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Monday, February 26, 2018

It Started With The Coffeemaker

On Saturday, Rick repaired--again--my coffeemaker. I'm inordinately and irrationally fond of this coffeemaker, a Cuisinart drip model circa 2004-5, and I refuse to let it go. When I first discovered it was leaking a month ago, he took it apart and replaced a hose. My Gratitude and Joy were boundless. Last week, when it started leaking again, all Rick did was to mildly berate himself for not replacing both hoses when he had the thing apart the first time, and set about taking it apart again. This time, unfortunately, the repair was more difficult and tedious.

Lucky for him, my own tasks took me in and out of the kitchen so that I could check on his progress help. On one of my sojourns through his work area, he asked me to hold the light so that he could use both hands to maneuver the circuit panel/board back into place and put everything back together.

But it wouldn't all fit back in. I watched my husband's face carefully for clues: was my coffeemaker terminal? did he really know what he was doing? was I going to have to get dressed and do my hair in order to go get coffee in the morning? WAS LIFE AS I KNOW IT OVER?

My search of his features yielded nothing. His expression was one of Placid Determination and Quiet Concentration. Clearly, I was going to have to Get Involved.

"Maybe you should just untie that bigass knot in the cord there," I suggested helpfully. "It seems to be holding up the whole shebang."

"It's not that."

"Okay." He moved around a lot of wires and cords and the panel/board thing. He tried a couple more times to get it all to fit. He looked at a piece of plastic that fit on the back near the power cord. It was obvious that my expertise was necessary here. I thought carefully about Strategy, Tact, and the cost of Marital Counseling.

Then I decided to speak up anyway. "Hey, Rick? Maybe they just tied that knot in that cord because of some UL regulations about cord length or something. You know? I feel like--"

And suddenly, right in front of me, Rick was screwing the bottom onto the coffeemaker. Just like that.

"Hey!" I said. "You got it! Yay!"

"Yep," he said. "Nance, that knot in the cord is there to keep the panel from being yanked all the way out."

"Oh. Well, you could have said that from the beginning! Why didn't you say that before?"

"I just thought about it."

I boosted myself onto the kitchen counter to keep him company while he finished up. We needed to test the coffeemaker to see if it worked and to see if it would leak again. "And how did you do all this tedious, frustrating work without swearing? If it were me, I'd have been a few Eff Words deep and then some."

"Because every time you hear me swear while I work, you think something's wrong. And then you worry. So I learned not to do that."

For a moment I was floored by this.  It showed a depth of understanding and concern that truly touched me.  It showed that Rick had listened to me over these many, many years!  "Wow," I said.  "That's really true, and I very much appreciate that, but okay, hold on. Of all the fantastic advice I've given you in all the years we've known each other, what percentage of it would you say that you've actually listened to?"

Rick held the coffeepot up to eye level to measure its contents before pouring it into the machine. He plugged the coffeemaker in, flipped the switch, and without turning around said definitively, "Seventy percent. Your coffeemaker is working."

My heart was full. I was so happy! As soon as that red light came on and I heard the sound of water successfully burbling through My Precious Coffeemaker, I almost gave Rick a pass on his preposterous answer. Almost. "Seventy percent! That's ridiculous. No way is it seventy percent. I'd put it at forty percent, tops. Especially if you figure in follow-through, like when I say you should ice your leg or take a naproxyn or stay off screens after 9PM. And you don't."

"Look under here when I lift this up," he said. "See if you see any water." He carefully raised the coffeemaker, and I craned my neck to see beneath it. A few drops of water were collecting on the newly-replaced hose. A wire clamp dangled, too. I reported these to Rick, who sighed patiently. "I can't believe I forgot to put the clamp back on after all that."

"Don't burn yourself. Be careful. Why don't you wait until it cools way down? It's easy enough just to put the clamp on, right?" I leaned over to provide Support and show Concern, so much so that I almost fell into the sink. I needn't have bothered; by the time I had expressed my Profound Sentiments, Rick had unscrewed the bottom of the unit, replaced the clamp, and started to screw it back in place.

