Home Day Corps. The faint of heart need not apply.
“Screw YOU, Mr. Phillips!” I thought. I had not actually said it, so no one heard me cursing a screwdriver, thankfully. That was not nice at all. In fact, I retracted it when I realized that actually Mr. Phillips did everyone a favor with his cross-hatch design. I have even more issues with the flathead.
I had been trying with all my might and patience to screw to the wall a hook that I had purchased during a stroll through the French Market in New Orleans several years ago. “So cute!” I had thought. In fact, so cute that I had purchased FOUR of them. Thus far, I had not screwed any of them to anything because I had not been able to figure out where to put them. (No comments please.)
I used to get my husband involved in these little home decorating projects. However, he would get so frustrated and angry that he would begin using words in my presence that I did not want to hear. I simply could not understand why he couldn’t be more patient and calm. Same thing with my father. Normally pretty cheerful, he used to get extremely crabby when he had to do the simplest of home decorating projects. These guys just needed to get a grip.
When I am home alone, I often take the opportunity to engage in some relaxing “home decor” so as not to elicit the wary stares of the one who sometimes gets roped into helping me. Sometimes “do it yourself” is preferable to having help anyway. What’s the big deal? Anyone can screw a hook into drywall.
Several hours and many trials and errors later, I had a new perspective. How many sizes of screwdrivers are there anyway??? And how was I supposed to know it would pull out of the wall if it didn’t have a stud to cling to? And how the (heck) was I supposed to screw the left screw in with my left hand since I couldn’t reach it with my right hand because the place I had chosen to put it was in the wall adjacent to the wall where the dryer sits?
Suffice it to say that by the time I had finally finished, several of those “pardon my French” words had escaped my own lips. “I understand,” I said to no one but God and the cat, as I gently placed my hat on the hook and hoped that it would not fall off the wall (as it already had done when I hung a jacket on it).
Several days after my bout with Mr. Phillips, I decided to replace the blinds in the front windows (four of them!). I hesitated to ask my husband for help, but I didn’t think I could handle this alone. He agreed. Sure enough, it was frustrating as you-know-what. Stuff didn’t line up right. Screws did not fit. Instructions/diagrams/steps to success were undecipherable. Etc. Etc. Etc. Frustration set in, as always.
But this time, I was sympathetic rather than critical. I nodded in agreement and commiserated. We both shook our heads over flimsy materials and commented on the current state of manufacturing. I understood the frustration and aggravation. What made the difference? Why did I suddenly have so much empathy? I had walked a mile in the Honey-Do shoes.
“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:2).
(By the way, is anyone in the market for three perfectly good wall hooks?)