Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Day in the Life

A listener to the show called in recently with a question:

"We care so much about your daily life. We really and truly are
so interested in the minute and granular details of your
exciting suburban life. We really want to know."

"Well, there's really not much to tell," I explained.
"I always thought my life was kind of normal, mundane. I work,
I sleep."

So, here is a typical day, if that is what they want:

I get home from work. I put my stuff down on the counter and
turn on the light in the kitchen. Pop! That damn floodlight
has burned out again. You know, we moved into this house in
1996, and suddenly about a year ago, all the floodlights burned
out. They have all been replaced in the past year. How could
it blow already after the previously-installed one lasted more
than ten years?

Luckily, I had an extra one stored (I hate darkness in the
house. I always make sure I have plenty of spare light bulbs).

The old one wouldn't come out. It must be screwed in too tight.
If I am not careful, it will break off, and I will have to use
pliers to dig the remnants out of the socket. Which means I
will have to turn off power to the kitchen. Which means
re-setting the clock on the microwave and coffee-maker. Not

The Lord is smiling on me this day, and it comes out. I screw in
the new bulb, but it is not bright enough. Must have gotten the
60 Watt by mistake, I normally go for about 2,000 Watts.
(I hate darkness in the house).
I place 'light bulbs' on the shopping list.

My bride arrives home. "Why do you have light bulbs on the shopping
list?" she inquires innocently. "You have a whole cabinet full of them."
"Yes, but they are not the correct kind."
"So what do we do with all these other ones?"
"Maybe we can sell them to Tony or Robert."

Working together like two gears in a finely-oiled machine, we
both have dinner prepared. The Daughter is upstairs shaving her
legs again (remember, she is just shy of 13, so this is
important to her). The music is so loud in her room she can't
hear us calling her for dinner.

I pick up the phone to call her on her cell phone, as I am too
lazy to hike up the stairs. I get voice mail. I send her a text
message telling her to get down here.

(This is how we communicate with her. She forgot how to
interact with us face to face). But that's ok, because even when
she talks to us, all of her sentences end with the "uhh" phrase,
as in:

"I'm coming-Uhh"
"I'm gonna clean my room soon-Uhh"
"I'm washing my hands-Uhh"
(The dialect may vary, depending on what state you are in).

After dinner, I help The Daughter with her homework.
As we are working, she makes an off-hand comment about maybe
going to Hobby Lobby tonight. "What time do they close?" she
asks. They close around 8:00 PM (it is currently 7:30).
"Oh, I have to get some stuff for my science project that is due

Deadly pause...probably a project that she got two weeks ago,
and now I know we will pulling another all-nighter. Time to
rally the troops. We must efficiently coordinate our time now.

I ask my bride if she can take The Daughter to Hobby Lobby while
I finish computing the missile trajectories for the homework we
have started (amazing what they make them do in Seventh Grade
Social Studies these days).

Fast-forward about three hours. My bride and I are reading in bed,
The Daughter is in her room with the music blaring. She needs
to get to bed. We call her on her cell again. This time she
answers! "Turn off the music! Go to bed!"

"But I have to wash my hair-Uhh!"
(It will take her an hour to dry it).

And they say families don't do things together anymore.

Peace be with you.


  1. What I want to know is... did you submit the proper paperwork before you went to work on that light...?

  2. you realize that if you use the old fashion ozone destroying bulbs they will still last 10 years and light up your house like mid afternnon... Sounds like my teenager by the way, except for HE doesn't shave his legs ( I don't think)...and the music is just blaring directly in his ear.... Ain't kids grand :)

  3. I wrote a thesis on electronic communication as the executioner of public communication. You having to text your daughter made me think of that.

  4. Kristy...I have a separate form I use for myself..Rev 29-5. It gives me immunity from having to fill out any forms.

    Ben...I know I have tried those twisty bulbs, but they just don't have the lumens I require. For some things, I require good old-fashioned incandescent.

    Geof...I am thinking of taking away her cell phone, but then I have to manually walk to her room to chastise her.

  5. Oh my gosh this is so true! I love your last comment "And they say families don't do things together anymore." LOL!!!

  6. This is a wonderful post Joe!!!
    I fear the day my son emerges from adolescence into his teen years.

  7. Beverly...I am going to do a post about you NEVER HAVING SEEN STAR WARS before...if that's ok. You are one in a million!

    LIsa, the day will come sooner than you think. Even though The Daughter is almost 13, time goes by so fast, I am STILL excited about her being out of diapers!

  8. And I had to go and have THIRTEEN of'em!

  9. You know, I thought of that...we only have ONE...I don't know how you do it. And some are single-parent households.

  10. That is fine Joe! It is so funny to me that it seems to be such a big deal but EVERYONE I have ever told this to is absolutely dumbfounded! I guess now that I am retired I will have to watch it with my grandkids ... maybe ... hmmmm ... don't hold your breath! ; )

  11. This is a really good post...so funny! I'm sorry to say this, but it's probably going to get worse for the next 2-3 years...at least until she's 16! :P