"Why don't more people take my advice?" I asked him. "I'm not talking about the people on TV; I know they can't hear me when I tell them what to do. More people need to do exactly what I say. And immediately. Everything would be better."

"Maybe a lot of people do take your advice. They just don't tell you about it."

A final check of the coffeemaker proved successful. Hopefully, I'll have another fifteen years of Good Service and Good Coffee from it.  I'll let you know.

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23 comments:

  1. My daughter is convinced she could rule the world if people would just listen to her. I don't believe it would necessarily be a benevolent dictatorship. Just my opinion...but my son-in-law agrees with me.

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    1. Karen S--Well, anyone could rule anyplace if everyone listens to that Anyone. It's simple physics, as they say! LOL.

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  2. I love your coffee maker story, tells a lot about you, Rick and your marriage and it begs the question, "Why don't more people fix common house appliances?" I had a dad and husband who could fix almost anything. I miss having a go-to guy in my life.

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    1. Jean--Yes, it really does.
      I know your dear husband was a Do It All kind of man, and you are a DIY Woman as well. It *is* tiring not to have him around to "go to", I'm sure. I cannot imagine.

      Some small appliances aren't even fixable! Parts are glued/welded together (integrated) and impossible to take apart. Or the parts are equally as expensive as a replacement item (like hand mixers). But it's true: we've become a disposable, replaceable, quick-fix culture. We will pay for speedy convenience.

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  3. This is such a sweet and telling post, Nance. The fact that Rick doesn't say swear words because he doesn't want to worry you is just so caring. I'm so glad that together you fixed your coffeemaker, too. Your concerns for losing it are reasonable. As you know, I'm not a coffee drinker but I was looking for a coffeemaker for my mom for Christmas and every single one had terrible reviews. It didn't matter what the cost was. So holding onto an older coffeemaker and making it work is the sensible thing to do! If only I'd done that with my washing machine a few years back. Sigh.

    Shirley

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    1. Shirley--Thanks, dear. You always Get Me.

      Even the reviews of the newer version of this coffeemaker were terrible. That's one of the reasons I was so happy that Rick was game to fix it. Having a handyman husband can be a blessing and a curse--often, projects remain In Process for far too long, and he chafes at the cost of hiring a professional to get things off his plate--but in this case, it is terrific.

      Washing machines--I have held on to my old Maytag toploader jealously and unstintingly. That will not change.

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  4. I love this! (And I'm glad the coffeemaker lived.)

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    1. Bridget--It was a very Affirming Interlude overall. And this coffeemaker will be a Legacy Item.

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  5. The idea of being able to fix a coffee maker is one that has never been entertained in this house. I'm impressed with Rick's ability. I'm also impressed that he admitted that he paid attention to your advice. Rather a significant moment for you, personally-- and for womankind.

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    1. Ally Bean--Kind of a Big Day!

      Rick has always been able to fix everything; so much so that once, when one of the boys was a toddler and his helium balloon got caught in the ceiling fan and burst, he merely gathered up the fragments and took them to his father. "Daddy fix it now," he said confidently. That was a tough one.

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  6. Great tale! And, the coffeemaker is ALREADY a Legacy!

    I was happy when mine stopped working because I didn't like it (but wouldn't get rid of it while it was functioning). Now I make coffee the old fashioned way - in a stove top percolator and I love it. Sometimes I'll use a French Press, but the stove top makes more (which is generally needed by moi).

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    1. Vera--Thanks!

      Is it one of those great, retro, glass stovetop ones? I've always heard they make terrific coffee. My mother found her little old electric percolator from fifty years ago, and it still works fine. She uses it down at the lake to make her and my brother each a mug (it's a little 6 cup maker--very cute). I feel like a French press will be too worky and involved for me, especially cleaning.

      We coffee drinkers are a picky bunch.

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  7. He is a keeper! Can you clone him or make some sort of potion our of his hair we can all spray on our men? I actually thought 40% was high!

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    1. Mereknits--You know, maybe 40% IS a little high...! ;-)

      He's definitely a Keeper, however; you're right about that. I need him to keep my Coffeemaker in good working order. LOL.

