Three summers ago and in years prior, we would rearrange our furniture to accommodate a window air conditioning unit in our bedroom. For the three or four hottest weeks of the season, I was happy to have it. For the remainder of its time in the window, I nearly froze to death each night.
I was always excited to remove it and store it, although I would immediately begin complaining about winter’s approach and the bitter cold it would inevitably bring with it. Yes, I know, I must be a total peach to live with.
That summer three years ago, I decided to remove the air conditioner a little early. (Read: while my husband, who didn’t think it needed to be removed yet, was away for the day.) The unit itself was no problem, but the bed was far heavier than I expected it to be. I gave it a big shove, and was rewarded with a cracking noise from the side rail on my husband’s side. It appeared to stay together, so I finished tidying up and called it a day.
That night, when he sat down, the side rail separated from the metal bracket that attaches it to the headboard and the mattress sagged. Despite knowing what I had done, he said little. He simply walked outside for a cribbing block upon which to prop the bed for the night. And when he found that it was too short, he quietly reached over and took the novel lying on my nightstand to finish making it the proper height.
No biggie, I thought. He’ll probably fix it properly tomorrow.
The bed didn’t get fixed that next day, nor the day after. On the daily to-do list, it was nowhere near the top, and like so many things on a farm, if it still functions, it waits. And so it waited. And waited.
Fast forward to this weekend. (Yes, that’s right. For three years, my bed was propped up on a 6x6 and a Dean Koontz novel!) I had torn the bedroom apart because a friend was coming to fix the light in the ceiling fan – it had stopped working some time ago, as well – and he needed access to the center of the room.
My husband said he planned to fix the bed while it was apart. So I waited. For two days, my husband put up hay. For two nights, we slept on couches in the living room. FYI, this is not recommended, as they are expressly uncomfortable.
On morning three, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I gathered a handful of potentially useful tools, and a couple of bolts, washers and nuts. In less than an hour, I had the old rivets out, the bracket lined up and holes drilled, and the nuts and bolts installed. I put the bed back together afterward and cleaned up my mess. (Remembering that doing something myself instead of waiting for him had also gotten me INTO this predicament kept me from being too smug here.)
That evening, my husband told me repeatedly how proud he was of me as we prepared for bed. Better still, it was an amazing night’s sleep. And the best part? Now I get to finish my book.
I have been waiting for that for quite some time, too.
Laura Zoeller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.