Besides the normal hustle and bustle of the shopping season, the sticker shock of Christmas expenditures, and the simple fact that the kids are home from school ALL DAY, EVERY DAY for TWO WEEKS arguing, fondling my remote control and leaving small piles of snack residue on every table top space available (all occurring with a Hannah Montana soundtrack behind it), everything - and I mean EVERYTHING – in my house has needed repair.
A brief list:
- The cable went out.
- The local phone service became loaded with static.
- Laptops needed to be set up.
- Laptops needed to network to printer.
- Netbooks needed fancy reconfiguring to play kid games due to screen size/resolution.
- Loft beds needed assembling. Instructions inadequate.
- Dressers needed assembling. Instructions inadequate.
- The stove doesn’t work correctly.
- The garage door froze shut.
- The modem failed.
- The kitchen faucet seal is leaking.
- The light pull cord for the basement laundry room snapped off the chain.
- My son’s desk chair screw is stripped.
The list goes on and on and on. I blacked out at one point and couldn’t recall what exactly I was repairing anymore. When I came to, I had a tire iron and was whacking the side of the washing machine. One or more of these things would happen every single day during winter break. They’d go off like a timed bomb set to the exact moment I would sit down to watch
The kids are back in school but things haven’t stopped breaking. On my way to drop my filly off at school the other morning, the car door latch was frozen open so the door wouldn’t latch the door shut. I toyed with the idea of having her hold the door closed and driving anyways but the judge’s “one more chance, Mr. Nitmos” warning kept ringing in my head. Better not. Fortunately, we live ½ mile from school so we walked/ran up the road to make it. The latch unfroze later that day.
This morning, I felt the cold, deathly fingers pump again constricting my heart and causing temporary shortness of breath as I turned on my windshield wipers – and ripped half the rubber off one arm that had become frozen to the window.
I took a deep breath, gritted my teeth and tried to look calm and pleasant as my filly, backpack attached, looked at me through the windshield on her way to the car. No sense upsetting the kid even if I did feel like ripping the wiper arm off the car, dousing it with gasoline and burning it in effigy on my driveway.
There was a brief moment in which I considered pointing her to the OTHER door so that we wouldn’t have the whole 'latch fiasco' again this morning. But it wasn’t as cold as the other day and the problem never recurred after that so, what could be the problem right?
“Dad, my door won’t shut.”
"FUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!" I screamed.
Three weeks up pent up stress come out in one basketball sized profanity-laced explosion that bounced around the car, through my filly's ears, and out the partially opened, unlatched back door. SWISS! I freaked out. I super-freaked out. Rick James has nothing on me. I jumped out of my seat, grabbed the outside of the door, and slammed it repeatedly harder and HARDER and HARDER until I thought I’d cave in the side of the car. I’m pretty sure it went up on two wheels at one point. A steady stream of cars with school bound children was parading by my home as this wild man hurled this metal door against the car repeatedly with a crazed look.
You know what? The door finally latched. We drove to school without further incident. I went on with my morning in my nice quiet house with a warm cup of coffee. I’m relieved. I do not feel the hand of death squeezing my lungs. Now, as it is my nature, I’m attempting to reconcile how I can use that explosive anger to decrease my race times. There’s a lesson there somewhere. How can I harness that primal anger? Perhaps a nice freak out every now and then is good for the soul. It's cleansing.
Meanwhile, I’m quite sure my filly will have a few choice words to say today when the orange glue tip doesn’t uncork in art class. She’s an impressionable gal.
I await your call Mr. Principal. Meanwhile, why won’t the garage door go down…..??