Saturday, January 16, 2010

Window Blinds: My Mortal Enemy

Confession time: I cannot, nor have I ever been able to, properly lower Venetian/pleated blinds on windows. EVER. I've had so many people try to teach me; my parents, other family members, roommates - all with no success.

It's so easy to have the blinds go up - just pull on the little string and away they go - bunching up at the top of the window pane.

But say you want to lower them to block the sunlight, or to prevent people from seeing in your room (for example, you need to change clothing) - how the heck are you supposed to know which of the three strings to pull/gently tug/whatever!? I'm a pretty scientific kind of guy - so I always end up experimenting to see which one will actually do the trick... but at best I am only able to make one side drop lower, and at worse I raise the blinds ever so slightly higher.

It is utterly embarrassing to have to ask my roommate to do this seemingly simple task for me - as I had done numerous times at YU. It eventually gets to the point where I feel bad for him and end up leaving them down rather than continuing to pester him. I almost feel like I'm asking someone to tie my shoes for me, since it appears to be such a simple thing to do...

Case in point - this past Shabbos, which I spent with some distant relatives. The accursed pleated blinds were not only in the guest room where I slept, they were also present in the connected bathroom. Now that's awkward.

Note to all architects/room designers who might be reading this - don't ever, ever, put a window at such a vantage point where people from the street level can see straight into a bathroom. I think this is simply common sense, but maybe not... It would be far more functional (and modest) to place such windows at about shoulder level and above (using a person of average height, maybe 5' 7" or so). With this arrangement, blessed sunlight can enter the room, but any voyeur (intentional or unintentional) will be prevented from visual trespassing.

Thankfully, I figured out how to remain out of sight, or so I hope. My hosts didn't receive any complaints from their neighbors - at least that I am aware of. That would have made for some interesting introductions at shul...

I really hope my future wife (whomever she will be) knows the secret to these blasted window blinds. If not, we're both in trouble... unless we don't have any in our future domicile.

I'm the the middle of writing a longer post, so stay tuned. I figured I'd share something a bit humorous with the readers...

Gut Voch / Shavua Tov!


  1. You're right, those blinds can be tricky. Experimentation usually works for me eventually, though. I think the angle at which you pull the cord makes a difference--try fiddling with that next time.

  2. Despite constant trial-and-error (mostly error), it never works for me. As soon as someone else walks over and seemingly does the exact same thing I did, it works! Perhaps this is one talent I am simply not destined to master.

  3. You say you're a scientific type, so let me explain. (Assuming you're talking about the kind of blinds I think you're talking about.)

    Between the strings and the right edge of the slot they come out of is a little slotted wheel thingy. When you pull the string to the left, the wheel thingy falls down, and the string can enter the hole unimpeded. When you pull the string to the right, the wheel grabs onto the string and goes back up to its original position, locking the string (and thus the blinds) in place.

    So, to lower the blinds, pull the string to the left and then let it go up bit by bit.

  4. I think I recognize the type of blinds you refer to (my parents may have some in a room back home), but I don't think that's what I'm referring to. I will re-examine the blinds in my dorm room for further confirmation one way or the way.


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