Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'm Not Really a Short, Clumsy Housewife; I Just Play One on TV

By Melanie Lynne Hauser

So this is how I spent my day yesterday. Seriously.

Two of the four halogen light bulbs in the bathroom went out. Well, actually only one of them went out; the other one had been out for a long time, and my husband hadn’t replaced it, claiming that the bulbs were too expensive and we could get by on three lights. But I’m getting a little, ahem - older. And the truth is, I NEED strong light in order to see my face well enough to put on my eyeliner without poking myself in the eyeball. So….

I went out and bought two light bulbs. They were $8 each, which I guess is a trifle expensive, but oh well. I turned off the light switch so I didn’t electrocute myself, which was risky because there’s no window in there so I was operating in the dark. I also had to haul a chair upstairs and climb up on top of the bathroom counter to reach the fixture. Which I did. I carefully replaced the light bulbs, making sure not to actually touch them because the person at the lighting store told me that oil from my hands would make the bulbs burn out a lot more quickly. I didn’t want that to happen to my $16 worth of bulbs. So I used a tissue to hold them in place while I twisted them into their sockets. Then I climbed down, turned on the light switch — and watched in horror as one of the OTHER 2 bulbs that I hadn’t replaced burnt out.

So I got in my car and drove to the light store (these are fancy bathroom lights that require fancy bulbs). I spent $8 on another bulb. I came home, repeated the operation — only this time I accidentally dropped the bulb (it’s tricky to hold it in place with a tissue!) and it broke.

I climbed back down from the counter. I got in my car. I drove to the light store.

I bought 2 bulbs, just in case. (Grand total spent on light bulbs, if you’re not keeping track: $40.)

I climbed back up on the counter. I replaced the bulb — this time I didn’t break it. I climbed back down, flipped the light switch, and held my breath.

All the lights worked! Yay!

I hauled the chair downstairs. By this time it was dusk out. I turned on the outside lights. One of them was out.

I sighed. Again. But by now my sons were home and since they’re taller than me, I made one of them change the bulb. We flipped the switch back on — both lights burned brightly. Yay!

I went into the kitchen to start dinner. I turned on the lights above the sink. One of them burned out.

I cursed. A LOT. (Fortunately the boys were upstairs in their rooms with their MP3 players blaring, and they didn’t hear me.) I pulled another chair over to the kitchen cabinet where we store the light bulbs. I cursed again, at my parents this time, for giving me their short person genes. I climbed up, searched the cabinet, but we were out of light bulbs.

I climbed back down from the chair, decided that I was not going to spend another dime on light bulbs, not on this day, and attempted to fix dinner in the dusk. It turned out all right. If you overlook the fact that I accidentally put cinnamon on the chicken instead of paprika.

And as I cleaned up after dinner, I reflected that it’s a good thing I’m a writer and that I have a blog. Because if I wasn’t, and I didn’t, the day would have been a sad, pathetic waste of time.

But instead, it became a semi-amusing blog entry. And perhaps a character-enlightening paragraph in a future novel about a short housewife with poor eyesight and clumsy fingers.


Judy Merrill Larsen said...

So, how was the cinnamon chicken?

Kalynne Pudner said...

And that's reason #244 why blogging is the best use of your time: it doesn't require separate lighting.

DCY said...

So you had dinner by candlelight and created a new and interesting recipe for your family, exercised up a storm going up and down stairs and climbing up and down on the bathroom counter, sounds like a really productive day to me, even though it may have been somewhat expensive with the cost of the light bulbs and the gas used going back and forth to the store. As JML asked, how was the cinnamon chicken?

MargyWrites said...

It's weird, but I find that light bulbs tend to blow in threes. Never one. Or two. Three.

We're using almost all compact fluorescents here now, so we'll be really old the next time we have to change them!

Threeundertwo said...

I swear lightbulbs around the house conspire to go out like that. Makes me crazy.

Melanie Lynne Hauser said...

Well, there's a reason you've never heard of "cinnamon chicken" before. And why you'll never hear of it again!

We've actually had a couple of those compact fluorescents go out on us, but I've heard they've improved them from the first generation (which we had). Still, though, they don't fit everywhere - like in my bathroom fixture!

Daisy said...

I was already laughing at the light bulbs, and the cinnamon chicken nearly made me spit my coffee!! We don't let my husband change light bulbs any more - he tends to find electrical issues that he "needs" to fix, and then it's months before the light goes back on anyway.

Julie said...

LOL! I think you're channeling ME, not Erma, and I'm not even short! Too funny.

And yeah, we've had the compact flourescents go out, too, in less than a year several times. They also seem to kind of mess with your fixtures! We did decide to just go ahead and put the curly ones in our bathroom fixturs and make a fashion statement. :) They have ones now that are made to look like regular bulbs, though, more or less.