Monday, May 4, 2009

The Tale of the Garage Door: A Comedy of Errors

Oh yes, the tale of the garage door continues....

For those of you who have not been privy to the dramatic and sometimes frighteningly desperate story of our garage door, allow me to catch you up.

In the fall of 2007 we underwent a horrific slew of problems related to our house (things falling apart, floods, poisons ivy taking over the back yard, etc.), health (emotional and physical), and lives in general. One of the culminating problems directly related to the house was the day our garage door quit opening. It wasn't the worst problem. Just the proverbial straw.

In a desperate attempt to stop the madness (and recognizing, at that point, that financially we were beginning to have issues paying for everything and that something was going to have give somewhere), we decided to just leave it broken for awhile. We could still lift it and lower it manually, we just couldn't magically press a button and have it move by itself. Not a huge problem other than the fact that I have a really hard time opening the door, so I was somewhat stuck unless my husband was around to open it. But we dealt with it.

Well, "awhile" turned into about eight months. In August, as we had originally been told that the whole motor needed replacing, we finally went out and bought a new motor and asked my brother to help install it. Well, about two months goes by, and he finally gets a break in his schedule and comes over to install the engine. Except that it turns out we don't need a new motor. Just a few smaller parts which he ordered for us online.

So, we return the new motor (yay less moneys!) and then wait for the new parts to come in and my brother to have time to come back in. Two months later (now a full year from the original time it broke down) he comes back. Installs the parts. Something is still wrong. He goes to do research on it. Orders another part.

We carry on this way until April of this year. At which time he finally came in, got the motor working beautifully............................................and the spring on the door broke. You know, the HUGE springs that are in the middle of a garage door that help someone (or a machine) lift the door without breaking their back? Yeah, those ones. Broke in half! So now the motor worked but it was impossible to get the door open!

Fortunately, the next day, someone was able to come out and fix the springs.

Well, the next piece of the saga began as we realized that somewhere in the past year when we've been automatic-garage-doorless, one of our garage door openers disappeared. So, as we have become desperate now to mark "fix garage door problem" off of the general To-Do list, we went out to buy a universal remote.

First stop - Walmart. "Sorry, we don't carry those. Go to O'Reilly's."

Second stop - O'Reilly's: "Sorry, we don't carry those. Best place we know is the Overhead Door company just down the street."

Third stop - Overhear Door Company: they're closed and because of the time they closed, the easiest time for us to get an opener from them would be on a Saturday morning (they were open from 8am to 1pm on Saturdays. Very important detail).

So this Saturday, we ventured out to get an opener. Originally, since we had a bunch of errands to run, we were planning on getting up in a sensible, relatively early fashion, have a leisurely morning, and pop out late morning to start our errands--beginning with the garage door opener.

Well, we kind of slept in. So we leave at a little after 12:30. Not a big deal. It's just a few minutes away.

Except that Chris was slightly zombyish and I had no excuse other than blindness (which I suppose was bad because I was driving), and we drive right by the place. Turning around on busy, main roads comes into play.

We finally park at their store at 12:55.

We walk in the front door. The lights go out as the guy behind the counter was just closing up shop.

"Wait, wait! We just need an opener!" we cry frantically.

He, graciously, says that's fine.

"What kind of opener do you need?"

"A Universal remote," we reply confidently.

He laughs.

"There isn't actually such a thing."

We look worriedly at each other.

"But that's what we were told to get!"

"Well, do you have any information on the motor?"

"'s blue?" is our pathetic reply.

He starts naming types of garage motors. None of them ring a bell. "Oh wait!" I cry triumphantly. "We have our other opener in the car. Maybe that will show what we need."

So I run out to the car to get the remote.

Guys holds remote. Looks remotely (sorry, I couldn't resist!) puzzled. Begins fiddling with fancy gadgets and comes up with what he thinks might be an option. Warns us that it may not work because he's not exactly sure what some of the switches are on the remote we have.

We decide to go ahead and buy it, try it, and bring it back and exchange it if it doesn't work (and this time bring the information on the motor).

He then proceeds to type in our information into his computer.

I pull out my wallet. "Do you take American Express?"

His reply combined with an apologetic looking grimace (and I swear, this is what both Chris and I heard), "No. We don't take any cards."

(Thought runs through my head - who doesn't take a credit card in this day and age!)

I look in my wallet for cash. I have $5. Chris finds $1 in his wallet. We need $52 more dollars.

We look at each other in despair.

"Wait!" I cry triumphantly again. "I have cash in the car because I got refunded for my business trip and forgot to bring the cash in yesterday."

So I run out to the car to get the cash.

Return to the store (by this time I'm beginning to giggle).

I look in the envelope. Twenty and Fifty dollar bills. We have enough cash to make......$56. We still need TWO dollars!

"No problem" guys says. "I have change."

I pull out a $20 bill to add to the pile meaning we need $12 in change.

He opens change drawer. Has $5 in change.

Giggling begins to commence all around at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation.

Chris and I look blankly at each what?

Guy looks at my wallet, which I had opened again on the off chance that it had suddenly turned into an ATM and would magically produce more money.

He looks confused.

"I can take a credit card, you know."

I stare at him. Chris stares at him. We look at each other in bewilderment.

"But you said you couldn't"

Guy says, "I thought I said we can take any kind."

I shake my head, pull out the card, and hand it to him.

Giggling has changed into outright snorting laughter at the sheer lunacy of the situation (please keep in mind, at this point we don't even know if the garage door opener will even work!).

He finally runs the card, prints out a receipt, I sign it (rather shakily because I'm laughing so hard), and we leave triumphantly with our opener.

Several hours later, we return home from the rest of our errands (which, surprisingly, actually went well!). We press the button as we drive up to the door. be continued.

Just kidding.

It didn't work!

Will the nightmare never end?

Find out next time on "Will they ever have a fully functional garage door complete with two openers so that one person isn't stuck getting out and pushing buttons manually and getting soaked in the rain in the process?" (It's a working title. Go with it).


Amber said...

Poor hannabelle. Although I laughed at the "hoping it had become an ATM and would give me more money" part, I still feel bad for the never ending saga of opening the garage.

Anonymous said...

Just read this out loud to Dad, Jonathan and Rebecca and we howled with laughter while commiserating.
So sorry dear.

So What Now? In My Kitchen

As the kitchen is, at least so I've been told, the heart of a home, let's have a peek into my kitchen and see what stories the activ...