I did not win the lottery on Friday. Therefore, I’ve been considering whether to try to install my new dishwasher on my own. I know it’s a bad idea, but times being what they are, I thought it was worth investigating.
I’ve been without the dishwasher for about 8 months, when I finally had to acknowledge that it was making an appropriate amount of dishwasher noise, but not actually washing anything. I don’t even mind handwashing the dishes; what I DO mind is the mess lingering in my sink while I wait for the perfect time to do them. I am a control freak, when it comes to my visual space. This week I had Had Enough, and ordered a new one.
Truth be told, I’ve been planning on it for ages, but last week I spent the entire dishwasher sum on a gorgeous pair of handmade cowboy boots. Saved from my frivolity, I was, by the forces that know better. They were a hopelessly awkward fit, and a weird height, and I sent them back, and bought the dishwasher anyway. And so: the fact that we are dealing with the kind of homeowner who would choose hand-stitched flowered boots which cost as much as a major appliance over the actual replacement of said appliance tells you everything you need to know here.
I asked the guy at Lowe’s whether dishwasher installation was something a person of average intelligence could handle. He was nice enough to imply that I’d be just fine. I went home to un-install my old one, and got tangled up in cords and clamps and wires, and had to take a chisel and hammer to remove the face plate over the electrical connection. At that point my confidence wavered, but the power was off, so I pulled out the socket to examine the connection, and promptly shocked myself.
That, I figure, is God telling you you’re in over your head, architecture degree or no architecture degree. I sent out requests to a whole bunch of handymen.
That got me thinking. I’m in a twelve-year old house, so it’s about time for things like the dishwasher to up and quit. The disposal, actually, has been spitting out bits of metal and making an earth-shattering noise since I dropped a penny into back in grad school. My storm door, which closed politely for eleven years, stopped working properly last fall. Either the door is 1/8″ crooked, or the rest of the house is, one. Is this it? Is this where the gradual slide into chaos starts?
Honestly, I spend all my organizational energy staying on top of details all day at work, and I just don’t have it in me to tackle these issues after 5 p.m. I’m thinking maybe I’ll do a reverse Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter is where you ask for various amounts of funding for a project, and in return you get various goodies from the people using your funds. I figure, instead, I should post my various bits of chaos and disorder, and offer people rewards for taking them off my hands, thus freeing me up to find a better pair of cowboy boots. For example:
Install my new dishwasher and disposal without electrocution: current best estimate is $150 plus supplies.
Figure out what the hell is wrong with my storm door and fix it: beer and a homecooked meal plus the cost of supplies, and I’ll throw in the story of the tornado, minor earthquake, and inconvenient hurricane which may have contributed to the 1/8″ tilt.
Streamline my closet, and find me one outfit in which I can walk to work, dress like a girl, and yet not look girly enough to freak out contractors and clients: for a solid year, I’ll forward all the images from The Sartorialist which I don’t find pretentious when I’m surfing google reader at my desk, but I’ll warn you, that’s not that many. For anyone who can get rid of 3/4 of my gray sweaters, I’ll throw in a subscription to Vogue.
Do something about my love life: if we’re talking physics, that one’s more inertia than entropy, but I’m not one to argue semantics. In return I will share a novel’s worth of material on the topic; some of it would make a great SNL sketch; some of it will translate directly into your next country western song. You could make a million with it.
Make a plan for my neighborhood garden plot: I’ll share my tomatoes, and we’ll drink lemonade and sit in lawn chairs while we watch it grow. (The “tomatoes” in question are literal, not metaphorical, unless you are handsome and nice and single, and then we’ll talk. See “Do something about my love life” above.)
Talk my mother, Scarlett O’Hara, into telling me what it is that she really wants to do for Easter: Laughed till I cried typing that one. She will not be giving up that easily.
Car chaos: “Your car is not your locker,” my dad used to tell us in high school, and I remember that every time I look in the back seat. I don’t really need any help with the oil change and all of that, as I am already outsourcing it, but if you come with me, it’ll be more fun, and we’ll read People magazines in the waiting room and I’ll buy you a chicken biscuit afterwards.
The yard. My gracious merciful heavens, the yard: On second thought, let’s just pay someone to do that, too, and drink beer on the porch swing while we listen to the sound of the mower.
Organize the binder of recipes at which I have been staring for six months: I’ll make you anything you find in there, and I’m not a half bad cook. I, myself, can’t find a thing in that pile of paper, but I’ll bet you can.
I could go on and on. I am the best list-maker you’re ever likely to meet; however, follow through is a lot less fun than planning and, well, I’ve been busy. I’m getting on top of all the replacing and repairing and maintaining, really I am. But what fun would it be for a to-do list girl to have nothing left on the list? I leave you with a little Einstein: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then is an empty desk?”
At this rate, I doubt I’ll ever have to worry about that.