deserve the help?

These were hard almost embarrassing questions to ask myself. It was time to set pride aside and dig deep. That's when I remembered a ‘golden nugget’ I learned many years prior. I remember someone saying to me that my relationships will be my best teachers - as long as I'm willing to listen, learn, and look inside.

Not only was I willing and now almost desperate to look deeply inside and explore this newfound acknowledgment, but by listening to him, I noticed that his willingness to help, his generosity, and his calm demeanor were all attributes that I highly admired and wanted to emulate. Once again, Guapo would come through as my Superman all while remaining humble and calm.

Suavely, he says, ‘good news. I bought my plane ticket! I’ll see you next weekend! But now I’m thinking I’m going to need more than a weekend to fix everything in your apartment.’

Me - ‘Very funny. It seems I met you at the right time.’ ;)

I'm wondering if my Grandma is getting a kick out of my response?

Him - ‘Yep. Happy to help. I can’t wait to see you…4 days and counting.’

I get off the phone to two beaming parents. I saunter over to them and casually say, ‘Guapo said he’ll fix it.’ All three of us smile at each other with a knowing that this is something special.

The next day I’m gutted to see my parents leave. It’s just one of those things that never gets easier, in fact, it gets harder and sadder every time we say goodbye. My mom and I have gone through the same routine for 20 years. We hug and kiss, I say ‘bye Mom, I love you, please don’t cry.’ Then she says, ‘I’m not,’ as she has tears streaming down her face. I say, ‘Mooooom, why do you do this, now I’m crying.’ We have been doing this shtick since I was 18 and my Mom and Dad dropped me off at The University of Nebraska in the middle of a cornfield, well technically a dorm parking lot, but it might as well have been a cornfield.

Have you ever met someone who was so in alignment with your energy that you could feel their feelings and emotions without being near them, possibly even states apart? My mom and I have this type of connection. We know what the other is feeling whether we have talked on the phone that day or not. In life, this has happened to me a handful of times with other people, but most consistently with my mom and now in the short time I’ve known Guapo, it was happening on a daily basis.

Right on cue, he texts.

Him - ‘Were you sad to drop off your Mom and Dad?’

Me - ‘I always am.’

Him - ‘I’m so sorry. I know that’s hard living so far from them.’

Me - ‘How many days until you’re here.’

Him - ‘3 days mi chiquitica! I got something for you, but I can’t tell you what it is’

Me - ‘More perfume? A shower head?’

Him - ‘LOL yes, a shower head but that’s not really a gift. Stop guessing.’

In true Aries form that just fuels my guessing fire.Me - ‘Gimme a hint!’

Him - ‘Te quiero!!! That’s a hint.’

Me - ‘That’s nice, but that’s not a hint. Is it a helicopter ride without doors, because that’s where I draw the line.’

Him - ‘No more guessing!’

Me - ‘A house. OMG, it’s a house…I mean you are kind of remodeling my house.’

Now I’m really just throwing crazy ideas out there.

Him - ‘Te extraño (I miss you). I have to head off to six meetings, talk to you later.’

The next morning I awake to my favorite text, ‘Good morning Linda.’ Followed by, ‘be sure to check the mail today. Something special should come that we can share this weekend.’ At this point, I’m stumped. I don’t get stumped easily, so for this very curious fire sign, I was bursting at the seams with wonder. What could we possibly be sharing this weekend?

The mail arrives and I have not one but two packages from Guapo. Without wasting another second, I dive right in, tear the packages open and look inside. One package contains a brand new showerhead, which is a fabulous upgrade to what I currently have, and will now create a spa experience in my shower - check! (I’m assuming this is coming with professional installation, I giggle to myself.) The other is 4 bottles of his favorite Malbec and a note that says, ‘I can’t wait to share a bottle of wine with you this weekend. Don’t drink all of them before I get there. Just kidding. See you soon and get ready, I have a big question for you.’

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