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March 31, 2003

Life As Interruption

Here I was all excited that tonight was my first night returning to the routine of studying topics on my own after work. I'd been out of my office in a meeting, and when I returned, I found a message on my phone. It was Jean. "Can you come home? There's something wrong with my garage door, and I need you to see if you can fix it."

Jean and I have been together for twenty years, and she still makes this fundamental mistake. She thinks that because I'm a guy, I have some magical ability to make hardware work. Despite numerous examples over the years to the contrary. When we first bought our current house, she bought a faucet set for the bathroom, and asked me to install it for her. I basically laughed at her -- politely. "Fine, I'll do it myself!" That afternoon I got a phone call at work. Jean wanted to know if it was okay if she called a plumber to install the faucet.

So it goes. I drove home, looked at the garage door, and by examining the other door, was able to spin a theory of what had gone wrong. Two cables had snapped that attached to the bottom of the door on one end, and to a large, evil-looking spring at the top. I guessed that the spring cancelled out most of the weight of the door. On my door, which was still okay, and newer than the broken one, was a tag: "Warning, trying to mess with this spring will get you killed. Call a professional."

Below it was a phone number for the local garage door company. I called them up and the receptionist said she'd have somebody call me tomorrow. God I feel so masculine!

Anyway, this fits the pattern I've observed before. I told Jean about it. The pattern goes like this: something goes wrong that requires a repair, an interruption to your day, or both. You take care of it, and think, "that's over." But it isn't. Life is actually marked by a series of interruptions. Just get used to it.

Posted by dpwakefield at March 31, 2003 08:46 PM