Mary Panza reading at Half Moon Books in Kingston, NY

Housewife Tuesday: Ghosted

So, the definition of the word is this: the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation, withdrawing from all communication. We have all been there. MTV has a TV show totally devoted to this topic. When I was younger, running around like a maniac, I got ghosted. I got ghosted…LOTS. This was before social media and cell phones. In the bad old days, you would neurotically check your answering machine, go from bar to bar hoping to “accidentally” run into your target, or one of your girls would call you from a payphone and give you a play-by-play of what was happening. I have been known to hide behind cars and look through windows trying to find out why the man in question was not getting back to me. After all, we flirted, slept together, shared the last cigarette, and watched the sun come up. “I’ll call you later”, was a mantra of hope. Hope for a next time, more sex, more smoking, fun, and frolic. In the last few months, being “ghosted” has taken on new meaning.

I live in an old house. The house has “good bones” but is in desperate need of updating. My ceilings are peeling. There are cracks in the walls. I hate the color of my walls. I had a great guy, who not only paints and repairs walls, but is super reasonable. I managed to save money from the pandemic and now am ready for all these home repairs. Guess what? I am being ghosted by my house painter. I have reached an all-time low. I have money and I can’t get this guy to call me back. The desperation really takes me back. I am not alone. I was speaking to a client the other day and she was telling me that this is now a “thing”. I asked her what she meant. She proceeded to tell me that folks in the construction/painting/home improvement industry are becoming known for this. With the lockdown last year, people are doing more home improvements. Supplies, lumber, drywall, and things like that have gotten ridiculously expensive and contractors are busier than ever. If a contractor gets a better offer, they ghost you. I once again am the fat girl waiting for the phone to ring.

I have left several voicemails and texts. All starting out like this:

Me: Hey! Mary Panza here. I hope you are doing well. Can you give me a shout so we can set a date for you to start? I will need to board my dog so let me know.

Me (second text a few days later): Hey, Mary Panza here. Just following up. I know you are busy, but can you give me a call?

Me (a couple of days later): Can you please give me a call. Please. I have the money and would love to get this done.

Me (today): Can you please let me know what is going on?

Me (trying a different angle): Hey, Mary Panza here. Can you give me a call and let me know you are ok?

I am a needy chick. So needy. I don’t understand just not getting back to someone. I do my best to return phone calls. My livelihood depends on it. I try to be professional. If my
painter is out there, somehow wondering how my walls and ceiling are doing, they are not doing well. They need you. Desperately.

Please call me.



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