Things That Do Not Work

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We have an ice box that doesn’t make ice. We buy ice at the store and put it in the ice container that should be holding the perfectly-formed ice cubes coming from the machine. That’s wrong, I think. It broke a long time ago, so we kind of forgot that we had one. That’s wrong too.

In my bathroom, if you tug on the bath towel that hangs over the towel bar, the bar itself will come away from the wall and land on the tile floor with a loud bang. One must take a gentle slide-off approach or pick up the towel from the floor using the five-second rule of germ-free access. Another wrongness (new word, yay!).

As you know, our air conditioner sometimes works and sometimes does not. There so much wrongness with that that my blood pressure rises with each degree upward until we get it fixed again. Another joy of home ownership.

Our back door is so stuck now that if we try to tug it open, we’re worried about pulling the door handle right off, which would cause such hysterics in me that Sal might have to force half a Valium down my throat. We live in a pier and beam house and in central Texas, these types of houses just move around depending on weather and humidity conditions. Everyone seems very used to this phenomenon, but it disturbs me. Seems like a house should be on solid ground and stay put.

We’re about to lose our television bulb. When it’s on, there appear at the top approximately twenty thin, horizontal, white lines, It’s off putting, but we’ve gotten used to it and can always visualize what the TV personality’s head and face look like if we take off our glasses and squint. Sometimes it makes the person look much better.

I don’t work as well as I used to either, but compared to our house, I’m a brand new, custom-made, handcrafted three-story mansion with an asking price of nine million dollars.

It could all be worse, right?


Well, guess what, it’s broke. The back door pisses me off more than the icemaker. Really, how stupid is it that now we can’t go out the back door? I had to walk all the way around the house last night in the dark to get to the back yard to water the sweet peas on the deck. I could have been killed … or raped by some criminal lurking in the shadows of the crummy house next door. Talk about broke, they’ve been working on that house for two years now and it still looks like it should be guarded by two ferocious pit bulls behind a chain link fence. But I digress.

We have a microwave over the stove that hasn’t worked since 1978. We keep our chocolate stash in it. It’s huge and white and looks like a tailgater cooler. It would probably take thirty minutes for some handyman to pull it down and fix the wall behind it. We could probably even have an Italian mural of poplars and grape vines there, or maybe a painting of a bullfighter, but no, it hovers over the stove like some old memory that won’t go away. It adds to the continuity of the style of the kitchen. Early American shabby shit.

Do I sound bitter? It’s because I’m punishing myself for not doing anything about these little things that live their broken lives out in my realm. Our toaster could be called cutting edge because it looks like stainless steel. And that’s what everybody wants right now, that and granite counter tops which is a place I refuse to go. Anyway, if you put a piece of toast in it, it toasts the bottom but not the top. I’ll bet a new toaster oven on the kitchen counter would cost every bit of twenty dollars, but noooo, it has lived there for twenty years and God forbid that we should go to Target and get a bright, shiny, new one that works. You just get used to things … like a tooth retainer in your mouth that slips out every time you eat anything with caramel in it. Like a chocolate from the fake microwave over the stove.

You should see the floor in our kitchen. I think it’s from 1949. It looks like a big, blue-and-white checkerboard that was left out in the sun at the picnic. Then the rain soaked it, and the ants ate at it, and somebody used it as a Frisbee. It’s not that big; probably some people’s big, French country table tops have more area space. It would probably take a couple of hours and a couple hundred dollars for some floor guy to rip it up and put in a fake wooden, laminate floor that would add such beauty and style to the whole diorama, but noooo, we have better ways to spend our money.

It’s debatable whether martinis and appetizers at The Four Seasons are an acceptable alternative to a spiffed-up kitchen. It does what it’s supposed to do. We know where the chocolate is, we put the toast in upside down, and we don’t worry when the cat throws up on the floor.

As a whole, the kitchen works. And as the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Cheers, darling!


Originally published on The Midlife Gals


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