Author’s Note: Occasionally, readers have wondered whether I might shorten my entries. You have been heard! Starting today, I will alternate my longer essays–roughly every other week–with “Micro” blogs strictly limited to 500 words or less (not counting this author’s note, of course). Usually, I don’t have time to be brief, but today I will make the time. Look for #Micro.
You can’t be a little bit pregnant or a little bit one-legged. However, you can be a little bit tipsy and your things can be a bit worse for wear. Things which become a little bit broken force a choice. Repair or Replace?
You have to try to repair large pieces of furniture, like china cabinets or desks, when the cracks are small. There is always a little piece of plastic which breaks, rendering all unserviceable.
Curse you, cheap plastic! A tiny drop of Super Glue–correctly applied and cured overnight–may save the day.
My spouse has been on a Not! kick lately, as in Repair, Not Replace! She gallantly spent the three-day weekend swapping out a rubber gasket on the bottom of a leaky toilet. The only plumber interested pushed for an upgraded model ($350). Instead, a $20 trip to Home Depot, an hour viewing EZ Plumbing Hacks, two messy forays underneath the tank, and hey presto! toilet repaired! She looks great in sparkly five-inch heels, too!
Mind you, this did call for replacing the etagere that held washcloths and cleaning supplies above the commode. It looked somewhat sad, its pressboard bottom eaten away years ago from a previous leak. My opinion was “still usable and who looks at it anyway,” but the person who swapped out the toilet ordered a new one. I’m not entirely clear on the rules.
I had to retire/toss my favorite blue suitcase. It was relatively expensive four years ago, so I eked it through an extra year’s worth of trips with duct tape (Amsterdam hardware store) after being told it needed to go. Again, rules? On this last trip, the expansion zipper snapped off, a fourth crack emerged, and, after the baggage carousel, a wheel wobbled dangerously. Twelve trips in all: a useful life. The replacement is smaller but… purple! I tend to overpack anyway which increases the cracking propensity. I can learn to carry less.
My parents bought this statue of Mephistopheles in Spain, pre-me. Mom brought him to Sacramento after the divorce and stuck him on a flimsy apartment shelf. My visiting five-year-old cousin did something rambunctious, so Meph lost his nose, chin, and legs. Mom blackened the legs, which made the statue even more sinister. He’s stood in a corner of our house, sneering but also protecting since she died.
Broken artwork should thus be repaired. The memories stay–even the memory of the breakage. When I took the statue’s picture today, his leg completely detached, so that may be the last time he can be moved. Over time, the memories multiply, though they also become fragile.
My cousin is forty now. When his rambunctious son visited, I moved the breakables out of harms way.
Today’s Micro blog inspired by the Daily Post word: broken.