I Am a Mechanical Dingbat

11 Jun

Image(s): FreeDigitalPhotos.net/watcharakun

We live in a home without air conditioning, but thanks to my genius husband it stays cool most of the time. In addition to being a 1920s home with thick walls and a lot of windows, our house has achieved what we call “Fanvana:” a perfect state of air movement dynamics that pulls in the cool and drives out the hot.

We have a total of 7 ceiling fans, 6 industrial-strength high-speed fans (4 on the floor and 2 on sticks), 1 small window fan and 1 box fan. That’s 15 fans.

My husband has maximized the airflow after paying careful attention to the physics of our house. Thank goodness he has harnessed the power of wind, because I get hot. And the kids and I are not able to independently nurture our state of “Fanvana.”

As my husband puts it, “No one but the man of this house can get with The Fan Program.” There are certain times when the upstairs fans get turned on and the downstairs doors get closed and vice versa. We are not able to keep up with what gets closed/opened and turned on/off at the appropriate times. We are not “with The Program.”

My son’s excuse is lack of interest and general laziness, but I am quite simply a mechanical dingbat. And I have shared this gene with my daughter. My son proved his mechanical worthiness at the age of three when he disassembled and reassembled the tension mechanism on the screen door.

I recently had to call my husband to explain how to operate the bike rack. I have zero physical science sensibility. This is a source of great frustration because I am good at most math, puzzles, and software intricacies.

Truth be told, I still do not entirely understand how electricity works. My husband had to struggle through Physical Science with my daughter during her freshman year. Thank goodness, because I’m confident that she would have actually lost knowledge with the benefit of my assistance.

I was almost late for teaching my last class at OSU because we had the kayak rack on the car roof. The ceiling in the garage is lower on the upper floors. I drove into the garage and didn’t realize that it wouldn’t clear the ceiling until the ceiling got lower on the way up to the second floor. I panicked and had to back down the ramp into the first floor and park in a handicapped spot. How appropriate.

And yet we all have our talents. While my husband is quite good at putting the Thule pod on top of the car, only I am capable of loading it. The thing requires a high level of spatial awareness and a light but firm touch. The last time my husband loaded it, he fell off the ladder and couldn’t get the thing closed, even though he cursed copiously while struggling with it.

And no one else at this house is going to make sure that we only begin using new bottles of shampoo or body soap AFTER the existing ones are empty. Or, when new bottles are introduced into the mix, creating a situation of duplication in the shower with two bottles going at the same time, someone has to initiate bottle consolidation. Yes, we all have a role to play.

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