Saturday 03 Dec 2016

Lightbulbs
Jennifer Flaten

A soft yellow gloom permeates the room. The lone light bulb in the corner flickers, changing my normally mild mannered laundry room into the set of a bad horror movie. Any minute now, I expect a knife-wielding maniac to pop out from behind my bin of Christmas decorations.

Of course, in order to get to me he would have to hop over an astonishingly large pile of laundry. My kids don’t believe in the five-second rule for laundry. It does so exist. Simply stated, the five-second laundry says that if clothing falls off the hanger and hits the floor you hang it back up. It is not “dirty.”

For some reason-perhaps laziness-my kids refuse to honor the five-second rule. Hence, the Mt. Everest of laundry now sprouts up from my laundry room floor.

There are four light bulbs in my laundry room; it should be lit up like a surgical theatre. Instead, it’s as dim as an underground rave. Not that I would know from firsthand experience, I’m not exactly rave material.

I am not happy with the quality of lighting at all. The blame rests squarely on the twisty eco-friendly light bulbs.

Look when it comes to lighting up my dark and scary basement I don’t want soft white earth friendly light. I want a gajillion watts; something bright enough to land a 747. 

Yes, I like things well illuminated, I have a thing about seeing clearly. Okay, so that doesn’t apply to my front window, which right now is so smeared with dog nose prints that I can’t see out. I think it has to do with the fact that without my glasses I can’t see.

A slight exaggeration, yes, but really without my glasses the world turns a blurry. Trust me; Monet has nothing on me without my glasses. One of the reasons I don’t like swimming, other than the fact I am bad at it, is that I can’t swim with my glasses on.

In the pool, everyone turns into giant bobbing Easter eggs. With kids, I have to know where they are, I can’t spend fifteen minutes watching someone swim only to realize it isn’t my kid. Yes, this actually happened, no the kids never let me forget it.

I will never be the character in the movie standing in the rain with the water streaming down my face expounding about how much I love geeky male lead.

No, I am the girl bitching the minute one tiny droplet of water hits her glasses. I’m the one who has to stop immediately and wipe the offending water droplet off.

I did wear contacts, until I had kids. One sharp poke in the contact glad eye by your baby will change you into a glasses wearer for sure. Also, with a baby you can’t wake up with your eyes gummed shut-if you wear contacts you know what I mean-and be expected to change a baby in the semi-dark. Who does this?

So, when I have my glasses on I want everything nice and crisp.

Sadly, thanks to the light bulb police this isn’t possible. Thanks to them, I’m using bulbs that make candles look bright. For what these bulbs cost, they should not only light up the room, but, also, provide you with a tea and a complimentary foot massage.

Knowing this day was coming I stashed away a supply of the “good” bulbs. Alas, my supply is dwindling. Soon, I will drive around looking for shady men in raincoats selling light bulbs.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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