I have come to the conclusion that my sister and wife have joined forces against me. Ohh! They are extremely subtle about it, kind of like the top-secret missions the CIA undertook to get embarrassing photos of Humphrey J Watkins in the 1960’s. You don’t know who Humphrey J Watkins is? Well, I guess those missions were successful, and the public has forgotten him.
If I would have looked, the signs have always been there. You see, I’m a tea drinker, yet when we visit, there is always a big pot of coffee. My wife loves coffee, and it’s just a little irritating. I prefer strawberry over chocolate but you can bet they’ll be a load of chocolate pastries. Just another little dig against my male domination. My sister claims she forgets, but there have been too many happenings like these to be just coincidence.
It started back when we were married. I was literally thrown out of the wedding planning. Who knew my petite fiancé could’ve picked me up, let alone tossed me through a door? I understood the message. I was not wanted. At first this was okay; guys don’t want to plan weddings anyway, right? I was told to show up on the right day and everything would be cool. It was worse than when I was in the Army. I wasn’t allowed to know anything that was going on, but I knew I would be in deep shit, if I didn’t follow orders.
When I did catch up with them, they mentioned some of the stuff that was happening. I thought this meant I was supposed to tell them my opinion. I was wrong. This was when THEY were supposed to tell ME my opinion. I guess it’s more convenient that way, but it would have been nice to have a clue of what was happening.
As time went on those two women have formed an unbreakable bond so close that I feel if I eventually have a fight with my wife, she’ll run home to my mother. OH Boy! Will I be in trouble if that ever happens. Mom is tough.
The worst thing about this wife-sister alliance is magazines. When they see a magazine, it can only mean trouble for me. A few years ago, they saw a picture of a microwave-oven mounted under a cabinet. They thought it was a great idea. I worked for six days and nights trying to hold the oven and screwdriver to mount the thing under the counter, only to find it was impossible. Then some one told me there is a special appliance that was made to be mounted that way. Embarrassing and expensive, the ladies won that skirmish with flying colors.
In this war of the sexes the only ally I have is Google. That’s where all the How-To videos live. The thing is, our little disagreement has grown into a full-fledged war because I consult Google. It goes something like this. They read a magazine and get a stupid idea for a job I have to do. I look for a video. If I do the job quickly without problems, they get mad and I’m in trouble. Recently they’ve started consulting Google to make sure there’s no video to help me, so they can laugh. I get all embarrassed, but at least I’m not in the doghouse for a month.
Finally, I stomped my foot down and screamed, “I am the man of this house Gosh Darn It!!” I’m not allowed to use bad language around the kids. Anyway, I don’t think I got my point across, because their answer was, “So?” Well, I went back to work, thinking I had won a minor victory, but knowing in my heart I hadn’t.
That was when it happened. My wife and sister saw a magazine article about how you can spruce up any bathroom by just changing the handles on the fixtures. I looked at the article, and it said that all fixtures were made to a standard. Two Google videos confirmed this. I actually looked forward to this project, because it looked easy enough and I could prove my manliness. I told my wife I would do it to our main bathroom. Big mistake. You see, our house was built over forty years ago, and unbeknownst to me then, but be-knownst to you now, because I’m telling you, all the standards had changed in the meantime.
You see the new standard is a five-eighths inch fitting. The old was three-quarters. Google told me about all the new standards, but not the old. Now, I can’t be sure, but I’m convinced, my sister knew this before I started this disaster. Well, my wife and I spent a week and a half picking out the new handles and I went to the store to purchase them.
I know what you’re all thinking. You’re all thinking that I got home tried the new stuff and made a huge watery mess, had to call the plumber, and paid him a thousand dollars to fix my screw-ups, like happens in every comedy on television. Sorry to disappoint you. I was smart enough to turn off the water. What I was not smart enough to do was figure out I was dealing with two different sizes of fittings.
I worked for two full days trying to get those pieces installed. Google said they fit, and by gum I was going to make them fit. When working with plumbing, you’re supposed to put tape around the threads to prevent leaks. I saw that, and instead of one or two layers I put a full quarter inch of tape. It had to fit.
As it happens a friend was over that weekend. He looked at my work and told me about the different standards. Luckily my wife was not in the room at that time, and did not see me weep for an hour. Well, I removed the new pieces, put back the old ones, and turned the water back on. There were a couple of leaks but they were taken care of quickly.
The real issue was when I told my wife the pieces, she picked out wouldn’t work. She grew upset. She had fallen love with those pieces more than she loved me. We went online and searched for those pieces with the old standard. Of course, they didn’t exist. That would have been too easy. I did find some very nice stuff though, but it was all, Close but No Cigar. She wanted what she wanted and that was that.
It was then I was introduced the wonderful world of adapters. They connect old standards to new. This is great stuff. The thing is, that on everyone of them was this statement, “Caution! Adapters may not work in all situations. Changing standards is not recommended!” Well experience has taught me that the manufacturer just writes that to cover their butts and prevent lawsuits. So, I went forward. I must say, with adapters the job was as easy as Google predicted. I turned back on the water and Ta-da!
Now, was when the flood happened.
Thank you for laughing and Please read a little longer
Thank you all for laughing with me, but I need to be serious. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disease which rots the liver and lungs. There is no cure. The only help for people is to have a weekly infusion of proteins to stop the spread. For the next few months I will be taking all my proceeds and donating them to the Alpha-1 Foundation who are searching for a cure to this horrible malady. You can give here or for more information go to Alpha-1.org Thanks for supporting world laughter, and finding a cure. Laugh On