10/31/2011

Unfair Conditioning

Story Sent in by Adam:

In college, I was friends with Kayla, who lived in an off-campus sublet with Eileen, on whom I had a major crush. Kayla knew this, and so she conspired to help me into Eileen's good graces.

We had an unseasonable heatwave in late March of that year. It was so unseasonable that people were breaking out the shorts and air conditioners. That was my in. I'd "happen" to be there while Eileen would need help installing her air conditioner. She'd be amazed at my mechanical prowess and be all over me in no time. At least, that's how I had imagined it.

Sure enough, I was in the living room, talking to Kayla, when Eileen arrived back from class. She commented on the heat, and I offered, "I can help you install your air conditioner."

She agreed to let me. Paydirt!

I carried her AC up from the basement and into her room. I opened her window and started in on the job. She watched, and I made an awkward attempt at smalltalk. "So… how's college life treating you?" and so on.

Once the window was ready for AC installation, I picked it up and pivoted it on the windowsill, then asked her, "Would you like to grab dinner tonight?"

She gave me a funny look and asked, "What are you doing?"

I glanced at my handiwork and said, "Installing the AC. About dinner?"

She said, "You're doing it backwards. It goes the other way."

I might have been awkward with women, but I did know a thing or two about installing air conditioners. I guarantee, 100%, that I had it oriented correctly. Fans blowing in.

I said, "It definitely goes the other way. Turn it around."

I replied, "If I do, then it'll suck air out of your room and cool down the neighborhood. And anyway, it will only fit into your window one way. Trust me."

She stepped over, grabbed the unit, and shouldered me out of the way. She struggled to turn it around.

"What are you doing?" I asked, "You're going to hurt yourself. I promise I can do it."

She said, "You were doing it wrong. I'll take it from here."

"But–"

"I'll take it from here. You can't even install an air conditioner. The heavy end hangs into the room. I've got it."

She was making a complete ass out of herself and had no idea. She grunted as she turned it around and shoved it into the space. I watched, unable to move. She turned to me, her eyes flashed, and she yelled, "I said you can go! I don't want to have dinner with you! Maybe once you learn how to do things right!"

I left, reported the incident to Kayla, and ended up having dinner with her, instead. When we returned to the house, we found Eileen downstairs in the living room, which was unusual, as she apparently spent most of her time in her room.

She said, "That stupid air conditioner's broken. It's cooler down here even if it's running."

I asked, "Do you have it set to high?"

She gave me a blank look. I went on, "Because if you'll want to set it to high, you'll probably have to reach out the window to do it, since the controls are on the outside."

Without a word, she stood up and walked upstairs. Kayla and I hung out for a little while longer, but Eileen didn't come back down.

There was a scream and a loud bang. Kayla and I bolted upstairs to find Eileen in her bedroom, hanging halfway out the window, holding on to the air conditioner, which had fallen out, by its power cord. I jumped to the window to try and salvage it. Eileen screamed, "I don't want your help! I don't want your help! I don't–" and then she let the air conditioner go. I hadn't lain a finger on it or on her.

It smashed against the ground and was very clearly broken. She spun to me and screamed, "Look what you did! You owe me a new air conditioner!"

I yelled back, "You dropped it, you idiot! You didn't even have it in the right way!"

Before I could hear anything more from her, I stormed out of the room and out of the house. Kayla followed me out, blabbering apologies for her roommate, how Eileen had had a bad week, how she was having family problems, and so on. It was clear to me, though, that all Eileen wanted was to pick a fight.

Whenever I visited Kayla again, and I encountered Eileen, she didn't say a word to me and acted as though I wasn't even there. Kayla later told me that Eileen had bought a new air conditioner, and for some reason, with the controls facing the inside, it actually worked.

16 comments:

  1. Sometimes common sense is surprisingly uncommon...

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  2. Maybe she was a feminist who didn't want a man showing her up?

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  3. It's usually a few tailored encounters into getting to know a person before you are lucky enough to have the fiction stripped away by some real-life situation. You should be thankful you dodged the bullet early!

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  4. Dodged a bullet? On the contrary. She had the gun backwards and shot herself in the face.

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  5. Not how feminism works, Joshua. She was just acting cunty as Howie might say.

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  6. ^ I've met feminists like that, they give feminism a bad name

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  7. Hi.

    Not to defend her, but why didn't OP just point out the controls earlier so she could see that he was actually correct?

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  8. ^^Probably wouldn't have helped. She had already decided that "he was doing it wrong" and wasn't going to back down from it.

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  9. When someone is determined to do something the wrong way, sometimes the best you can do is shrug and get out of their way.

    (Had something like that happen last weekend, although a little less dramatic. I've been making homemade candies for years, someone wanted me to teach them. They argued over Every. Single. Detail. I gave up and let them do it their way, they burned the chocolate. Gee, you mean I actually knew what I was talking about? No way!!!)

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  10. She knew he was attracted to her (cause it was pretty obvious) and was having a bad day, so she decided to throw a temper tantrum on somebody she thought would be too infatuated to call her out on her behavior (since guys with a strong crush often have "whipped dog syndrome"). Fortunately the OP had more of a backbone than Eileen anticipated.

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  11. People just naturally hate being wrong, but it's pretty much inevitable that we will screw up at some points. Unfortunately, some people are so conceited that they refuse to acknowledge it and end up making themselves look stupider.

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  12. Eileen acted like a complete jackass, but that "the controls are on the outside" comment was uncalled for.

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  13. ^Unnecessary, but not uncalled for.

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  14. Why didn't she put a ladder against the house to get at the controls?

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