Always ‘re-fuse’ before you shop

Most of the time, my husband is a willing and helping hand in our little life. But there are those times when I’d like to send him with a one-way ticket on a rocket to the moon.
Once there, he could work on his upcoming book “The Wife Manual”—an instruction guide for husbands on how to stay out of trouble with the Mrs.
The best-selling 142-pager would give valuable tips about what a guy should know about his girl, such as her shoe size, why she likes to lock herself in the bedroom when trying on panty hose, and what she means when she says “Bring home a nice Christmas tree, honey.”
Twelve days into a two-week break from his work up north and finally caught up on a long list of farmhouse work orders (and with the jolly holidays tripping Mrs. Know-It-All’s “I’m never going to be ready!” alarm), Pete was commissioned to lead the one-man Paul Bunyan exploration for a Christmas tree.
Of course, he didn’t get out of the yard without my two cents’ worth on the size and description of the tree I thought he should be looking for, though to him I think my advice sounded like this: “Pick whatever tree you like honey, it’s not my department.”
As I have claimed before, housewives have got it together. Our minds are multi-tasking bionic units like nothing man will ever know. We are one of a kind.
And we also know what a good Christmas tree looks like.
It certainly does not look like the evergreen skeleton with four branches that came back from the bush with Pete.
Thankfully for him, at the moment I saw it, I’d been riding high on the contentment of the “happy place” he puts me during the two weeks he’s home.
Otherwise, I would have buried him and the “Charlie Brown wannabe” in the backyard alongside the gopher.
As it was, the tree cringed in the corner of the porch for a few days until I got used to it—and mathematically evaluated whether or not 20 years of ornaments and children’s Christmas art work would crush the little sucker.
Finally, two days after Pete went back to work, I decided it was time to invite said tree to the living room and give it a makeover with 10 strings of LED lights.
That plan lasted about as long as my pinkie finger in a clothespin.
As soon as I paid closer attention, I realized the man with the axe had re-cut the trunk just below the two good branches on the bottom, leaving no room for the tree stand.
Suddenly a quote I’d read somewhere on calm popped into my head: “Don’t get your knickers in a knot. Nothing is solved and it just makes you walk funny.”
I refused to gripe and solved everything by going shopping for one (though feeling sorry for the sacrifice of a pigmy conifer, I decorated it with construction paper rings and stuck it in a old boot in the porch).
Then on Sunday night, I went down to the basement to grab some clothes from the dryer that I’d put in there about three hours earlier—only to find the drum still going and blowing only cold air.
I shut it off, did a 12-point check, and tried to restart it. Nothing happened. It was dead as a doornail.
I e-mailed Pete (the electrician who knows everything) at work to ask his advice on my conundrum and he returned my query with “It’s history. Go buy a new one.”
I headed down to the local appliance store, picked one out, paid for it, and went home to clear a path for its delivery.
Once the shiny new dryer was in place, I plugged it in. Nothing happened. It, too, was dead as a doornail.
I did a 12-point check and—sporting a Medusa-complex— e-mailed Pete with my conundrum.
He returned my query with “Oh, ya, I forgot to tell you to check the two 30-amp fuses in the small panel above the dryer.”
You are a day late and I’m $500 short, Pete. One fuse was blown and now I have two dryers that work.
On second thought, maybe I’ll take that ticket to the moon. I could write a book.

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