A Woman’s Place

Faye Harris

I yelled at the coffee maker this morning as it was erupting all over the kitchen counter.  This did nothing to stop the action...it just sat there doing its own thing as I ran for the mop because the coffee was now continuing its journey across the kitchen floor.

They say hell has no fury like a woman scorned...but believe me when any appliance decides to end its life (Do they actually have a mind of their own?) on its way to oblivion, there’s no stopping its demise.

Earlier this year a much more expensive occupant of our home decided it was time to ask for more than a band aid. My furnace rebelled. Its fan rattled and choked. I called the repairman. He listed the repairs needed and like a doctor giving his prognosis he said, “Tsk, tsk.” He then listed all that was needed (as if I understood all his jargon...do they make some of these words up?) and said, “Then there’s no guarantee. You really need a new furnace.”

When I heard the price of repair work from Mr. Fix-it, I looked at my savings account...and agreed to taking out the old and putting in the new. So what if the trip I’d been saving for would have to be moved to the next decade. The new furnace took priority. Winter was on its way and for Christmas this year I would ‘gift’ myself (and those I cared for) with warmth that was other than my love.

Life at its best can be stressful. I invested in the stock market and my stock went belly up. COVID and politics almost caused me to toss my television set. It didn’t bother dying. After all, it was delivering a whole lot more of really (good) bad news than a need for repair AND it also showed my favorite TV show...Jeopardy (but then Alex died).

In talking the tragedies of life over with my friend, Bud, I soon came to realize all these things were just something called human existence.  “It’s all about attitude,” I was told.  “After you’ve replaced so many things...just think...at our age all these new things should outlive you. Just start saving your pennies again and we’ll take a trip in the future.”

Just like a man, I thought. Once he’s retired he can take things easy. If he has a bit of difficulty he can feign forgetfulness...and expect someone else to take care of things. But women, when they retire things don’t quite work that way. Just the other day as the lights started blinking my son, Norm, was over for a visit. As the lights did their dance, Bud looked at Norm and said, “Now what?”

“Not to worry,” Norm informed Bud. “Either there’s a storm coming or mom will take care of it. She always does.”

It’s a good thing I have both my phone and my checkbook handy. Without these two things I might have to feign either ignorance or forgetfulness myself. Say, you don’t suppose there’s a retired handyman out there that I could enlist as my next husband, do you? OR...do you think that he too might just say to me, “I thought you would just take care of things in the house. My last wife always did.”

Well, one thing I know for sure...if there’s an older repairman out there he’s probably wealthy (someone has a lot of the money us older gals have scrimped and saved for a rainy day) and, when looking for a wife...he’s probably looking for a cute young thing to pass the time with. 

Yep!  All those old things we ladies have had to have replaced in our homes...are like the repairmen who worked on them. They were replaced...by something newer!

K. William Boyer is the Managing Editor of the Devils Lake News Journal. He can be reached at kboyer@gannett.com, or by phone at (701) 662-2127.  

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