Sunday, January 25, 2009

That Sinking Feeling...or Betty Luvs Her Pegasus


What Husband of Betty (HOB) and I really need is someone to come, knock us out with drugs for two or so weeks, fix up our house, and then wake us up for the big "reveal"--the way they do on all those shows on HGTV.   It would just be a slight revision of the already produced "While You Were Out" show and, think about it, they would not have to change the title of the show.

It's not that we don't want to make changes or repairs around here, we do, but we both hate to make decisions about this kind of stuff because they are big decisions, expensive decisions, and decisions we would have to live with every day.  Plus, one decision about the carpet means another about whether we should paint the walls before the new carpet gets put in, which leads to a decision about whether we should replace the door jambs the cats have ripped up with their claws, which leads to a decision about whether or not we should continue to feed the cats which leads to....well, you get the idea.

Another issue that comes with home repair, which is a bit more sensitive, is the fact that HOB is not exactly a handyman.  Now, he has MANY other good qualities and I love the man dearly but handy around the house, he isn't and that's OK.  Not all men come with that "handy" gene just as not all women come with the "cooking" gene.  Society has set us up to believe that these traits are inborn, but we know they are not and just because Betty came with the complete set of cooking-crafting-mothering-cleaning-beauty-brains-fashion icon-decorating-hot body-career woman-genes is no reason to expect HOB to be able to fix the leaking shower head or to maneuver the drawstrings on the kitchen garbage bag.

So I don't ask, most of the time because, well, though I have come to understand that HOB is not a Handyman, HOB is more reluctant to give up that idea and this has led to a few problems in the past.  However,  a few months ago, after washing the back windows in the small office located in the back of our house, I was having a hard time getting the aluminum screen back in.  Now, as far as I could tell, all it was going to take was one person inside and the other one on the outside to slightly bend the corner of the screen and gently nudge it into place.  I called HOB back and explained the situation in about 87 words.   He heard three: "Screen," "No," "Go."  He hitched up his pants and declared he would be right back.

He soon appeared at the back window with a huge flathead screwdriver.  I stood on the couch inside the office holding the screen, which was already partially in its track.  I began to deliver my instructions which included those important words: "slightly" and "gently." "Just step away, Baby!" he said, yanking the screen towards him.  His tone was clear:  I, the little woman, should not even be near this big ol' construction site.  I watched him as he inspected the screen, bending it one way, bending it another.  At one point he put it on the ground and stepped on one corner while he pulled on another.  I was talking constantly while he wrestled with the aluminum beast.  'Really, it's OK."  I said, "I think it's fine now."  Then I tried, "Maybe we should just do this later."  It was too late.  The testosterone had already been dispersed and I knew this man well enough to know, that one way or another, that screen was going in.  It finally did, about ten minutes later, bent in some areas, crumpled in others, the wires of the aluminum mesh in center resembling an experiment in modern art.  

HOB strutted through the house to the back office, screwdriver in hand, to survey his work from the inside.  "Well, OK!" he said, obviously pumped up from his "success."  "You need anything else done?"  "No," I said emphatically.  "No."  I went to the bedroom, sat down on the bed and saw, out of the corner of my eye, HOB entering the bathroom.  I heard "I'm going to help you out, Baby!"  Then I heard a strange scraping and then I heard "Oh! Darn!"

I went in to see him standing with his screwdriver, looking down at a hole punched in the bottom of the sink.  "I saw some dried toothpaste on there, and I thought I'd scrape it off for you."  He paused.  "I guess I scraped too hard."  We both stood, looking at the hole.  Now, granted, it WAS an old sink with some rust problems on the underside,  but I was still furious, HOB was sheepish, and in thirty minutes, we were in Home Depot, standing, staring at the sinks and vanities.  In the domino decision-making that IS home repair, the sink disaster had reminded us of the fact that we had needed a new vanity for two years, ever since the hamster had crawled in the bottom portion and we had had to remove two boards to get him out.  

Now the sinks and vanities at Home Depot are on located high up off the floor. (Note to Home Depot:  Why?  This does not seem right.)  This meant we were forced to throw our heads back to look skyward, mouths agape at the prices: $500.00, $1000.00, $2000.00.  Then there were the choices:  The Pegasus 30 inch Estate Antique Bisque Vanity, the  Pegasus Expresso Haven Vanity, the Pegasus Carabelle 36 inch, the Pegasus Annette Teak Vanity, the Pegasus Black Forest with white vitreous china top.  There were consoles, undermount sinks, side splashes, Swanstone, granite, Black Pearl counter tops, all made by Pegasus.  Then there would be choices in faucets--the colors, the finishes.   OHHHHHH.  I longed for that Winged White Horse to come and save us, but how? Which model?  How to install?  We stood there for what seemed hours, looking up.  To the passerby, it appeared as if we were in the process of selecting just the right fixture, but we both knew we were no longer searching for the right counter top or finish.  We were now desperately looking towards the heaven, seeking divine intervention.  

Finally, his eyes still transfixed upwards, HOB said to me, "You know, I've got a tube of caulk.  I could just pump a blob in there and see what happens."  I closed my eyes, gratefully.  Just as Catholic doctrine allows grace to be delivered through the imperfect, the answer had been delivered from on high through the mortal who had set all this in motion.  "OK.  Let's try it."

We did.  It worked.  

HOB still assures me that we will get a new sink and vanity and he says, "I know I can install it all myself.  I'm going to do it for you, Baby."

But, you know, I've grown quite accustomed and, dare I say, dependent, upon that blob of caulk in my sink the past few months.  I look at it every morning and every night as I brush my teeth.  Now, instead of my eyes and brain darting around the slippery bowl, nervously thinking errant thoughts, I have a focal point, a centering mechanism.  I believe this is a benefit to my mental health.  In fact, I would recommend a similar feature to the makers of the Pegasus Caesar Bath Athena Solid Copper Vessel Sink.  They could charge even more for their sinks (their "vessels") while touting the relaxing nature of the Calming/Centering Device placed there by Certified Caulk Gun-Toting Monks.  

Meanwhile, I know that my man stands by,  always ready to lovingly apply a new blob should my Calming/Centering Device begin to erode or get moldy.  Thanks HOB.  You are my Pegasus, saving me in my time of need.* 




*According to our friends at Wikipedia, the name Pegasus is connected with the word for "spring" or "well."  "Everywhere the winged horse struck his hoof to the earth, an inspiring spring burst forth."  Hummmm....
And according to another source, "Pegasus was kind, helpful and not at all greedy.  In fact he did not even have a whole square of stars to himself, but shared one star dot with Andromeda, a maiden he rescued."  Ohhh..

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