In the department of Decidedly First World Problems, I have a long list of broken items in my house. These include, but are not limited to: the refrigerator (for which I have an expensive repair policy), a huge hole in the wall in the stairwell, a broken doorknob on the front screened door, a broken lightbulb over the stove, a torn chair cover, and two broken dining room chairs. Oh, also a bunch of knobs for cabinets.
I am generally pretty good at getting things done; I make and keep doctor’s appointments for myself and my kids, and I nag my husband about his. I do about five different things to make a living, all of which demand picayune details, which I somehow manage. And of course, there is this gigantic studio project in my backyard, of which I am the nominal manager. I even keep up with my laundry, and I return items I don’t want.
But these Fix It problems are somehow beyond my ken. I don’t know why exactly. They depress me.I look at them, and they seize every dram of my energy, like a Dementor. This is strange because, say if the toilet breaks, I call the plumber right away. If we need to replace a window, I get that done. In other words, if the broken thing directly affects our health and well-being, I am on it. But something smaller, out of the way…not so much. The fridge will have a broken water button probably for as long as we have it, even though a guy would come up here for free if only I would phone Sears.
I cannot follow directions. My eyes skim over them, and I miss things, assemble things too quickly and irrevocably, so that I ruin the project and/or have to start again. So I don’t know quite what possessed me to drive all the way to RK Miles yesterday and leave the store with this thing:
Well, I do, sort of. I really wanted to fix the broken door knob on the front door. That knob was so broken that we actually could not use the door at all, and people had to come and go from the side porch. So I got an Allen wrench from the good people at this specialty hardware store, and while I was leaving, I noticed the above electronic latch. We have reached the point where kids need keys to the house, and yet we (all) lose keys at an alarming rate. So it’s long been my plan to replace the keyed doorknob in the kitchen with a combo lock. (Note: different door, different doorknob ALTOGETHER!)
Wow, this post is dumb. There are so many other things I should be writing about, like the death of Net Neutrality, and the horror that is our president and the person running for Alabama Senate on the Republican ticket. But the news is so deeply depressing, forty-five times more depressing than the random broken things in my house. (How much more of this can we take?) And I am trying to be positive and focus on things I am thankful for. Let’s interrupt this dumb post for a quick thanksgiving list:
- The way the sky looked tonight right before the sun set
- Hudson playing in the pit that is the foundation for the new studio (see photo above)
- My red maple, which I hugged and kissed today
- Patrick who did my hair today and is so sweet and funny and kind and talented
- Roxane Gay’s great books. Finished Hunger and immediately bought Bad Feminist.
- The fact that I, Nerissa Can’t-Follow-Directions-Nields changed out the old doorknob and figured out how to circuit the electric lock up. And now we have a code and everything!
- That I am going to see my parents, sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins tomorrow
- The fact that I like those people I am related to and don’t have anyone I want to avoid
- The fact that my aunt Jenifer is making duck as well as turkey
- That I decided to write every day.
On the years when we don’t have to travel on Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve is one of my favorite holidays in all the year. We are celebrating by cozying up with a pasta fajioli (on the stove right now) and some good binge TV. I have the entire season of This Is Us to catch up on. I won’t write again till Saturday. Thank you for reading, and being my people. I am grateful for all of it, and all of you.