Falling short of success
There are some chores I generally leave for my husband to complete. For example, I generally don’t use power tools, climb onto roofs for any reason, paint or hang picture frames. I am simply not skilled at these things. One time, I painted our kitchen while my husband was away for the day. I didn’t bother to tape anything off, because the way I figured it, the old paint was so bad, anything would be an improvement. I guess my husband figures differently than I, because he wasn’t quite as pleased with the end result.As well, he usually prefers that when things need to be hung, that the task is left to him. I will admit it is reasonable that I can’t hang much of anything straight. Even with a level and a tape measure in hand, I have been known to hang pictures so crookedly that even a politician could notice.Despite these known shortcomings, I decided to hang our new kitchen curtain rod by myself this weekend. Determinedly, I gathered my tools, which consisted only of a Phillips screwdriver and the new brackets, and went to work.First, I measured the distance from the bottom of the window up to where the rod would need to be hung. I did that quite scientifically, I might add, by holding one of the new curtain panels up against the window and making a little mark in the plaster where I thought was close enough.Then, I took the bracket and screw and began to twist them into the wall. I didn’t quite reach the lathe board with the screw, and it kept spinning and spinning, so I knew I needed one of the little plastic hickey-doos that help hold screws in drywall. I am practically a professional with all this know-how, right? I grabbed the pack of them from the top of the microwave and shoved one into the wall. My daughter had just brought me a cordless drill – compassionate soul that she is, she didn’t like to see me struggling (either that, or she has seen me freak out when my ventures go wrong) – so I used it to return the first screw into the wall. One down, three to go, but I was already tiring of the project.I managed to repeat the process for the other three screws and was starting to feel pretty good about myself. The rod seemed to be hanging straight, it seemed to be a good height and I was going to be able to complete the task and surprise my husband with a job well done. I fed one curtain panel onto half of the rod while my daughter did the other. When I hung them both up, we noticed it immediately. One panel was far shorter than the other. All of that work, only to fail to complete it. I disgustedly put the short panel back into the packaging so I can exchange it this week. I left the other curtain hanging alone on the rod.Don’t worry; it didn’t shock my husband at all. In fact, he laughed and said things like that happen to him sometimes, too. Although, if you ask me, I think he is simply used to my big endeavors falling just a little short.Laura Zoeller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.