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  8. aw Sometimes we cant give up the Coffeemaker and sometimes we need to be heard!

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    1. kathy b--So true! Both things, and all the time.

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  9. I love it when people can fix things they really like. So few places, however, to get stuff that small fixed if you don't have a 'handyman' around. (I honestly don't know of anywhere that would fix a coffee pot.) I don't know if Mr. O. could fix a coffee pot (mine is probably one of the cheesy ones with everything welded into one piece), but he loves to tinker with other bits and bobs, and has fixed any number of glasses frames for me.

    Years ago when I went to Spain I was amazed at all the little "fix-it" places. Most appliances back then, both small and large, were imported from Germany, rarely needed fixing, and because they were so expensive... no one threw anything away. My favorite fix-it place was for mending stockings!! Yeah, as in, you get a run (ladder?) in your panty hose and they mend it for you. I went there all the time. Also... my local big box supercenter store had a shoe repair shop right there in the store. I did a lot of walking back then, and had my shoes re-soled (resoled?) every 3 or 4 months. So convenient.

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    1. Ortizzle--I have no idea if a little Fix-It place exists around here, either. It's more of a situation of "Hey, I know a guy who fixes stuff like that. Let me see if he can ...". I'm sure Mr. O. would be able to fix your coffee pot--or at least take a look and see if it could be done--unless it were terminal. He seems to be a lot like Rick.

      I've never ever heard of a place to mend pantyhose runs. I sure could have used that early in my career when I seemed to always have the worst teacher desks with lots of places to snag my stockings. I kept putting masking tape on all the offenders, but you know that stuff--it doesn't ever stay stuck, and I was buying pantyhose by the dozen mail order from the Hanes outlet.

      A hundred years ago when I was a tot, we had a shoe repair shop in my hometown. My father adored that place. The little old man who owned it would resole, put new heels on, sew, or do any other repair on any shoe you brought in. The day it closed up--unexpectedly, too--was a sad day. That sort of shop has disappeared, too.

      No wonder our world is smothered by trash. We toss things with alarming nonchalance and replace them quite coolly.

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  10. I can't fix anything. Ted impressed the hell out of me recently, by installing a new fan in our bathroom, and also caulking our stupid bathtub, a job that I have tried 2x now and HATE and will never do again. Serious kudos to Rick.

    When it comes to coffee makers, have you tried a drip system? Nothing to break, and my Aunt ADORES hers. I don't drink coffee so much, but she says it's amazing.
    https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/chemex-reg-6-cup-pour-over-coffee-maker/3281991?skuId=43459513&mcid=PS_googlepla_nonbrand_coffeetea_online&product_id=43459513&adtype=pla&product_channel=online&adpos=1o3&creative=224233276482&device=t&matchtype=&network=s&mrkgadid=558406382&mrkgcl=609&rkg_id=h-85fe1e1ab3e5625ea8427033ebc2d9a9_t-1520475478&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIuLOhv9Tb2QIVFI9-Ch07QgXnEAQYAyABEgJcrfD_BwE

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    1. That is a horrid link. The product is a Chemex pour over coffee maker. It takes a bit of time, you pour the hot water over the coffee grounds/filter, and it takes a bit of time to get through, but it is supposed to be very smooth and delicious.

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    2. j@jj--Pour-overs, which I know make very very nice coffee, are a bit too worky for me. Having to boil water, then pour part of the water over, wait for it to drip through, then add more, repeat, is a lot of process for my morning mugs. Plus, I am a very slow coffee drinker, and it would all get cold by the time got to it. But thank you very much for thinking of me and taking the time to post the link.

      I am devastated to hear that caulking the bathtub is such a stupid and unrewarding job. Ours has needed to be done for years now, and I was going to simply Do It Myself rather than continue to wait for Rick. "How hard could this be?!" I have said to myself at least a million times whilst looking at its current ugliness in frustration. Sigh. Now I know.

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    3. Oops! Make that "by the time *I* got to it", please.

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    4. Well, Ted did it quickly and said it was easy. So your mileage may vary. You may find it to be much easier than I do. You and Ted DO share a birthday, so maybe it's a Taurus thing?

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