Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let there be light


He flipped the switch.

And that’s when my husband flipped out.

“Can’t you please, please, PLEASE get some light bulbs?!” I heard bellowed from the dark, cavernous interior of our bedroom’s walk-in closet.

It was - and I’m not exaggerating here - the 27th light bulb to burn out that very week.

OK. So I might be exaggerating just a tad.

It was the 26th.

And the house was in complete chaos. We’d been walking around in the dark for days. I was afraid we’d turn into Mole People if it lasted much longer. And I’m thinking those folks are not the bundle of joy one might think them to be.

“I tried. Honestly, I tried,” I whined in response. “But a person needs a Ph.D. in electrical engineering or be close and personal friends with Thomas Edison’s third cousin...twice removed...in order to understand anything about light bulbs in the 21st century.”

My husband, standing in the dark in nothing but boxer briefs, was less than understanding of my plight.

“COME ON!” he hollered and began to pace around the small closet. “IT’S A STUPID LIGHT BULB! JUST TAKE THE OLD ONE TO THE STORE AND MATCH IT WITH A NEW ONE. IT’S NOT THAT HARD - SON OF A B----!”

And that’s when he ran into the shoe rack hanging on the far wall.

And, yes. I laughed.

So here I am in the light bulb aisle because my husband doesn’t have a sense of humor.

After climbing out of a pile of two dozen pairs of smelly shoes, he demanded satisfaction. And I was ordered to the store to purchase new light bulbs.

At least I let him think he ordered me. I find it strategically important to let him think he can do so once in a while.

Puppet on a string, you know.

OK. Back to the light bulb aisle.

I turned on the spot and saw two shelves, each at least 20 yards long, filled to the gills with light bulbs of every shape, size and color.

Geesh. I had less difficulty choosing a college - and a husband - than choosing a light bulb.

God? Are you up there? It’s me. Kelley. I could use a little help down here. You know, if you’re not too busy trying to help starving children in Africa or something.

I waited a couple of minutes for divine inspiration. Not sure what form it would take. I assumed a burning bush was out of the question. Fire hazard and all that.

When neither lightning struck nor a person wearing a smock and a name tag arrived on a white horse, I figured I was on my own.

Breathing a deep sigh of trepidation, I removed the offending bulb from my purse and held it up, walking along the shelves, hoping against all hope that it would magically guide me to the correct spot. Kinda like when twins are separated at birth, then grow up and travel separately across the country and stop at a Quickie Mart in Arkansas and meet each other while simultaneously reaching for a Snickers Bar at the checkout counter.

But, alas, no such luck. I strode up and down the aisles, muttering to myself and scaring the other customers.

And then I felt the urge to sneeze.

That’s when I really began to panic because sneezing in the day and age of Swine Flu first requires a 100-page thesis on the proper way to do so.

WHADDAIDO?! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, I CAN’T REMEMBER!

No hands. Can’t use my hands. I’ll go to Swine Flu jail if I use my hands.

I felt the sneeze welling up in my eyes, my nose was jumping in anticipation across my face. I felt the urge to pee my pants. Again.

Then in a flash of brilliance, I remembered.

ARMPIT! ARMPIT! IT’S THE ARMPIT!

I raised my arm in the nick of time and achoo-ed loudly in my armpit. Then remembered I’d forgotten to put deodorant on. Perfect.

“Where are the light bulbs?” my husband asked upon my return from the store and seeing my bag-less hands.

I could only shake my head and confess, “You’ll have to go to the store. I’m going to bed. The Swine Flu, babe. It got me.”

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