People used to help me do all the setup and wiring stuff of life, but things have changed. Today, they call me. It’s not like I’m particularly good at it. I’m not. About the best you can say of me is that I’m logical . I can dope how to plug A into B and B into C. Usually, it only fits together one way. If you stare at the plug awhile, you will have an AHA moment.


I guess it’s that Garry is less capable at this stuff than I am. He looks at something mechanical and his brain freezes. Like, say, a vacuum cleaner. I look at it and I figure there’s got to be an “on/off” switch. There has to be one of those step-on-it release thingies so the upright will let you vacuum under things. And there’s got to be a release button on the canister so you can empty the dirt. The problem isn’t whether or not these buttons, pedals, et al are there. The only question is “where”? Garry says just one thing: “HELP!”


Anyway, last night I finally got the extension cords I had ordered. Amazon has a new delivery service. Their own. Not UPS and not FedEx and not even the pretty lame USPS. Nope, it’s AmazonLogistics, or AMZL. I had ordered these from Amazon because I didn’t feel like hauling ass to the mall or Walmart. I figured with Prime, I’d have them in a couple of days.

It took a week. First they sent them to Wisconsin. I got an emailed apology that they had been sent to the wrong city. Then they wandered around the midwest for a while, showed up somewhere in Texas. Got another apology. Eventually, the night before last, I got a note saying they had been delivered. To my back porch.

We have a back porch. A deck. It’s a steep stairway nobody will climb in anything but full light, and never ever if the steps are icy or even wet. Except for one FedEx guy who not only brings the package to the back door (which is on the deck), but knocks and hands me the package to make sure I got it. The man is a saint, but I digress.

It was 1AM. It was pelting rain. I suppose I should have checked earlier, but usually, I get an email to tell me something has arrived. But that’s from UPS, FedEx, or USPS. Amazon doesn’t do that. You have to look at the order to see if it was delivered. I didn’t want the electrical cords out in the rain, so I put on my robe and slippers and went to the back door. No package.


I limped downstairs and checked the front door. Nope.

Went down another flight of stairs to the bottom floor. Checked the two side doors. Nope. Nada. Nothing.

I limped back up the stairs, got back into bed and called Amazon. She said “sometimes the delivery people say they delivered it, but they haven’t.” I said looking for a package that ISN’T THERE in the middle of the night IN THE RAIN is uncool. I know why they mark things delivered when they haven’t been, but I’m too old to be running around in the rain to find a package that isn’t there. Eventually, I got compensated (appeased) and drifted grumpily into sleep.

Last night, I realized I should use those cords. Garry had been unable to use his heating pad for more than a week. The cable box and Roku in the bedroom were strung together with a huge, heavy-duty surge protector that was overkill in the extreme. It was safe, but weird.

I dug through the stuff stored between the dressers (extra bedding and pillows in zip bags) to find the outlets. Moved the lamp plug. Added the new extension with the multi-plug and connected Garry’s beloved heating pad. By then, Garry was done with his nightly ablutions and was offering to help. I let him hold things while I did things easier done with two hands.


Detached the cable box and the Roku. Carefully unplugged and removed the huge, heavy surge protector. Replaced it with a standard extension cord (note to self, should buy shorter extensions for future use). Managed to NOT knock over every single thing on the dresser (only half of them). Booted up TV, cable box, etc. Lights came on. All was well.

Garry was happy. I had brought back the power. And I’m thinking “I just added an extension and replaced another” … but one person’s simple act is another’s miracle.

When I wondered when (and why) I became the woman who fixes stuff? When did people stop helping me and instead begin asking for my help?  I should be glad. If I had to call someone for everything that needs doing, I’d spend my life waiting.

I’m not old enough for that. Yet.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

25 thoughts on “I CAN FIX THAT FOR YOU”

  1. Congratulations. Luckily we do not amazon in Switzerland, it all comes from German, delivery by the Swiss Post which is very good. Mr. Swiss does all the technical stuff with the words “let me do it” and so I let him do it. I am not even allowed to empty the Dyson because he says he can do it better. He is quite good at mending stuff and fitting it up, due to the appliances of a few magical profanities on the way. Yes, he can do it, he is very capable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fortunately, Garry knows he isn’t handy, so he doesn’t break things. I have friends who have to tell their husbands to “Put down that hammer and put your hands in the air.” It turns out, men are not genetically better at this stuff than women. When my son was around, he did it. He was sure I was incapable and never did anything until he was born and grew up and that was fine. It’s not like I really WANT the job. But since life has handed it to me, I do it.

      Profanity is part of the experience. If you don’t curse at least once, you must be doing something wrong 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is an easy one for me. A long time ago when the legend was a wee lad, His Father looked at him in frustration and yelled in his broadest Antiguan accent, “You Damn Stupid Boy!!” Dad wasn’t being abusive. I was a klutz!! I could see where the plug should go but I couldn’t put it into the right place. I’ve never been good at spacial relations. I try to fit square pegs into round holes. I had to retake Intermediate Algebra in Summer School. When computers replaced type writers in the TV newsroom, I almost had a heart attack. Marilyn rescued me when I had to learn a complex new software system or perhaps lose my job. We had a weekend to save me. it was a miracle!!

