Monday, July 30, 2007

Law of Diminishing Repairs

Last week, I got into a little tussle with my shower door. Let me start by saying the whole idea of the shower door is wrong. Very wrong. Showers should have curtains. Not doors, not glass. But alas our house had two showers and I got the one with the door.

Perhaps I am the victim of poor bathroom selection. Upon moving into our house, there were two choices - the bathroom in our bedroom (with shower door) or the bathroom down the hall (with shower curtain). Naturally I took the larger bathroom and sequestered my husband's bathroom business down the hall.

Smart woman? You could say. But I think husband would have been better off without the curtain. And I'll give you a few reasons why. For one thing, he never remembers to close the curtain. For another, any time he touches the curtain he seems to have greasy black hands. And lastly, in pulling over the curtain he somehow always manages to unhook the hooks and leave half the curtain hanging. Day after day after day.....three years of hook-free curtain for me to find.

Anyways, there I was the other morning in my shower. Chris comes up to the door. No matter how many times he approaches the door I am always freaked out. The beveled glass makes him look larger than life and the last thing you expect to see when standing in the shower is a large, looming shadow approaching the door. Insert psycho music now.

He tries to open the door but I tell him it is broken. I don't know. This happens from time to time. The door gets crooked, the wheel gets off the track, months of water and shower slime build up leave the entire mechanism unfunctional.

He tried opening the door. Broken.

"See, I told you," I said through soapy bubbles.

He tries again to open and close the door but it still seems to get stuck after a certain point. He tries again, this time taking the door completely off the track to confirm that yes, indeed, it is broken.

"Why did you break it?" he asked.

Why did I break it. Why did I break it. Oh, let me count the ways - maybe, just maybe it has something to do with the fact that I have been taking about 3 showers a day?

Maybe it was because it was too early in the morning, maybe I was still exhausted from the workout the night before, maybe I was too unapproachable because I didn't have my coffee yet, but for some reason - some little reason - this question annoyed the very soapy, soaking wet core of myself.

I looked at him, I turned on my bitchy do not approach me in the morning before coffee voice. I explained to him that I didn't stand there every morning, opening and closing the door over and over again just to kill time or better yet just to see if I could break the door ecause really that's what I want to do in the morning, before work, before COFFEE, to stand there unclothed wasting my time to see if I could break this stupid, poorly designed damn plastic door and see how much water I could splash all over the floor.

"Well you shouldn't have broken it then," he added.

This was not an argument that was going to go anywhere so I told him to close the door and leave me alone. The door looked sad and longing to be on its track again as it hung there wet and dangling from one end.

Of course, as I exited the shower I had to have the door closed. I'm one of those people. If it is open, it should be closed, if it is turned on it should eventually be turned off. Same with lights, cabinet doors, shower curtains, and windows. Open, closed, shut, and off.

Chris was standing there.

"Liz, DO NOT close that door."

I closed it.

"LEAVE IT OPEN."

I left it closed.

But that passive aggressive protest didn't get me very far. You see, husband never fixed the door. His only form of protest was to refuse to fix the door. And since he knows I would never fix the door, this form of passive protest worked. He made his point.

So the next morning, I stepped back into the shower again to find the door was still broken. The first few minutes of my shower I stood there trying to get it back on the track. No matter what it wouldn't roll smooth and it wouldn't fully close. So I did what any woman would do - kind of like jumping up and down pushing your seatpost on the side of the road - I opened the door over and over again.




The next thing I knew, the shower door spit out a screw.

Before it went circling down the drain, I picked it up. It was a black screw, a small screw, that looked important since it came from the door. I tried opening the door and it was still broken but still functional so I put the screw down and left it ignored.

A few days later, it spit out a wheel. FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. I get the point already. You are broken. You beg to be fixed. And just as I said that to myself, the door collapsed off the track. Not only is the door broken now for real but it also cannot close.

THAT is what really bothered me.

I was between a rock and a broken shower door. There I was, hopeless with tools and no idea what to do with a screw other than to pick it up off the shower floor. This job screamed husband, oozed husband but I had to approach it carefully.

NEW LAW: Calling all wives - this is a law you need to know. The law of diminishing repairs. A law to be enacted when you have to approach the husband for repair. What you don't know is that you get about two times per week you can approach the husband about something to repair. Note that if you exceed this number you will nullify the likelihood that anything will get repaired for the next month.

Sounds easy, but this is a tricky law. Because the word "repair" is strictly defined by the husband and changes from week to week. For example, some weeks you may use up all of your points asking him to inflate your tires (not that you can't, but he just does it better). That counts as repair. Other weeks - you could ask for the tires, the garage door opener, the screen door, the backyard hose, the drawers, and he even throws in restaining the deck. It is an unpredictable law, and you're never sure when or where he's keeping count.

So, for this week, I believe I had already used up my repair points in aerobar replacement, seat heights, chains, tires, wheels and cleats. And when I asked for the shower door - that was the one. The one that pushed him over the edge. Hence I stood in my bathroom with a broken and open shower door.

The good thing about the law is that all you have to do is wait it out for a week. And try again. And the good news for me was that this new week was marked by the installation of a new ceiling fan. Miraculous. I go away for a weekend, come back and find a box with a new fan. Nevermind I had been moaning about the noisy fan for about a month.

The box sat there for a week. I said nothing. I knew better. Wait it out, wait it out. Sure enough, a week later, there I was with a new ceiling fan. You know how the saying goes.....strike when the iron is hot. Or when the husband is holding wrench.

So how about you fix my shower door? I say.

His eyes light up, "Oh! Yes, the shower door!" Who is this man? Who just a week ago scolded me for closing the door? He runs down the basement, grabs a few tools, and just like that the wheel, the screw are securely placed back into the shower door.

At which point I made it a point to shut the shower door closed.

Case closed, too - law of diminishing repairs, know how to use it or for that week you will definitely lose it. Or lose a screw.

3 comments:

Andra Sue said...

Oh my. I cannot tell you how many times I've had the "well, why did you break it, then?" conversation with the Other Half. (As though my second X chromosome causes an inborn desire within me to for things to malfunction, just by virtue of the fact that it exists.) Not in relation to shower doors, per se, but various and sundry other items...flat tires, squeaking ceiling fans, locked up computers, faulty front porch light fixtures...and the list goes on.

I thought this little annoying trait was just his. Sadly, it appears not. :)

Tricyclist said...

Since neither my wife nor I are home improvement inclined and to avoid the law of diminishing repairs, I allow my wife to "cheat" on me by calling another man -- a repair man for all those little jobs I could probably do, but would either make worse or spend 3 days trying to figure out. I even set up a electronic funds transfer for the "other man" so my wife can simply email him his payment.

Tricyclist

http://tricycliststempo.blogspot.com

Kerri Robbins said...

Oh my gosh, too funny...can totally relate. Had this same bout yesterday but it was over a broken dishwasher door. Perhaps it would not have broken if "he" used the thing and in the "right" way. I exclaimed it was my dishwasher since he doesn't put dishes in it AND that it is 15 years old. That didn't go over well. Lost my diminshing repairs tact. It's a new day though...he just fixed my tubular tire. WHEW!