I met some co-workers from Iowa at a recent work training meeting in KS City who reminded me about this story I’d shared with them the last time we’d been together and they commented that they still talk about it as a great story – so I thought I’d share it with you.
This is my wallpaper steamer story.
Back in the days of b.c. (before children) we lived in an old 1938 house that was our “first home” purchase and a labor of love in re-doing things. One of my earlier jobs I tackled was to remove 3 – 4 layers of wallpaper from the upstairs hallway. I started with a putty knife and quickly decided I should rent a wallpaper steamer and get it done quicker. So I headed on down to the nearest larger town that had a place called “Regehr Rental” to rent a wallpaper steamer. When I arrived, I told them what I needed and a lady showed it to me and how it worked. We went to the counter to fill out the necessary paperwork. The lady asked me a million questions like date of birth, address, phone, she needed my drivers license number (like I was going to drive the steamer?), my social security number, place of employment, etc. When I felt like I’d completed enough information to rent a forklift – she then asked me for my husband’s information. I said I believed she had enough information. She said she’d need his information as well and I declared I didn’t have a husband.
OK - this is where my brain is crying out to me “You idiot! You have a wedding ring on!” But I didn’t care because I was NOT going to give her more information because I knew if my husband rented it – she wouldn’t ask him for MY information. I’m not a “stand up for your women’s rights” kind of woman – but I have my limits and I felt I was being profiled unfairly.
So, I proceeded to write out a check for the payment of the rental and she looks at my check and sees my husband’s name on it and his DL on the check too so she asks me “Is this your husband’s information?” With a deer in the headlights look I quickly responded, “he is recently deceased.” That poor lady apologized over and over and over. I almost told her it was to remove the wallpaper with the blood on it that I needed the steamer for, but held back from digging myself in deeper. She said, “They make me ask all these questions you know.” Like it justified the unfairness of the situation.
So I go home with my steamer, happy I didn’t have to divulge any more information to them about my dear husband whom I just killed off at the rental place. Deep guilt from lying took over me and I confessed to my husband that I declared him dead to the rental people. He actually laughed… and when we returned it he offered to help me inside with it and I told him to keep his butt in the car - he said he could pretend to be my boyfriend… I said “I’m happy with you as my husband – but stay here!”
And that is my wallpaper steamer story.