Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Pardon His French

One item that has long been a bone of contention in our abode is the choice of door handles Hick made when we were building our house. It’s great to be able to construct a home on the cheap because your husband has contacts in the construction world. So what if sometimes work is delayed because a contractor is locked up for bar-fighting? He’ll make bail eventually. It’s worth a short delay for an exemplary finish carpenter. So what if your mom is afraid to come over after seeing ZZ-Top-bearded men crawling around in kneepads smoothing out the concrete basement floor? She’ll get over her anxiety eventually. It’s worth it for a smooth finish suitable for press-down tile when you decide to put in a dark basement lair, a NASCAR bathroom, a big screen TV, and a pool table.

But getting back to those door handles…Hick chose French door handles. A lever, not a knob. I don’t know what I was thinking to agree. Let the record show that I WAS gestating The Pony during that time, so perhaps I was not thinking clearly. You know how you can put those plastic spinny things on doorknobs that you don’t want your todder to open? They don’t work on those curlicue French levers. And another thing. Those levers purely live to poke into your shirtsleeves when you’re unawares, nearly causing dislocations of wrist, elbow, and shoulder.

Much like back in 1963, when Frances Houseman was called “Baby” and it didn’t occur to her to mind…it didn’t occur to me to mind that my brand-new house was being fitted with unforgiving fixtures on every door.

Of course, I’ve never been all that picky about my living arrangements. Sure, I DID move out of that brand-new basement apartment in college when it flooded with three inches of water the weekend I moved in my furniture. But the summer before, it had not occurred to me to mind that the three roommates in my summer house behind the dorm did not notice when a cat gave birth behind the sectional couch and raised her kittens in private for two weeks. And I stayed put another summer in another house when my five roommates pointedly ignored the mushroom growing out of the carpet next to the bathtub. Once I hit the adult classification, I had no problem living in an apartment over a garage, where I had to stoke the wood furnace IN the garage when the owners went away for a weekend. Nor with the train rushing by my old railroad hotel apartment twice a day, twenty feet from the brick wall, shaking my 30-degree sloping bedroom made from a screen porch.

So anyway, my point is that I’m pretty bitter about Hick’s choice of door handles, even after all these years, because they reach out and snag me no matter what I’m wearing or carrying. I have no idea what possessed Hick the major hillbilly to choose these fancy-schmancy portal accouterments.

It's not like we live in a ski chalet in the French Alps, you know.


  1. But when your hands are full, you can elbow them open. You can't do that with a knob.

  2. Can't handles and doorknobs be swapped out for others? I'd never want to design a home because I'm sure I'd make all kinds of impractical choices.

  3. But perhaps he's trying to bring a little New Orleans to the family mansion?

    Does Hick eat French fries?

  4. My comment was sent before I was finished.

    Does Hick eat french fries?

    Does he eat french bread?

    Does he ever prance around in a beret?

    Since I am SURE the answer to all three of those questions is yes, it is obvious that Hick is French and he is trying to bring some of his heritage home.

    Shame on you for trying to squash his pride in his family background. You've got husband from fine European stock. Apologize to him immediately, and embrace all of his loving touches to your home.

  5. He got a great deal on them. And he thought he was being nice, giving you something he considers a luxury. I know this because I have lived with his twin all these years.

  6. Just don't let him cook like a French chef. You'd be better of dead.

  7. joeh,
    Where are you trying to go with such full hands? Are you coming out of the pantry with your midnight snack? Out of the bathroom with your entire home library? Or trying to get into the bedroom with hanky-panky accouterments?

    Yes, they can be swapped out. If you buy the swappers. I can't imagine Hick removing perfectly good door handles. That goes against his junking mentality. And I can't imagine me removing perfectly good door handles and putting on new door handles. That goes against my skills as a handyman.

    Are you volunteering to swap them out as long as I make the selection? Because we can keep this our little secret, until Hick goes to open a door with his hands full.

    Hick eats everything except tuna, and he'll eat that if I call it tuna salad. I'm sure he would prance around in a beret, though where the beret was placed I cannot guarantee. FRENCH? But he wears deodorant! Not that there's anything wrong without that...

    That must be it! They were in a barrel at the end of the aisle, marked CLEARANCE. Now I understand.

    If I let him cook, I WOULD be dead. Either from the vittles he stewed in an old spittoon, or from the kitchen cleanup I would endure after.