Monday, October 7, 2013

Off the hook

“Better you than me.”

When a wife poses the question of possible electrocution, that sentence is really not something a gal wants to hear from her loving husband.

But, hey, the joke’s on him.

The life insurance on me is barely enough to buy him beer for the week.

...Good luck with that, babe.


Like most DIY projects, it seemed like a simple one at first - to install a decorative bracket to hold back the long curtains hanging by the door to the deck.

I’d like to boast I was attempting to channel my inner designer diva, to bring a little class to the Baldwin Casa.

But, nooooo. When the door was open, the darn curtains kept billowing out in the breeze and blocking the television from view.

A girl has gotta be able to watch “Castle” without such distractions. Am I right?!

So I marched right out to the garage and began pulling out drawers to the utility cabinet, looking for an extra curtain hook.

And if YOUR utility cabinet is anything like OUR utility cabinet, then you can probably guess how easy it is to find something in there.

I’d have better luck locating a Starbucks on the moon (which quite possibly could happen by the time this is published).

But I knew that curtain hook was in there. My organizational skills might suck, but my memory is stellar. And I remembered seeing an extra curtain hook in that cabinet about six months ago.

Yup. I’m that good. I’m like Rain Man...with blonde hair and a slight Diet Coke addiction.

“Whatcha doing?” my husband asked, peeking over my shoulder into the abyss of the open drawer in front of me. 

It held an open pack of pipe cleaners, a dented can of automotive touch-up paint, a tube of glue that was hard enough to break a foot if I were fool enough to drop it and what could possibly be a crystal from the planet of Mygeeta in “Star Wars.”

Or it could be a rock my 8-year-old son stuck in there for safe keeping.

A girl could dream.

“Uh, I’m looking for a curtain hook,” I informed  my husband, Mr. Nosy Pants. I crouched down and reached into the very back of the drawer and - hot darn! - found just what I was looking for.

I grabbed the decorative hook, pulled my hand out and waved my bounty in front of his face. “I’m gonna put this up.”

He immediately said, “You’ll need the drill. And the little box with the drill bits. And a hammer. And a screwdriver. Are you using wall anchors? And what about ---,” the rest of his response was bitten off when I slapped my hand over his Mr. Know-It-All mouth.

“Got it covered,” I said, gesturing toward the pile of stuff I’d already accumulated. 


You cause one little cave-in inside the master closet when installing a hanging shoe caddy and your name is forever mud in the world of home improvement.


And that’s when I discovered a potential problem - a light switch thisclose to where I hoped to install the curtain hook.

And if I remember correctly, light switches run on electricity.

Which is carried through wires.

Which are run through walls.

(Pointing at my head) - Not just a hat rack, my friends.

So I said, “Hmmmm,” which is DIY-er speak for “We could have a very expensive and/or life-endangering problem here.”

That’s when I realized my husband had followed me into the living room. I turned to him and asked innocently, “What are the chances I could hit a live wire when drilling the holes for the hook and electrocuting myself, leaving you to raise our child alone, forever despondent over my untimely death?”

And his response?

You guessed it - “Better you than me.”

Stand back, ladies. He’s all mine.


OK. In his defense, he laughed when he said it, which softened the blow.

Then he removed the switch plate and rummaged through the tool box and found the little thingamajig that detects current in the wall, carefully mapping out where the wires met the electrical box so I could safely navigate the drill around them.

Then he suggested turning off the electricity (I wasn’t allowed to live dangerously).

All in all, it was a great team effort that allowed me to install a curtain hook in Baldwin Casa.

...Just don’t ask me about the shoe caddy.

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