The Significant Other is self-employed in the construction trade and is kind of a “Mr. Fixit.” Following a recent accident which required some surgery, the involuntary down-time has kept him home for much of the week. He is pretty good at down-time when it is on his terms, but when the choice is not his he tends to get antsy and needs to fiddle around with stuff in the barn or around the house. There is plenty to focus on that needs fixing around this house so I was hoping something would grab his interest. Clearly we all have a different interpretation regarding priorities.
I have my own list. At the top of that list is installing railing on the back steps and porch so you don’t go falling off the edge, which is something I have been anticipating for the last six months (the falling over the edge part). After that would be heavy things that need to be carried. As for easier inside work if one was wont to be looking for a project, I would choose using the drill gun to put screws into these old plaster walls so all the artwork that has been waiting forever to get hung up can be hung up. Yes, I could do that myself, but then I have to hear “Look what you did, you cracked the wall” (OK, Guilty; for some reason when I put screws into these 100+ year old walls, they tend to chip and crack and when he does it, they don’t. I chalk that up to his practice on the job, but, whatever.) Bottom line is there is a lot of stuff to be hung up that is lying around.
There are also window shades to be hung in his man-cave. They were purchased because they are room-darkening. There are woven rattan shades that I put up years ago, but you can see through them and they let light in. With the room darkening shades installed beneath them he can watch TV on a bright day and be able to see the TV screen. But more importantly it is because the man-cave faces the street, so when he is watching TV or the lights are on at night you can see right into the room from the sidewalk. Personally I find it kind of tacky and a little bit creepy when I am out with the dog late at night and happen see some guy standing around a room in his underwear as I walk past a house. I don’t want us to be that house (or him to be that guy). Although he knows this and went out and bought the shades, that is where the idea died. Perhaps there is an inner exhibitionist I was unaware of, because at this writing, the shades have been waiting there for exactly fourteen (14) months.
So how did he spend his recuperative week of antsiness? What was his Mr. Fixit priority? Dimmer switches. He spent hours installing dimmer switches.
I will preface the forthcoming rant by saying I am a fan of dimmer switches on dining room overhead lights, should you want to eat your dinner with lower lighting. And the S.O. felt there should be one in the main bathroom, should you want to take a long relaxing bath that is not beneath bright glare. That makes sense to me. What does not make sense is why he decided to install dimmer switches to every other place in the house. They are everywhere!
He put a dimmer switch over the microwave (romantic mood lighting over the reheatable leftovers?) and one on the lighting over the counter near the refrigerator. The reason the
lights over the kitchen counters were installed in the first place was to provide some light while cooking because it was too dark. If you dim them, it becomes too dark again to see what you are doing. Plus you now can’t even reach the switch because it is behind the microwave. There is also one over the kitchen sink. The light over the sink needs to be bright in order to see when you are washing the dishes, but now you have the option of cleaning the pots and pans under a warm glow in case you really don’t want to see what is stuck on them.
He added two dimmer switches in the half-bathroom, one over the mirror. It seems if you are bothering to look in the bathroom mirror it would be to check for something in your eye, in your teeth, on your face – so you would need a good strong light in order to see, right? Why would you dim the lights over the sink? Am I crazy here? Why?
He installed dimmer switches in the bedroom overhead lights. The reason I like the overhead lights to be bright is so that I can see when I am cleaning, while vacuuming, or to find something that rolled under the bed. Otherwise there are table lamps for more ambient lighting. Again, I don’t get it.
But the one that has floored me the most is the switch that is now installed to dim the outside porch light over the front door. Isn’t the point of having a light over the door so that you can find your key and open the door at night, or to look out from the inside and see who is out there knocking in the dark?
As an aside, most of the switches in this house are ivory color. The dimmer switches he used are all porcelain bright white and so they don’t match the other switches or the switch plates. Some don’t even have switch plates. There must have been a big sale on white dimmers or something that just couldn’t be resisted.
And finally, they are all covered with black hand-prints as if a kindergarten class just ran through…..adding another project to my own to-do list. OK, it’s first world problems for sure. I’m lucky to live in a house. I’m lucky to have electricity! But I have to wonder – is this one of those Mar/Venus things? Am I missing a good point somewhere as to the logic behind this? Is this kind of weird?
Guilty; we have dimmers everywhere, yes, even the kitchen under-counter lights, which are bright LEDs and when dim work well at night for ambient light. Not guilty of is matching the switches to the wall color, I agree, that is tacky, and unnecessary as they are the same price as the almond/beige ones.
Well, this entire house is now one big ambient light. All it needs is a little bossa nova music to go with it…….
This made me laugh for a second time! I too wonder what is going on inside his head. Makes for a great story, not sure about living it though.
I should stop trying to figure out what is going on in his head……
He is an unusual fellow. Perhaps dimmer switches are on sale? He bought a bunch and decided not to use them? They didn’t fit a job he was working on so he ended up “eating” them?
No, he actually went out and bought new dimmers to install. He was on some internal mission I guess!
MEN. Pfft. You need to use some female wiles and reverse-psychologise him into doing what actually ***needs*** to be done rather than whatever whim soars into his silly head.
Although I do like the idea of having a dimmer in the bathroom (in case of a bathroom run in the middle of the night — wanting light but not wanting to be blinded while my eyes adjust), all the other dimmer locations baffle me and leave me shaking my head.
I agree about the dimmer in the bathroom – at least the one closest to the bedroom for when you want to go in at night and not be blinded. Although a nightlight works really well for that too. But the rest of it also baffles (and somewhat amuses) me. What I didn’t add was that following the dimmer switch installations there was The Day of The Lightbulbs, where every already energy-efficient lightbulb in the house was replaced by different energy-efficient lightbulbs. I don’t get it – I just let it roll as there is no stopping that train. As far as female wiles and reverse-psychology, I think he has an invisible reflective shield when it comes to those tactics… : )
Wiles, tactics, reverse-psych! Dimmed passive aggression as a result of his reading your blog?
Were the old energy efficient lightbulbs dimmable? Many CFL ones aren’t, expecially the older ones. I put up nickel silver switchplates and outlet covers over the whole house to go with new levered nickel silver door levers. Costly, and lost when I sold and moved. But it all matched!
nah, I highly doubt he reads my blog… I think he was just on his own internal mission…
and you are correct, some of the older energy efficient lightbulbs were not dimmable. I think the newer ones are even less costly to use. however, they tend to give off a more garish light (I think so, anyway). Perhaps the use of dimmers was meant to counteract that.
switchplates to match the doorknobs? yowza.