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I wanted, needed a fan in my laundry room. There was nothing functionally wrong with the little ancient lighting fixture that was in there. Still, it was many years’ old, ugly and every time a bulb needed to be changed the entire fixture had to be unscrewed, disassembled, pulled down, and then put back together again, all for one bulb replacement. Whenever the bulb gave out the replacement didn’t happen right away. My husband would have to go up on a ladder to do all of the above and so the laundry room would stay in darkness for a couple of days, till I complained enough to get him to do that hateful chore. The logical solution was to get a new fixture. I had always wanted a fan in the laundry room, so to solve the problem we would buy a fan with a light fixture attached. The light fixture would look good, be easy to work with and the fan would provide me with cool breezes while I was folding laundry.

We bought the fan, took it home, opened the box and started the installation. Let me set the record straight. We did not do anything, my husband brought out the ladder and my husband started the installation. I had to go off to the beauty salon to get my nails painted. Before I left, I did reach up to the top of the ladder to kiss the love of my life adieu, and to remind him to be careful, “Did you turn off the main electrical outlet?” I asked. I wanted to find him in good working condition when I got back.

Driving to the salon I remembered that I was the one who had wanted the fan, my husband wanted a plain fluorescent lighting fixture, ugly and not so chic. He had always said he hated fans. “I hate fans, I hate fans.” he said over and over. I had always dismissed those comments as a lack of decorating sense, not while I realized later, a lack of knowledge of how to install a fan.

I came back three hours later and found my husband still on the ladder; arms stretched over his head, muttering obscenities at all the companies that made fans and all the companies that had ever made fans in the past. The fan was hanging precariously from the ceiling by some thin little wires and looking like it would fall down at the slightest tug of the pull chain. “I have had it with fan installation”, he said. “The fan is coming down and I’m putting back the old lighting fixture.”   “Wait”, I said, seeing my visions of cool laundry room breezes evaporating, “Let’s call an expert, a bona fide electrician to finish the job.”  How much could it cost I reasoned to myself. “Go ahead and call”, he nodded, “but you know it will be expensive.”

So striking while the  iron was hot, I made the call. “Do you have an old house?’ the electrician asked me. “Cause if it’s an old house the cost doubles and maybe triples”. He was right. We do have an old house, so the cost was much more than my husband wanted to pay. Mumbling and grumbling he went back up the ladder to remove the fan and put back the old fixture. Listening to him complain, my visions of cool breezes melted into the reality of folding laundry with drops of clammy perspiration dripping down my forehead.

I poured myself a cup of coffee to soothe my disappointed spirit and walked out to the porch to sit and sip. As I sat down, I heard the porch door open behind me. My husband walked out, sat down next to me and looking sheepish and contrite, he said in a quiet small voice, “Please call the electrician, I need expert help. I can’t get the old light fixture to go back on the ceiling.”  SO I GOT MY FAN.


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