Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chocolate Frosty

Household repair flummoxes me. So do appliances using water and odd furnace noises. Wish I was better at basic home repair.

Frustration builds because I know I can. Kinda. I’ve painted the powder room and master bath, crisp edges and smooth, even strokes. But tried to install a towel rod over said fresh paint and got only two large drywall large holes. Even used dry wall “boing” screws, the ones that are meant to expand and explode for a snug fit. The whole thing pulled out before Egyptian cotton met metal.

I’ve patched the remnants of an upstairs leak in the kitchen ceiling; in low light you one can barely see it (thanks in part to orange peel spray spackle). The kitchen and bath linoleum need replacing, a job I believe I could possibly do (in the words of the once immortal and now nutty Jesse Jackson, I “keep hope alive.”) So why in-the-ever-loving-fuck-bits can’t I level the washing machine? Shown how to easily do it, watched it go down, tried after a load of heavy towels knocked the basket off-kilter and landed the white monster square on my foot, no more level to end than begin. So instead of relying on what the machine can and should do, I ensure my presence for the spin cycle, pressing bum against cool metal to hold the load stable. Admittedly, the rumble is nice in the nether regions, but it does take away from an otherwise busy day.

Things I’ve done solo (and successfully) in almost ten years of homeownership:

  • Changed the doorbell
  • Replaced the handle lever and large pink diaphragm looking plug on the toilet (had my ballcocks removed and replaced with leaner, meaner flush valves)
  • Stained the deck
  • Tripped a GFI

Pathetic, I know.

But then I can do other things, like ask my gym to reduce my monthly membership from $49.95 a month to $34.85, which they did. Or scrub my little home top to bottom, feeling accomplished now that everything smells of lemon and almonds. Or stuff a comically large chicken breast with garlic and shallot butter, coat it in panko and parmesan and bake at 350 degrees for half-an-hour and serve it alongside fresh greens beans with burnt butter. Or be up for an 8:21 p.m. Saturday night Wendy’s drive-thru in pajamas because I want a sweet, cold treat.

Simply enjoy the pleasure of my company and still want some.

So I don’t mind so much that I can’t level the washing machine.


jorg wobblington lopez said...

ha ha... ballcocks

dan said...

There is definitely something gratifying about fixing stuff, whether it's a perfect souflee or a shorted-out hall light. To have left the universe in better shape, more perfectly organized, more productive and homier than you'd found it. So rarely do I get a chance to try. Recently the landlady came over to repair the range and we mentioned that the hall light no longer worked. SHE TIGHTENED THE BULBS AND IT WAS FINE. It's not like we hadn't tried that before; we tightened the crap out of them but it never worked. Now she thinks we're idiots for not knowing how to fix a loose light bulb. Grr.

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