In politics and public life there is often talk of people playing the “race” card to gain the advantage. WineGuy played the “disabled” card to get his way today. He’s been nagging me for months to fix this, that and the other thing around this house. Today, he conned me into fixing everything. He couldn’t possibly climb the ladder, and he certainly doesn’t know how to maintain the electrical and a/c in this house, so the tasks were mine. (They always are.)
It started with his innocent request for me to change the light switch on the storage room. I got my tool box, my supplies, cut the power, and changed the switch. Turned the power on and voila! The light worked . . . for about three seconds. Got electrocuted, turned the power off and decided I needed to buy a new switch. I made my hardware store list and fled to Lowe’s. Walking the equivalent of a 99-yard touchdown, I finally found everything, paid for it all and left. Back home again. Installed the new switch. The light did not work properly, even with a new switch and lightbulbs.
On to the next project: I replaced all the lightbulbs in the garage: four in the electric openers and two 4-foot fluorescent bulbs in a ceiling fixture. Those fluorescent tubes were a major pain in the backside. It took me forever to install them, and THAT light fixture did not work. (If I ever see the builder of this house again, I’m going to sock him.) I dragged the 8-foot ladder down to our mailbox lightpole and replaced the bulb in that fixture, too. You need to realize that the ceilings in the garage are at least 12 feet and the lightpole is probably 14 feet high. I felt like I was mountain-climbing all afternoon. But, my work was not done.
You see, when the pediatrician diagnosed the boys’ virus on Friday, he recommended I change my a/c filters. Probably a good idea since they’re supposed to be changed monthly, and I don’t remember when they were done last. We put the 8-foot ladder away and dragged the 10-foot ladder into the house. The first-floor ceilings are 14-16 feet high. I gathered my filters and climbed up to the a/c return. It was covered in dust and fuzz. Ew! I climbed down again, fetched the canister vacuum, changed the attachment and hauled it up the ladder. A shower of grey dust and fuzz rained down on my head and shirt when I opened the vent. The filter was disgusting, so I climbed down again and installed a new filter. Climbed up the ladder again, replaced the filter frame, closed the vent and vacuumed the hell out of it. Climbed down the ladder again and dragged it into the master bedroom. I repeated the process and was again rewarded with a shower of nasty dust and fuzz. Wizard begrudgingly helped me haul the ladder back out to the garage and put it away.
But, that was not all. No, that was not all. I grabbed my tool box and more supplies from Lowe’s and clambered up the stairs. Changing the upstairs a/c filter was far less arduous because the air handler is at ground level. However, that filter was grosser than the other two put together because of a concentrated hash of carpet fiber, cat hair, and boy-dander: an utter defilement. Cleaned that mess and proceeded to replace two electric outlet face plates which were clearly labeled “unbreakable”. Yeah, right. They haven’t met Wild Thing. That boy can break anything. I replaced a bulb in his new lamp and put away my tools.
I finally crawled downstairs in the late afternoon. I announced to WineGuy that I was showering for a long time. No sooner was I clean and dry than did WineGuy wander in and ask “what’s for dinner?” I really wanted to say “take-out,” but with his new, self-imposed low-salt, low-carb diet, that was out of the question. We found some stuff in the refrigerator to heat up, cooked some rice and sliced some veggies.
Then we sat down to a nice (not) dinner with our three wonderful (not) boys and proceeded to lecture them for 45 minutes about personal responsibility. And then I did the dishes. And then I helped Wild Thing and Moose shower. And then I watched 12 minutes of television. And then I took the boys upstairs for story and bed. No story tonight: their rooms weren’t picked up like they said they were and they hadn’t laid out school clothes for tomorrow.
I came back downstairs and ate six pieces of Norman Love’s chocolates. THEN, and only then, did I feel better.