Archive for July, 2011

Home Improvement, Part Two

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

When I got home from work the day after the installation of the garbage disposal, I was pleased to see that the new pipe was in place making a perfect connection to the drain.  I had to admit that despite his shortcomings in the handyman department, John did have some skills I have never learned.  I told him it looked great and that I really appreciated his efforts to get the repairs made.  His less-than-pleased expression told me that maybe things didn’t go as smoothly as they appeared.

He responded that replacing the pipe had been easy, and he would have felt pretty good about the project if the disposal actually worked.  When I asked him why he thought it wasn’t working, he said, “The switch must be bad.”  A switch.  A simple switch.  I told him for months it was the switch, but he insisted it was the garbage disposal.  I now know how the prophetess Cassandra felt when she warned the Trojans not to bring that horse into the city.  It really doesn’t matter if you are right if nobody will listen to you.  While being right AND being ignored was irritating, his ability to say that the problem was the switch without acknowledging my early diagnosis of the problem months ago made me almost apoplectic.  Not wanting to start a fight, I said, “I was right and you were wrong, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah” in my head.

The next day he purchased a new switch and put it in place so I now have a new garbage disposal and a new switch.  All’s well that ends well I guess, but I predict the next home improvement project won’t go any smoother than the last!

Home Improvement

Friday, July 1st, 2011

I’m a simple girl with simple needs so I don’t think anyone in my personal or professional life would describe me as demanding.  I take life as it comes and try not to hold anyone to my personal standards of behavior.  These realistic expectations are present more in my relationship with John than anywhere else.  I don’t expect him to bring peace to the Middle East or blow up the Death Star, but a few occasional home repairs would be nice.  He would be the first to tell you that I almost never nag him about doing anything, not because I’m a saint but because I’ve found it to be completely useless.  This often results in home repairs or “projects,” as John calls them, that are left undone for weeks, months, and sometimes years depending on the urgency of the task.

Our garbage disposal has been one of those month-long “projects” that finally moved to the top of the list yesterday.  I’m not sure what was wrong with the old one, but as its life cycle came to a close, it got to the point where I was the only one that could make it start by rapidly flipping the switch up and down until it took off.  I took some teasing from my kids about the required antics, but it didn’t bother me.  Like I said, simple girl–simple needs.  However, approximately three weeks ago, even that maneuver failed to bring the appliance to life so we have been living like savages putting our sink garbage in the trash all this time.

When I talked to John about getting a new one, I was very surprised when he said he would call our local electrician/handyman to see when he could get it done as I didn’t think that was a particularly difficult project.  Even though John is not very adept around the house, he has told me for years that elevated levels of testosterone give men magical super powers that enable them to pee standing up, fart without remorse, and live full, meaningful lives without discussing their feelings.  I mistakenly assumed those super powers included replacing a worn out garbage disposal, but I didn’t really care who did the work as long as I could stop scooping potato peels into the trash.

After learning that the repairman was booked for weeks, John decided perhaps we could tackle the project together so he purchased a garbage disposal, brought it home, and handed me the directions.  I was amazed at how easily he took the old one out and put the new one in place.  If not for the frequent breaks John needed from sitting on the hard floor, the entire process could have been completed in less than 20 minutes.  I found myself wishing our 92-year-old neighbor still lived down the road so they could have taken turns.

The only problem we encountered was the final connection from the garbage disposal to the drain pipe.  The old version of the appliance was much wider than the new one, so the pipe we had was about half an inch too short to span the gap.  Now in addition to no working garbage disposal, one side of my sink is unusable.  That’s pretty much what I would have expected.  I’m sure John will have the replacement pipe in place by the end of the day.  If not, I guess I will be looking for a droid to record and deliver my urgent message, “Help us Bob Vila.  You’re our only hope.”

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