Friday, October 1, 2010

House, Episode Six

In this week's episode...

A two-man crew spends the better part of the week at Wendy's house installing windows. They look beautiful! Once the crew leaves, Wendy attempts to re-hang window treatments. This proves to be difficult.

For starters, the window treatments were all previously attached to the window sills; now that there are brand new windows (which are vinyl, not wood), this is not a possibility. Thus, Wendy must measure the windows and treatments, then first mark where to install the brackets. Imagine one person -- just two hands -- holding up a tape measure and trying to mark various distances out with a pencil.

Once the markings are made, she must drill into the solid oak window frames to re-hang blinds and curtains. This is also much harder than it would seem, at least to Wendy. First, she struggles trying to get the screw to even penetrate the wood -- they keep flying off at weird angles, sometimes into the heating ducts! She learns that it helps to first use a skinny drill bit to make a hole where the screws will go. This helps...somewhat. She still struggles excessively with using the cordless drill. She is only able to use the drill to get each screw about halfway into the oak before the screw starts to strip. This is, apparently, because of a combination of factors: 1) the skinny drill bit she first selected should be bigger; 2) the drill bit that attaches to the screw should have probably been bigger (even though they all seem the freaking same to her!); 3) she should have gotten out a bigger ladder so she would not be using the drill overhead; 4) sometimes the She brackets were shaped such that the drill could only be used to get the screws halfway in. Yes, it takes Wendy four hours to properly hang six brackets....and she can't even figure out how the window treatment in the kitchen is supposed to work! She has more than one crying spell from the sheer frustration, wondering: "Why is this so hard? What am I doing that is so wrong here? How am I ever going to get by on my own?" She gets angry, a neighbor checking the mail hears her screaming obscenities through the open window. The cordless drill gets slammed down and cracks.

After a period of about four hours passes, Wendy has installed four brackets in the dining room and three in the living room, though one is hung upside down (all three were at some point, but two got corrected). Wendy's hands are sore from hand screwing semi-stripped screws into solid oak, all while working overhead (don't forget how much labor was required to remove those two incorrectly hung brackets in the living room!). She can't even hang the living room window treatments alone, though the brackets are hung properly, because the window treatments are too large for one person to manipulate.

Tired, angry, sore, frustrated, and defeated, Wendy finally admits that this is something she needs help with. She calls a few guys who live in the Des Moines area and who might be able to help her out. Luckily, a friend who lives nearby comes over and knocks out all the needed work in about an hour, maybe less. This is the point where Wendy learns about the importance of angle and leverage, so at least a lesson is learned.

On the positive side, Wendy enjoys using her home to entertain a couple times this week, first clearing out the Bear Den (the Chicago Bears basement bar) for the Bears v. Packers Monday Night Football matchup and then hosting Wine Club one evening in the dining room. This encourages Wendy greatly, to enjoy use of her home again.

In another bright spot this week, Ellie and Riley come over to help Wendy clean and to do a fun little afternoon excursion to pick out new curtains for the bedroom. They zip around in Ellie's VW convertible, making Wendy's Friday afternoon one of the best she's had in a while.

1 comment:

  1. Riley woke up from her nap today, opened her eyes and said, "I want to go to Wendy's house." So cute.

    Cordless drills are careful!