Did you every see the episode of Everybody Loves Raymond titled "Baggage?" The one where Ray and Debra have an unspoken battle over who's responsibility it is to put the suitcase away after a weekend getaway. Ray goes to such extremes as to use a plastic grocery bag as luggage when going away on a business trip, but not before he secretely places cheese in the suitcase. Marie mentors Debra by sharing a similar story of a battle of wills her and Frank had involving the big fork and spoon in their kitchen. "Don't let a suitcase filled with stinky cheese be your big fork and spoon," Marie advises.
The light in my living room ceiling fan is my big fork and spoon. Though, I'm pretty sure I'm the only one that knows it.
I'm a strong woman. I'm all for women's lib. I believe women can do anything. That being said, I live with a man. I do feel some tasks are better suited for certain genders. I may be able to mow the lawn, but I know from experience using our old fashioned push mower, it takes me far longer than my husband. I don't ask for much. But I think it's only fair for him to take out the trash, kill the bugs, and change the lightbulbs in the ceiling fixtures.
For months now...months I tell you, the light in the ceiling fan has been burnt out. If Alice wants to play with her dollhouse, I have to turn the kitchen lights on so she can see. People who walk in our house must think we are extremely cheap, not wanting to pay for the electric, or vampires. Even with the table lamps on, it's dark. Really dark.
I didn't want to change it. It wasn't my responsibility. Hatta and I had already had this battle last summer. The glass globe over the light shattered and it had to be replaced. When the globe arrived, it sat in it's box for months. He opened it when it was first delivered, looked at it and put it back. There it sat, being our big fork and spoon until, finally, I installed it. Now, here we are again. The damn light. The mother effing light that he doesn't seem to realize even needs changing. He's learned to live with it. His eyes have adjusted, I suppose. I've subtly mentioned it several times, hoping he'd get the hint and fulfill his manly duties. Instead, on Saturday, I pulled out the stepstool, got the old bulb down and took it to Home Depot to find a replacement.
Which brings me to today. I succumbed to the desire to see my living room again. I changed the light. Let it be known, I did it. I got the suitcase, er...the lightbulb.
When Alice walked into the living room after lunch, she said "Mama! The light?"
"Yes, baby. I changed it." It had been so long, she completely forgot what the room was supposed to look like illuminated.
"Oh Mama! You're the best Mama ever! I love you so much! Thank you! I'm so sorry I spit on you and kicked you. I won't do it again. Mama, you are the best!"
Obviously, the lack of light had been depriving her. If I had known how appreciative she was going to be, maybe I would have changed it sooner. Maybe.