Posted by admin on January 29, 2018 in Home Ownership |

I’ve worried about stuff my whole life. Oh sure, you say, everyone worries. It’s just part of life. But me, I am an Olympic-level worrier, one who can conjure up the worst possible outcomes and then fester about them for days, weeks, months, even years on end.

I even talked to my doctor about it once. I told him that my family had the Worry Gene and that I had been infected with it. For some reason, he didn’t pull out a single medical book on the subject, only saying that we are not genetically equipped to handle the world we have collectively created.

Still, I worry. It was so bad back in the day that I ended up taking a prescription for it for almost eight years. Now, some would argue that this medicated period coincides almost to the day with my time in Florida. And you’d be right.

Those days are over, thankfully. But now I worry more than I did back then, even though I should have done most of my worrying while I was in this alien land of eternal sun, swaying palms and dysfunctional love.

Worse, I can OCD over it as well, rolling it around in my mind, seasoning it with a bit of doom and gloom and then trying to do something about it, even when no intervention is required or desired.

Case in point. We have French doors that leak a bit. I hear most of them do, but ours was staining the 1″ maple floors we have. Something had to be done. In my mind, it wouldn’t wait until the Spring Thaw when most civilized men would attend to it.

No, I had to fix it worse right then and there.

Now, we’ve all heard tales of how I am genetically inclined to Fix It Worse. It was handed down to me by my father and perhaps his father before him. I have continued to refine it to the point where I can dare say I am a Master Fix-It-Worser.

In the case of the French door, I thought it would be a simple matter. Even as the wind whistled and howled, I thought it would be easy enough to change out the weatherstripping that ran down the door.

I even watched a YouTube video to make sure I would do it right. I used a screwdriver to pry it out from the top and then worked my way down, pulling firmly until the entire piece slid out into my hand.

It was then that I noticed a “surplus” piece at the bottom was still jammed in the slot. I pulled on it, only to find that it had been adhered to the spot with glue because someone, when they fixed the door long ago, decided to fix it worse. Instead of using a piece of slotted board, they simply tacked a regular board in its place. This is why the extra weatherstripping was there. This was the reason, or so I thought, that my door leaked.

So I fixed it worse. Kat was asleep at the time, but I thought I could handle it. I dug and scratched a new slot into the wood with a screwdriver, then trimmed some of the hard rubber off of the insulation and wiggled and pushed. As the pièce de résistance, I caulked it all into place.

This is where things all got a little squirrely. I have never used a caulking gun before. I thought it looked simple enough, so much so that I didn’t even look it up on YouTube.

It didn’t take long before I had more caulk on my hand than on the seal. I quickly washed it off, knowing that I should have used the ever-present latex gloves instead. I wrestled the glove onto my damp hand, not realizing that I didn’t do a very good job of washing off all the caulk first. The glove was now stuck to my hand.

Fixing that worse would have to wait, however. Caulk gun in hand, off I went again, as the wind continued to fill the house with a wintery chill. Finally, I caulked it enough, I thought. I carefully closed the French door from the outside to let everything set in the proper position. For once, I didn’t lock myself out of the house. A brief moment of pride there.

It was then Kat woke up. Well, in truth, I woke her up. I needed some help getting the glove off my hand.

She inspected my work, and after a long laugh at my story, told me to leave it all alone until the next day.

I did as I was told. For a while. Then the worry gene took over. I began to obsess about my disrepair job I had done and how I needed to fix this and that, even though it was pitch black outside.

“I’m going to bed,” Kat finally announced.

I said, “Great, just as soon as you do I’m going to check on the door and fix it worse some more.”

“And how are you going to do that, dear?” she asked, not even bothering to look up from her iPhone.

“I’m going to throw a bucket of water at the door and see if it leaks.”

“No you’re not,” she said.

“Spray the garden hose at it?”


“Squirt gun maybe?”

“No dear,” she finally said, exasperated. “You’ve done enough fixing it worse for the day. I will take care of it tomorrow and decide if I need to redo any of it.”

I turned to my own phone, trying to find a YouTube video that would show me how to win this argument. There weren’t any. I finally gave up, and with tail tucked between my legs, headed for bed.

In the morning, as the coffee perked, I looked over at the door. It was calling me to fix it worse some more. It was mocking me in the darkness, pleading with me to make myself more of a fool than I already was.

I turned a cold shoulder to its almost continual overtures. Kat would handle it, I told myself over and over again. “She adores me. Even when a door doesn’t.”

In the Emerald City, desperately wanting to play with my caulk,

  • Robb



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