Someday, I will write a children’s book called The Very Lazy Family. It will be about a family who moves into a house, but refuses to change any light bulbs. After about year 3, they use flashlights all the time. It starts because the first light to burn out is way up high in a stairwell, and so not really necessary; but when the next one burns out, it seems like they shouldn’t change that until they change the one in the stairwell…and, well, they are a Very Lazy Family.
Languishing readers will not be surprised to know that this is based on our life. We moved into this house in 2002, and it’s not just light bulb maintenance at which we suck. Frankly, we are the sort of people who should find ourselves a nice, reliable landlord and rent until we die. But here we are, 12 years in. It’s getting mighty dusty, too.
The most recent lighting debacle happened in our main floor bathroom/laundry room. Sometime in September, the lightswitch broke. Just snapped right off the wall. Does that happen to other people? Perhaps we were too emphatic in our light switching. At any rate, it broke, and for awhile it was no big deal, because it broke in the “on” position, so we were well illuminated. We shut the door to watch a movie, but for a good 6 weeks, we saw no need for concern.
Of course, the lightbulb couldn’t last forever. It burned out in early November, just as the long, long nights of winter settled heavily onto Minnesota. There’s a north facing window, so for 6 or 7 hours a day, the bathroom was lit up just fine. But it’s our tooth-brushing bathroom, and V did not want to brush her teeth in the dark. We dug out a flashlight. I had to change the flashlight batteries last month, but otherwise things were going pretty smoothly.
Now, though I fully intend to exploit our laziness for my children’s book career, I really am not proud of this lazy tendency. My father was a jack of all trades, and my mother taught me I could do whatever I put my mind to (though she also encouraged me to marry a doctor or lawyer). I’ve already mastered plumbing, so I figured replacing a lightswitch was a logical next step. This morning, I googled “replace a light switch,” and 20 minutes later, light has returned. No one got electrocuted, and we can put the handy tooth-brushing flashlight away.