Trick? Or treat?


Two or three Halloweens ago, my husband and I shelled out massive amounts of money to have our garage doors replaced.  Trick?  Or treat? 

The old doors were heavy and cracked, freely admitting the winter winds, and, occasionally, even snow.  And every time we put down the doors, the mechanism shook and rattled in its overhead cage. 

The new doors were pretty; insulated; clean and white.  They had new trim, clean and white.  We were pleased with ourselves and our new purchase; satisfied with this small improvement to our home.

There was only one problem: In warm weather, my door refused to close.  I’d hit the button and the door would go down about a third of the way.  Then, stubborn old thing, it would pause, as if deciding something, before retreating back up overhead.  From inside the car, I’d hold the button down, but the same thing would happen.  I’d get out of the car, still running, and hold down the button by the fancy new keypad whose combination I always seem to forget.  Again, the door would refuse to close.  Finally, I’d turn off the car, slam the door, utter a few swear words, return to the garage, jab a hand at the interior button and hold it down, quite firmly, as if to say I’ve got you now and wait until the darn thing finally cooperated.



I called the installer out.  And like the hair that always decides to look good on the day you’ve scheduled your appointment, the garage doors behaved beautifully.  He pushed the button.  Watched the door go down.  Pushed the button again.  Watched the door go up.

“It normally doesn’t work,” I said.  “In warm weather.”

He arched an eyebrow at me.  “Call me when it starts acting up again.  In the meantime, have your husband put some WD-40 on it.”

I rolled my eyes at V.  This door was going to need more than the placebo of WD-40.  Besides, I am the handyman in the house.  

But perhaps handy is the wrong word: I’m more willing to risk damaging our home with my ignorance than my husband.  Where I am brave, my husband is wise.

Now, it’s nearly spring and the garage door has begun rebelling again.  And this makes me angry.

I’m angry that the installer couldn’t find the problem.  I’m angry that I have to rely upon someone to fix this problem, again contracting out a piece of my life that I cannot handle.  Most of all, I’m angry that I feel inconvenienced by something so trivial as a stubborn garage door.  What happened to the days before electric garage doors were common?  Perhaps if I expended a bit more energy lifting and lowering my garage door, I wouldn’t have to go to the gym as often. 

The other day, V ran the car against the framed entrance to the garage, leaving the white trim streaked with black.  Of course, the trim is vinyl and won’t take paint.

Trick?  Or treat?

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Trick? Or treat?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Trick? Or treat?


Two or three Halloweens ago, my husband and I shelled out massive amounts of money to have our garage doors replaced.  Trick?  Or treat? 

The old doors were heavy and cracked, freely admitting the winter winds, and, occasionally, even snow.  And every time we put down the doors, the mechanism shook and rattled in its overhead cage. 

The new doors were pretty; insulated; clean and white.  They had new trim, clean and white.  We were pleased with ourselves and our new purchase; satisfied with this small improvement to our home.

There was only one problem: In warm weather, my door refused to close.  I’d hit the button and the door would go down about a third of the way.  Then, stubborn old thing, it would pause, as if deciding something, before retreating back up overhead.  From inside the car, I’d hold the button down, but the same thing would happen.  I’d get out of the car, still running, and hold down the button by the fancy new keypad whose combination I always seem to forget.  Again, the door would refuse to close.  Finally, I’d turn off the car, slam the door, utter a few swear words, return to the garage, jab a hand at the interior button and hold it down, quite firmly, as if to say I’ve got you now and wait until the darn thing finally cooperated.



I called the installer out.  And like the hair that always decides to look good on the day you’ve scheduled your appointment, the garage doors behaved beautifully.  He pushed the button.  Watched the door go down.  Pushed the button again.  Watched the door go up.

“It normally doesn’t work,” I said.  “In warm weather.”

He arched an eyebrow at me.  “Call me when it starts acting up again.  In the meantime, have your husband put some WD-40 on it.”

I rolled my eyes at V.  This door was going to need more than the placebo of WD-40.  Besides, I am the handyman in the house.  

But perhaps handy is the wrong word: I’m more willing to risk damaging our home with my ignorance than my husband.  Where I am brave, my husband is wise.

Now, it’s nearly spring and the garage door has begun rebelling again.  And this makes me angry.

I’m angry that the installer couldn’t find the problem.  I’m angry that I have to rely upon someone to fix this problem, again contracting out a piece of my life that I cannot handle.  Most of all, I’m angry that I feel inconvenienced by something so trivial as a stubborn garage door.  What happened to the days before electric garage doors were common?  Perhaps if I expended a bit more energy lifting and lowering my garage door, I wouldn’t have to go to the gym as often. 

The other day, V ran the car against the framed entrance to the garage, leaving the white trim streaked with black.  Of course, the trim is vinyl and won’t take paint.

Trick?  Or treat?

Labels: ,

7 Comments:

At March 14, 2012 at 11:17 AM , Anonymous Sharp Little Pencil said...

Before there were electric doors there were two types: The double-open from the center, common on carriage houses, which I love - and the stupid, ass-kicking, put my mom in the hospital because she threw out her back trying to open the door from the ground up type. Similar to the auto door, and with even more swearing!! Thanks for the giggle, but sorry about your predicament. It's just that you TELL it in such a funny way, one cannot help but laugh. RANT ON! Amy

 
At March 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM , Anonymous Leslicollins said...

"I rolled my eyes at V. This door was going to need more than the placebo of WD-40. Besides, I am the handyman in the house. But perhaps handy is the wrong word: I’m more willing to risk damaging our home with my ignorance than my husband. Where I am brave, my husband is wise."

- Rolling at this, so well said! Just a thought, but do you have a little laser on these new doors? We had them installed with new springs a few years back. If anything breaks the laser - the door retreats upwards to avoid injury. Only problem is that every time I take the trash out, I knock the laser transmitter off kilter and that also causes the issues of non-closure. Just a thought, you've probably already checked that out being the "handy" one in the house.

 
At March 14, 2012 at 1:08 PM , Anonymous Cheryl P. said...

How frustrating it is when something is routinely malfunctioning but the minute the repair guy is looking....works perfectly. Right now my car keeps locking itself. I am not touching the remote pad on my key chain, I swear. I took the car in and the technician says it worked fine. The second I got home my car doors locked by themselves. I now keep an extra key in my purse.

 
At March 14, 2012 at 1:51 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Ha, that's a new one, Cheryl! Hope you get that problem resolved soon.

 
At March 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Oh, yeah. I checked the lasers. I'm telling this happens every single year as soon as the temps hit 60. It's weird.

 
At March 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

No, you're supposed to be laughing. I'm laughing. Sort of.

 
At March 17, 2012 at 6:20 AM , Anonymous Kenya Johnson said...

I am pretty handy too but I definitely couldn't handle a garage door that came off the hinges when my husband was deployed. (of course that's when it happened). The person who came out (same day) was an 81 year old man (VERY FIT). I helped him fix out garage door for $50. Anyway for $50 I also got the advice to use ivory soap to wax the sides where the rollers rub. I'd like to end this by saying our garage door never gets stuck going up or down but I'd be tellin' a lie ;-)

 

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