        Amazingly, I learned how to field strip an M-1 Rifle blindfolded when I was a Marine recruit at Parris Island in 1959. I was so damn proud. I did it first time through. I had studied the manual, practiced several times with my nerves shooting through my brains. That was a major coup for me. I haven’t had many.

        I CAN change a light bulb!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazon….. putting the logic in logistics! I apologize, but as someone who earns their living at a brick and mortar, I have to let out an evil laugh when the “superior” online delivery services goof up like that…


    1. Amazon’s delivery service is not ready for Prime (time). I’m sure they’ll work it out eventually, but they are bad enough to make the USPS look good.

      We live in a shop-free zone. It’s at least 10 miles to Walmart and more than 20 to the nearest mall, so I order stuff when I can. Walmart now has their own version of Prime. Very convenient for stocking up on heavy stuff — cans and bottles — and Garry doesn’t have to do all that schlepping. He may not be handy, but he is pretty strong and still remarkably agile. Still, he’s turning 75 in April and I think he should not be hauling so much cartons and crates and stuff.

      I get a lot of “I CAN DO THAT MYSELF,” but I often wish he wouldn’t!


  3. “I guess it’s that Garry is less capable at this stuff than I am. He looks at something mechanical and his brain freezes. Like, say, a vacuum cleaner. ” Ah yes the old “I can’t figure this out so you should vacuum” trick. I’ve used that myself. And then there’s the “I will probably break the plates if I empty the dishwasher”. That usually works as well!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We no longer use the dishwasher and I’m no fool. We’ve been married a LONG time. I know the tricks. The vacuuming … well … he will avoid it until we are up to our ankles in debris, but he is good about the dishes AND he gets them clean. It is his nightly conquest of dirt.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. You can tell them, but they won’t figure it out. Even lightbulbs confuse him. He can’t figure out which size goes in which socket. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said “LOOK at it. This plug can only fit in one socket.” Nope.

      I just do it myself. It’s faster.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not ‘technical’ either.
    My new computer stuff? according to YouTube it’s simple … and I almost fell for it. But i waited 2 days for Rose’s kid to come over and set it all up.
    It took him HOURS. HOURS!
    I watched.
    NO WAY i could have done all that myself. Glad I didn’t try.
    BUT 2 days without my computer !!!??? I was having withdrawals. Shaking and walking around mumbling …. drinking coffee … enduring TV …
    It wasn’t pretty.
    Glad you got your stuff fixed.

    (weather report … going from 30 below to 0 in a day!!! YAY.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m surprised. My new computer took a couple of hours and that was only because I had to feed it all the data I had backed up onto external drives. Otherwise, it was ready to go out of the box. All I had to do was turn it on and follow the prompts. It was the easiest setup I’ve ever had in all the years of computer setups.

      Just as well because I don’t know anyone i could call who would/could do it for me. I set up other people’s computers. Maybe it’s because I’m not afraid of them? it’s getting it to work exactly the way you like it that takes time … and you can do that over the course of a few weeks as you get a feel for it. Anyway, that’s how I do it. I decide I don’t like this and want it to do it a different way. Then I poke around the system to see if I can find a menu that will let me do what I want. It takes time, but eventually I get there. I don’t need it to be perfect from the get-go. This one needed minimal setup and only one significant installation — photoshop and its plugins.

      Two days without a computer and I would need a straight jacket. That’s withdrawal time!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The hubs is totally not a handy person and he knows it. His first inclination is, “We’ll call someone to fix it.” My first inclination is, “let me take a look at it.” Unfortunately my body’s retort is, “Listen to your husband, stupid.” And so it goes.

    Now, my first husband, he could fix anything. And I mean anything. It was one of the good things about him. Our cars always ran, our house was in top shape, he gardened, and he build furniture. He was a handy man. Too bad he was such an asshole. *shrug*


    1. Marriage is a package deal. Garry is a great guy, but like yours, NOT handy. Never was. I was originally suffering from the delusion that he might learn, but I eventually realized that was not going to happen. We mostly can’t afford to hire people. I do sometimes, because otherwise, the place would just fall apart, but there’s a lot more that needs doing than gets done. I can do what I can do, but like you, my body says NO very emphatically to anything really strenuous. I’ve also realized that not everything is important, so if it isn’t critical and doesn’t get done, well … life goes on. Would be nice, though, to be all fixed up 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. well done! when I broke my elbow and could not vacuum, I showed the vacuum to my husband. His response: “It looks too complicated” I ordered an electric carpet sweeper that I could manage with one arm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garry destroyed two vacuum cleaners in a row. He couldn’t get it together with the whole “emptying the canister” or “changing the bag.” That’s WHY we didn’t have one for several years. it gets pretty expensive buying 4 vacuum cleaners a year …

      Liked by 1 person

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