This is a true story, but I’m not really ashamed to tell it, because I find myself – the “man of the house” – doing things like I’m about to relate all the time. I hope you’ll laugh along with me:
It’s the end of November, which, in the Northeast, means cold temps and snow on the way. It was time to change the storm door from screen to glass. A few days ago, this task was on my Honey Do list, so I went to get the window. It was not in its “usual” summer-season storage spot, behind the furnace with all the other window pieces.
I have a habit of texting my wife at her work very quickly when I can’t find something. This time, however, I was going to show her! After a bit of cursory looking around, I decided to search in earnest for where the window might be. I even grabbed a flashlight to shine behind and next to stuff – appliances and couches and shelves in the basement.
(Here’s my writing skills development part.) I need to describe this lower level. Imagine a U-shaped layout, with the space between the two uprights a wall. There’s the left and right uprights and the base. It’s rectangular, of course, no rounded corners.
The right upright is a finished section, carpeted, currently more or less empty for my wife’s working out, with a mattress and boxspring laid up against one wall, and various other tables and items along the others. The stairs descend into this section. The bottom of the U is the laundry room, along with the furnace and water heater. The left upright is a unfinished, dusty storage/tool/workshop room – which I honestly seldom enter – with shelves along one side, and a workbench along the other. The water main out and sump hole are in there, too. There used to be a fridge at the very top of the left upright, but it’s gone now and there’s nothing there but the blank wall. (Important detail!) There are minimal light sources in each of these rooms. A ceiling fixture with many candle-light-type bulbs for the finished section, two bare bulbs in the laundry, and a single bare bulb in the workshop. We have motion detectors on the bulbs so they turn on when you walk in.
Okay, back to my expedition. I went from room to room in the house – twice – with my flashlight. I looked behind and next to every possible thing the window could be protected by. I opened every closet door. I wondered if the window had been broken (and I had forgotten) before it made its way to safe storage. I recalled times when I put it behind the couch in the living room – but I searched that spot three times. It was nowhere to be found.
Exasperated, I gave up and texted my wife. After suggesting a few spots (like beside the washer), she stated the obvious, in that she was not there, and quite plainly told me that if she came home and (found the thing I was looking for AGAIN)…
How many of you know where the window was?
The moral of the story? I guess is that it’s how we look as well as where, and, above all, what we expect to see that colors our vision. We – maybe it’s just men (I’ve heard others’ stories) – sometimes can’t seem to see the obvious; to see what’s right in front of us.
Comments on my writing appreciated! Could you imagine the basement rooms? Would more detail be helpful to the story – like where exactly the washer, dryer, etc were positioned?
I blog my journey of recovery from addictions and healing from severe health issues at Sharing God’s Story.