Saturday, February 26, 2011
Great moments in home ownership: taking all day to not fix the sink
I am perfectly happy to throw money at problems. I believe it is money's best thing. Most problems don't require money -- they are easily ignored or otherwise plastered. So when you need it, it's there. But I can also recognize when problems are too small for money, and I'll do things the old-fashioned way.
I didn't really think that fixing the sink would make me feel any more competent as a homeowner or self-sufficient as a w-o-m-a-n. I just thought that if was going to fail completely, it would probably be soon and 9:30pm on a Sunday.
That's (2) neglected household duties now. The azalea is revealed to be crushed by snow, but I don't have the slightest idea what to do about that. Del Boca Vista has announced they are establishing "Ground Stewards" (already informally installed as Grass Police) and I'll give you 2 guesses which member of our cell-block will volunteer for that one. The azalea will have to wait. The roof-rakes might be in, now that they are no longer needed -- so are the rules of supply and demand -- so I'll look into that, and I'll need a flashlight once I'm under that sink. And a plumber.
The other reason we bring home all these things from the Depot is because they package them in kits that are priced too low to refuse, so you're gold-diggin right I bought the little kit. It is my right, as my own spouse, to have as many mysterious pieces of hardware in tiny ziploc bags as the next guy. I mean, I stared at everything, I read everything, I talked to people in aprons -- I would have had a hot dog and ridden around on a pallet if I were a Seinfeld bit -- but in the end, I got the kit.
I've mentioned before I have a knack for buying the wrong size of thing -- and never better than when I am arrogantly pretending to know anything about home repair. I had measured the length of the ruined shelves several times, and written it down on my little list. I even write notes for myself beside the note, because later I will wonder if I meant on-or-off the bracket, inside or outside the window frame, to the carpet or to the molding ... (Incidentally, I do not have curtain rods or floor molding. And now you know why.)
I also meant to buy light bulbs for the bathroom mirrors (which, can I tell you, I haaaate but will never do anything about) which are another thing I have dozens of the wrong size of. Fortunately, I forgot to write that down or bring one with me, so I could just skip it. Once I brought a bulb with me, stopped short, it fell to the floormat, cell phone fell after it and broke it. Each bathroom has about 50 of them, so I don't have to do this often.
The main reason I didn't respond to the shelf crisis earlier is that the husband in me thinks we should just get all the cabinets redone because the kitchen is dopey, and the wife in me knows that is never going to happen, because which one of us is going to take the day off to baby sit that job, and neither of us wants to file the forms with the condo association. And the wife thinks we have too many dishes anyway, and the husband will eat off a napkin.
What I forgot to measure was the width of the shelves, so we don't need to spend anymore time here.
Let's see if we can wander our way to the flashlights. I have a good "my but it is dark in this VT cabin" flashlight, but what I want was the handled lantern with the mashy pop-o-matic on/off switch so I can just set it down and get light. I expect these will be in the "Emergency" aisle with detectors and rope ladders, but like the Yellow Pages, you can never anticipate the categorization of The Home Depot (sidebar: I teach my GPS to say "the" in front of things, like an Old Time New Englander and it just cracks me up. "Arriving at The JC Penney. On left...") No, flashlights are in Aisle 10, but the lantern they have is for hurricanes, and comes with a car battery attached to it, but look at this.....
My husband begged for it. I actually saved that image just now as "dork."
I make it all the way down to the Lumber Zone (woodywoodywoody) unable to find furnace filters, where Daryl and Daryl tell me they are back in Aisle 10.
Explain to me how the price range in air filters is 89 cents to $17. And like at (the) Staples, you have to buy them in a pack. I get a 4-pack for $6, knowing there is plenty of room to store them next to the wrong size 3 pack of 20x20x1 I bought last year.
The hot dog place is closed, so it is time to leave. Stop for hot dog buns. And, ooo, bottle of wine. Oscar Night, honey.
Smug Book of Home Repair and the kit box itself are consulted, water is turned off (you were waiting for that, weren't you? I'm not Laverne and Shirley... I'm just lazy) and I begin to disassemble. I have this brilliant idea to lay the old parts on a towel in the order they were removed, with the new parts in a row below them. I get the thing apart, but nothing appears to be damaged. The old parts look exactly like the new parts, and I decide to pretend that what I really meant to do was wash everything because g-e-e-e-ross have I been drinking out of this??? The very moment on the calendar when you can no longer live in squalor is the same moment when you can not stomach resolving that.
And you don't have to got under the sink to fix the washerless faucet, so I didn't need the flashlight -- which is good, because I couldn't get the battery door open.
Now my sink parts are cleaner, and reassembled (not replaced -- I had lost interest) and the faucet still shuts down more slowly than I like, but maybe it always did. Maybe that's how they work. Maybe I should see what's on TV.
And I have 4 air filters that are 5 inches too short if anyone needs one.