A few days ago our television died. How old was that thing anyway? We bought it when we built this house, about 5 years ago, then I started wondering how long should a TV last. While I was busy lamenting, Bob of course, started researching the latest wired-to-the-internet models while also taking apart our measly 37″ flat screen Magnavox and finding the culprit. Yep, it’s a capacitor problem in the power board! He happily showed me the leaky, cracked caps! I had no idea what he was talking about, but like a good wife, I feigned interest.
I’ve always said that there’s just something on that Y gene that gives our guys the power to pull stuff apart and put it back together again with impunity. Now I know this sounds sexist, but just follow along. Once I brought home a beautiful antique chandelier – it was a bargain. Only it didn’t work. Well, before long, Bob had all the pieces lined up across our dining room table, and wouldn’t you know it, he re-wired the thing. I asked him if he’d ever done that before, he just looked at me, smiled, and said, “No.”
My foster father Jim liked to fix things too. This may sound arcane, but I distinctly remember him behind our old 1950s era black and white TV cabinet, taking the back off and removing its mysterious vacuum tubes. Then I’d accompany him to the hardware store where he’d test them in some gizmo; I remember them lighting up and the buzzing sound they would make. We’d buy only as many as were damaged. At home, he’d replace the tubes, screw the back on the cabinet and hop up on the roof to adjust the antennae. Nell would tell me when to yell, “Stop” out the window.
Now our TV had to go into the one shop in town that does “TV and VCR” repair work, simply because Bob didn’t want to solder onto the mini=computer board the $8.95 capacitors he could buy at Radio Shack. Thankfully, he knows his limits. It will cost less than a hundred dollars to fix and save us close to a thousand to replace with the latest in LCD wizardry. Which is great. But what’s better is we’ve been listening to the radio at home, NPR to be precise. And yesterday while listening to our President address the nation about the debt ceiling, I liked his tone. I am hoping he’ll deliver his ‘take no prisoners we’re not a deadbeat nation’ message later in the week to Congress about gun violence. I really liked his delivery as I sat there, knitting a rose colored dress for the Love Bug, and feeling like a 1930s era housewife. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.