Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Haunted Light Switch

Like many homes these days, we have a few electrical outlets
that are grounded...I think it is a 'safety feature'. I know you
have seen them, they have those red and black buttons on
them so you can reset them:

I believe that when you have outside electrical outlets, and
they get wet when it rains, it trips them off, and you can't use
certain outlets inside the house that they are connected to
until it dries out. You can hit the red reset button on the
switch, and the other outlets will again work. But if the switch
is still wet, it will trip off again.

So let me finish setting this up...it just so happens that I
have the reset switch in MY bathroom, and luckily enough,
the electrical outlet in The Daughter's bathroom is connected
to this switch. Which means I have the power to turn the
electricity in her bathroom on or off.

Being a teenager now (well, in another 3 weeks, anyway) she
spends a lot of time in her little bathroom. She needs power for
her radio, her hairdryer, and the small lamp she has plugged in
for a nightlight.

It rained all day here yesterday. We got home from work and I
knew the switch had tripped. I hit the red button to reset it,
but if the circuit is not completely dry, it will trip off again
after a minute or two.

The Daughter heads into her bathroom to primp and preen, and
when the switch trips off the light goes out in there. I hit the
reset button again, it stays on for a minute, then goes off. I
can hear the grunts of surprise coming from The Daughter now
as the light goes on and off.

"Madre!" she calls (she is on a kick where she calls us Madre
and Padre). "The lamp in my bathroom is creepy!"
(Creepy is one her favorite words lately, and I am known as
a 'creeper').

"What do you mean, creepy?" asks my bride.
"It keeps turning off and on by itself. Come look."

My bride goes in there, the lamp is on. "It's fine," she says,
and leaves. Now it flips off again, and I hit the switch to
turn it back on from my remote location.

Are you starting to understand how much fun I have with
The Daughter, and how much she no doubt enjoys living in
the same house as me?

I decide to go into her bathroom to see what is going on.
"May I help you?" she asks graciously.
I make a big show of unplugging and re-plugging the cord into
the socket, and make sure the bulb is screwed in tightly.
"Seems ok to me," I tell her. "Are you sure you didn't bump it?"

"No, it keeps going on and off by itself. It's creepy!"
"Well, if I fix it, can I have a hug?"
"No, go away, creeper!"
I go and fetch a Hug Coupon to bring her.

When she was ten, she made the mistake of creating a stack
of Hug Coupons for me...each one is good for a hug, all neatly
drawn out.

When she gave them to me, I asked her if there were
any restrictions, black-out dates, or expiration on them. She
assured me they would be valid forever. Little did she realize
that in two years she would be twelve, and have little desire to
hug her daddy.

However, surprisingly, she still honors those coupons, and when
I present one to her, I still get a hug, however reluctantly. As
I get my quick hug, I realize she is not very much shorter than
I am. I remember back just 12 short years ago how I used to
carry her cradled in one arm like a football, with a spit-up towel
always draped over my shoulder.

Now when I look in her bathroom, I see bras on the floor, razors
in the sink, and deodorant in her cabinet. I wipe back a tear
from my face as she terminates the hug.

I make it a point to not bombard her with too many hug requests,
lest she get upset and refuse to honor them. I do not abuse the
privilege of the Hug Coupon.

Peace be with you.


  1. That's a sweet story. And I know the bugger of those outlets that are easily tripped.

  2. Nice story Joe.
    It's all about the memories!!!

  3. now i have a tear in my eye...

  4. Thanks for the comments, ya'll. You are too kind. It is so amazing and cool that someone is actually reading my ramblings, and I appreciate it.

  5. That is so cute..made me go and get a big hug from Mia (while she still likes to give them!) x

  6. That story was too cute :) And since it wasn't that long ago that I was a teenager, I understand the whole not wanting to show affection thing. I don't really know what made us teenagers act that way...maybe it had something to do with needing to appear all "big and bad". She loves you though. Even if she doesn't want to give a hug, she still loves you :)

  7. OMG you crack me up... How many more coupons do you have? Are they hand written or can you make copies?

  8. That was a fun, sweet, and somewhat sad story! I SO relate to the mischevious side. That's MY job. Maybe it's because I'm the "unusual" mom and mine are all boys, that they seem to appreciate me more for it! I feel very fortunate to have 3 teenage boys who hug me daily on their own accord. I hope it lasts forever. I guarantee she'll come full circle in a few years!

  9. Kitty...hug Mia as much as you can. Although I suspect since you are the Mommy, she will continue to allow hugs into her teen years.

    Sam...yes, you are probably right, she wants to feel independent and grown up. I know she loves me. (How could she NOT?)

    Kristy..she made a stack of them out of Postit notes, I still have about an inch's worth. They are all hand-written, she put some work into it.

    Thanks Susan for your input, we are glad you are 'unusual'.

  10. It was a lovely story Joe, of course, but so many things in that made me LAUGH !!! Oh god, I'm still laughing, really. I can totally relate to your daughter! I gave my parents a few coupons of my own when I was younger and penniless, but they were for chores--because I hated doing anything housework-related at the time. They had the happiest Christmas, really. And, oh, the light switch trick...made me realize I have the same one in both our bathrooms. I feel powerful--and slightly evil--all of a sudden (it's a terrific sensation)!

    Like Samantha said, don't worry about the not-wanting-to-hug thing..I had it too! ;)

  11. You honestly sound like the cutest, BEST dad ever!!

    Hug coupons....priceless!