I’ve always been somewhat handy at fixing things that have stopped working (mostly electronics), but not really in the man-around-the-house plumbing, carpenter sort of fashion, which was always Dad’s job. I think this is a role that men tend to start wading into if/when they live on their own in an apartment or dorm, but only fully embrace the part once they are the Mr. Fix-It following the their wedding.
While our apartment here in Washington Heights is quite nice, nothing is ever perfect and various things have broken down or given us some trouble from time to time. No longer do I have my father’s expertise in handling these sorts of situations, and instead have learned to rely on my own ingenuity, strength, and manual dexterity to come up with solutions. I’ll give a one example here and save a few others that have cropped up in the short time ASoG and I have been sharing our abode for another post.
One fine Friday evening, a brief span of time after I left for shul, ASoG was busy going about her last minute Shabbos preparations when she heard a strange pop. Suddenly, the lights in half the apartment went out – including the Shabbos light in the bedroom, the bathroom fixture, and all the lights in our living room, leaving just the kitchen light and hotplate running.
ASoG had already lit her candles frantically tried to figure out what she could do, which included trying to go find the super, go get me, or contact our Rav here to figure something out. In the end, she realized that not much could be done, given the circumstances, and joined me at davening. After Ma'ariv, she explained the situation to me in order to prepare me for our darkened apartment.
When we returned home, we ended up sharing a romantic candle-lit Shabbos dinner together, which was rather nice. Shabbos day wasn't a big deal, and we made it through Shalosh Seudos, but come Motzei Shabbos we had to deal with the fact that we had barely any functioning lights or working electrical outlets for things like our cell phone chargers.
After havdallah, I called our super and asked him if he could drop by and help us. Unfortunately, he replied, he was away in Brooklyn and wouldn’t be back until Sunday afternoon. He did mention that it sounded like we blew a fuse and suggested I go ahead see if one needed replacing. Sure enough, one of the little circular tube things in the panel on our wall was blackened.
Thankfully, the previous residents of our apartment kept a few odds and ends in what has now become our “junk drawer,” which included a brand new replacement circuit. Having been saved from a trip to the almost certainly closed hardware store, I carefully removed the dead circuit and screwed in the replacement, and our lights came back on. Having never performed this task before, I was excited at my success.
ASoG had been quite worried that I’d electrocute myself, but thankfully I approached the task with caution and am still here to tell the tale.
Stay tuned for more stories of stuff once broken, now fixed and my MacGuyver-like handyman skills.