The invention of the electric light bulb has had a dramatic impact on the American way of life. I know what you’re thinking – it’s something along the lines of “Duh!” Just stay with me for a moment.
At this very moment, there are 4 fixtures in my home that have burned out light bulbs. These bulbs have been burned out for more than a week, and quite possibly for more than two weeks.
One of the burned out bulbs is over the stove in the kitchen. While I guess this might be a problem if you’re actually cooking something, I haven’t found the lack of light at the stove to be an inconvenience at all. Enough said.
However, the lack of light from the other three bulbs causes me some little distress. I pick out my clothes in the dark because there isn’t a working light in my closet. (No, I’m not going to show you a picture of what I’m wearing today. I don’t care that teal and red dots and yellow stripes don’t match.)
The light over the mirror in my bathroom is also dead. At least I have the comfort of knowing that no one is looking past my bizarre clothing choices to check out my make-up. My lipstick is bound to match one of the colors I’m wearing anyway.
The fourth burned out bulb is in the living room, in a lovely standing lamp placed strategically next to my favorite armchair. Unfortunately, the flickering light of the lavender-scented Yankee candle that I’ve been burning since my lamp went out is woefully inadequate for reading. Now I know why people used to go to bed at dusk.
But there’s a simple solution to this problem, you’re thinking. Why don’t you just change the bulbs? After all, how many teachers does it take to change a light bulb?
Ah, my friends, if only it were that simple. It takes one teacher to change a light bulb as long as that teacher isn’t me. Just reaching out my hand near a lit light bulb will cause the bulb to blow, usually with a loud pop. And there I am, left in the dark wondering why this always happens to me.
As for actually replacing a bulb myself, boy is that an expensive exercise in futility. I can unplug the lamp, remove the dead bulb, put in a new bulb, plug in the lamp, and turn it on, only to watch it blow out immediately, if indeed it lights at all. I have such a bad track record with light bulbs that my family won’t even allow me to buy them – and, as you can easily surmise, we buy a lot of bulbs!
So here I sit alone in the deepening twilight, wearing mismatched clothes, my lipstick applied somewhere near the proximity of my lips, waiting hopefully for some kind soul to come give me the gift of light. Perhaps my husband or one of my sons will take pity on me soon.
In the meantime, I’ll take Eleanor Roosevelt’s sage advice to heart: “It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” Hey, do you think she had the same problem as me?