Here is my current station in life: My main bathtub is filled with old high school annuals, photo albums, a box with all my shoes, and wrapping paper. There is a parakeet in a cage in my guest bathroom. My guest room bed is disassembled and leaning against a wall, and is also where my home office is where I have worked remote for much of the last nine months, so my desk is currently wedged in a small open space where my chair barely fits since the bed now takes up the place where my office used to live.
If you were to present me with a choice of getting some extensive dental work or doing some minor plumbing home repair, I would need to get back to you after a lot of thought on which to choose.
Of all of the home repair things that can face a homeowner, plumbing is by far my least favorite of all tasks. Dealing with anything electrical would be at the top of the list, but since my wife has already made it very clear there is no need for me to ever even attempt such repairs, I don’t even have to consider that an option.
Not to sound hyperbolic, but I have accomplished the two greatest plumbing successes the world has ever known.
I base this on the fact that I did two very minor plumbing repairs that (a) only required two trips to the hardware store and (b) did not result in having to call a neighbor for assistance (or, worse, an actual plumber who needs to be paid actual dollars).
I’m not quite ready to declare I have won the war, but I definitely feel like I have won some major battles.
For the first time in years, I have a front lawn.
It’s beautiful. Thick, plush and growing like crazy. Even neighbors passing by have commented about how my lawn looks great.
Some two decades ago, prior to getting married, my wife and I went through the ritual of picking out dishes. And, because she is a saint, she structured the process thusly: She spent hours looking for plates, knowing that my main criteria for plate is “holds food.” Upon identifying three possible patterns, she brought me into the mix, asking if any of the three were especially preferred or, more importantly, especially offputting.
Now, I am no dishwasher expert, but I am fairly certain that when you run your dishwasher, the dishes at the end of a cycle should be clean, and not covered in a disgusting film.
I made this lovely discovery the other night when the dishwasher finished and I opened it up. I took out the first mug and thought, “Hmm. That’s gross. I don’t think I’d want to drink coffee out of that.” And I put it back in the sink, assuming it was an anomaly.
Such wisdom from a teenager: “Dad, don’t tell Mom ‘I told you so,’ ok?”
I took a deep breath. “I can’t promise you that.”
My daughter and I were trying to replace a gazebo canopy on our back deck, and this was moments after we realized we had gotten the wrong size.
My wife and I have been together for more than 20 years. So suffice to say, I can determine with fairly good accuracy what situation awaits when I hear my name called from another room at a louder than usual level.
I used to have a very simple three-part checklist to go over when purchasing a new lawnmower:
- Does it meet my wife’s pre-approved budgetary ceiling?
- Does it start after one or two pulls?
- Can it roll over any and everything its path — including but not limited to sticks, rocks, toys, lawn furniture and laundry that has fallen off a clothesline — and still keep grinding away?
My wife and I have begun decorating our house. The most surprising part of this is not that we have lived in the house for more than two years and haven’t started decorating until now.
That part is explainable. We rented it for the first two years. We didn’t do a whole lot of hard-core decorating, because it was not our house. No sense in putting your stamp on something you may be moving out of.