Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Life Lessons with Lea: You Can Do It, Put Your Back Into It

I've recently come to realize that not everyone is well-versed in the art of home management and general labor so I'd like to take this opportunity to share my knowledge base on a few tasks I think everyone should be able to do

In no particular order:

1. Plunge a toilet:  Honestly you'd think anyone could do this but I've had a lot of roommates and almost none of them had this skill.  The trick is to establish suction, weighing more than 90 pounds also helps.  Then just put your weight into it.  Oh, you're grossed out?  You think this isn't a classy topic and/or you find this inappropriate for a blog?  Well God help you the next time we're at a house warming and the happy couple's 2 bed, 1.5 bath is down to a .5 bath because of you.  I will not be coming to save your mortified ass.

2.  Assemble IKEA furniture:  I was disturbed to discover you can pay someone else to do this, as well as deliver the item to your house.  You're negating the purpose of entering that glorious hell hole to begin with.  It's DIY for a reason.  IKEA isn't just saving you money, oh no.  They're building your analytic skills, testing your strength, and, for domestic partners, affording you an opportunity to measure the endurance of your relationship.  If you're wondering whether that handsome gent or fine lady you're currently shacking up with will make a solid life partner, buy a tv stand and assemble it together.  The proof will not be in the assembly process (as you will likely curse, cry and vow painful deaths for each other before reaching step six) but rather how you approach each other in the 1-3 days following the ordeal.  If you're able to laugh about the 5 hours it took to figure out side A was actually side B it's likely you can add those monogrammed towels to the registry.  If you're still bitter the casters won't work, perhaps you should hold off on booking that non-refundable honeymoon.

3.  Check the oil in your car: This is such a baseline life lesson with Lea I don't even have anything funny to say about it, just check your oil regularly (Thanks Dad!).

4.  Use a pointed shovel:  Having volunteered with a variety of nonprofits I've seen a lot of corporate volunteers who have clearly never seen dirt, much less been asked to shovel it.  Here's a tip for the next time you find yourself digging a hole upstate for the body of that guy you just whacked; force the point downward by stepping on the top of the shovel and using the weight of your body to push into the ground.  I guess this could also apply for the practice of common gardening, but the sense of urgency and thus need for proper technique seems more relevant in the dead body scenario.

5.  Fold a fitted sheet: I'd be willing to bet my last pair of clean panties (US dollar equivalent of fifty bucks... roughly what I'd pay to not have to go commando all day) that if I were to sneak into your house and open your linen closet chances are there is a balled up crazy pile where folded fitted sheets should be  I'll admit, I learned this one exactly how you'd think I would... from Martha Stewart... on Oprah.  Right?  If you had to bet money wouldn't you guess that would be the winning combo to learn this technique?  Ok so what you do is find the corner seams and with your index finger fold one corner over the other, repeat on the other side and then... ok maybe just youtube it.  Honestly I don't think I can explain this one via blog, but you should know how to do it.  If you can configure wireless internet in your house, you can fold a fitted sheet.

I'm sure I'm missing a lot of important odd jobs able-bodied people should be capable of, but these are the first five that popped into my head.  Stay tuned for part deux! 


  1. change the batteries in a smoke detector...

  2. That was a ridiculously entertaining read...