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In the past, I’ve shared some of the potholes in the road of my daily existence. When my wife died yesterday (well, it was actually in 2009 but it seems like yesterday), I was forced to assume responsibilities for things she had taken care of for lo these many years. And boy, did she take care of a bunch of things. Things I’d never given a thought to before.
- She fed me. Now I have to do it myself or starve. The big trouble here is that I don’t know how to cook.
- My clothes always magically hung on hangers in my closet, clean and pressed and ready to be worn. Now they lie limp and inert in the dirty clothes basket until I’m forced to do battle with the washer and dryer.
- If I lost a button on a shirt, it found its way back in the proper place. Now, I buy slip-over shirts. And if the two buttons at the top come off, who cares?
- As for rips and tears, I don’t darn them with needle and thread; I damn them with curses.
- And if I get sick, there’s no one to pour the right medicine down my throat in the proper amount and at the proper time. My friend B will do this for me, but I have to reach out and solicit her help, which goes against my nature.
I could go on, but it’s already tiresome, so what’s the point? Instead, I’ll just tell you what happened recently to set me off.
All who know me recognize my ineptness with anything mechanical or electrical. Actually, it’s not ineptness, it is the total absence of ept. I’m hopeless. When the dirty clothes pile got too large the other day, I decided to wash a load before eating breakfast and starting to work at the computer. I put Shout on the collars (can’t have ring-around-the-collar, you know), tossed in some laundry detergent and Spray and Wash and started the wash cycle. Can someone please tell me why I need both detergent and Spray and Wash? I use both only because that’s what was on the shelf when Betty went to the hospital for the last time.
My washing machine is the cheapest I could find. Consequently, it does not have a bell or alarm to alert me when the wash cycle is completed. As is often the case, I discovered midafternoon that I’d forgotten to place the clothes in the dryer. They were very near dry, but I’ve learned the hard way that if you don’t put them in the dryer, they’ll be so wrinkled I’m embarrassed to be seen wearing them in public.
So I dutifully transferred the damp clothing to the dryer threw in some flimsy little square sheets on top of it. Don’t know why I do that, either. Except those little pieces are great for cleaning out the stuff that collects on the lint trap.
Then I set the timer for 70 minutes and pressed the start button. Nothing happened. It refused to start. I pressed the button three times before panicing. (I always try things three times, somehow believing the magic fairy is going to fix the problem if you just persist for three tries.) Didn’t work.
So I opened the electrical breaker box (yes, I learned what and where that was the first week I was on my own). I even found the breakers for the washer and drier. I flipped them off and back on and pressed the start button again. Still nothing. Naturally, I tried that process three times.
Nothing to do but load up the damp clothes and haul them to the laundry room. In a foul frame of mind, I went into the bedroom and changed into street clothes. Then I fished around in my change jar and found enough quarters to do the job and returned to my laundry area... only to discover the door to the dryer standing wide open.
Chagrined but relieved, I closed the dryer door, pressed the start button, and listened to the thing start up without a hitch. Betty, I really do miss you.
Thanks for putting up with my nonsense. I’m sure this tripe is of no interest to anyone, but it does help get things off my chest, so to speak.
Feel free to lodge yout complaints at email@example.com.
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