THURSDAY: The Broom Holder

BY GLORIA HANSEN

Gloria Hansen is a nurse/bluegrass musician/published author from Northern Ontario. Copyright rests with the author.

MARRIAGE: THE PROCESS by which two people become as comfortable with each other as old shoes.

Marriage is the ultimate ongoing learning centre. I have learned, for instance, that if I want something done right, but slowly, I ask my husband. If the quality of work is not important, and it needs to be done quickly, I do it myself. All I needed was a broom holder installed in the cellarway. Nothing fancy, just two screws in the wall, then attach a little gadget to them. Here’s what I would have done: grab a table knife, slam each screw with the business end of the knife, then flip it around and screw the flatheads into the wall about an arm’s reach past the light switch. Hang the broom, done in five minutes or less.

“It won’t be done right, you know,” said the growling resident carpenter. Guess he figured the broom wouldn’t be as well-hung if I did it. . .

“Okay,” I say. Out comes the Big Job Tool Kit—drill, goggles, the whole bit. After about 10 minutes of searching for a stud with a bona fide stud-finder, he throws up his hands in dismay. “These studs are metal!” Yeah, and that means? With an exasperated glare, he spits out: “Now we gotta drill holes in the stud and THEN put the screws in.” Oh, spare me.

Well, the stud was just a bit too far away from the light switch for me to reach, but that didn’t seem to be enough of an issure for all work to stop. At least at noon, there was a glimmer of having the broom hung by nightfall. That is, until I found pieces of straw from one end of the house to the other, and what was left of the broom in a certain black lab’s grinning chops.

With much blood, sweat and curses, the broom holder finally became a reality just before supper. “Come and have a looksee!” Now I said marriage was a learning process, and I complimented him profusely. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that what was left of the broom was at least two feet too high, and that if I tried to reach it, I would end up on the basement floor, in broken pieces. My guess was I would never need it again anyways. That’s why there’s a setting on all vacuum cleaners that reads, “For Bare Floors.”

Give and take, that’s what marriage is all about. I give him the job of installing a broom holder, and he takes an awful long time to do the job. Right.

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