In my family, most repair jobs tend to be on the hodge-podge side of things. The attitude is, “It’ll be strong, but it’s not necessarily going to be pretty.” When the plug started to short out on my mom’s hair-dryer, my dad replaced it with an industrial cord and plug so solid, it looks like you could run a household generator on it. When the handle of my suitcase half-detached in transit between Philadelphia and Portland, my father fixed it with three inch bolts and a hunk of wood. It’s solid, it works, but I’m sure every time the TSA inspectors open up my bag to take a look (and they do every time) they look at that thing and think, “what the hell?”
Well, I realized yesterday that I’ve inherited this particular family trait. My dining room chairs are starting to fall apart and last night I tried to fix them. My grandparents bought them about 18 years ago, and somehow a long the way they’ve taken a beating. The screws are starting to fall out, and when I go to tighten them, I discover they’ve been stripped by some other well meaning person, trying to make the chairs a little sturdier. I had taken a trip to Lowes on Saturday to buy screws (as well as more pots and soil for my apartment garden) and last night I took out my drill (it was my 25th birthday present from my dad, I make him use it every time he comes to visit) to see if I couldn’t make my chairs a little more solid.
Well, I got the wrong screws. But I didn’t want to give up, or leave the chairs more wobbly than when I started. So I decided to glue and clamp, and finish the job with new screws at a later date. Well, one chair is now glued and clamped, but I’m a little afraid to take the clamp off. Here’s where the hodge-podge part comes in. I’m planning on just leaving that clamp on there until my roommate says something. He’s a pretty mellow guy, so I’m betting he’ll let it slide right on by. It doesn’t impede the use of the chair, just extends it’s girth a bit.
I truly am my father’s daughter, just happy to make the fix with whatever works. After all, he’s the one who bought me the clamp.