December or thereabouts: electricity stops working on exterior wall of bedroom, in closet and vanity area, and above tub (light above toilet is fine); CC brushes teeth, washes face, and deals with contact lenses in the dark, and moves hair drying and styling to a bathroom with working electricity.
End of March: CC realizes man she has fallen in love with is the wrong man.
First three weeks of April: CC is off the road.
First week of April: CC schedules electrician to fix the electricity, starts going to rock-climbing gym to distract from heartbreak.
April 14: Fluorescent bulbs in vanity area of bathroom stop working altogether after a period of vertigo-inducing flickering.
April 17: CC goes to nearby Walmart for contact lens solution and also picks up fluorescent bulbs. CC heads straight to bathroom, realizes that she did not grab the stepladder from the garage, decides that she is a rock climber now and doesn’t need it, climbs up onto sink. Upon standing, she realizes that she has instinctively grabbed onto the towel bar for stability, admonishes herself that it wasn’t meant to provide support to things that weigh more than towels, and takes her hand off the towel bar.
CC removes first fluorescent bulb and discovers that the bulbs she bought at the store are a foot too long. CC curses, accepts that she has to go back to the store, and jumps down from the sink, again instinctively grabbing the towel bar and RIPPING IT OUT OF THE WALL.
CC returns to Walmart, returns bulbs, find out that Walmart does not carry the correct size bulb, and girds her loins for a trip to Home Depot. She comforts herself that she would have had to go anyway because of the two massive holes in the wall where the towel bar used to be.
CC arrives at Home Depot and faces the aisle of bulbs. The bulb guy explains to her the differences in the bulbs (also that while the bulbs she’s replacing lasted 30 years, the new ones will probably only last 5-7 because quality has gone down), she selects two, then heads to the spackle department. The nice woman there listens to the problem that needs to be solved and directs CC to a patch, spackle, and putty knife. CC finds the towel bar aisle, agonizes, selects one, and skips to checkout, where she realizes she does not know where there might be a drill at home.
CC finds the drill section and considers moving to another city and changing her name. She selects a drill and tries to find the right bit. Not knowing what size bit she needs makes this task more difficult. Also, bits seem only to come in sets of 100, which is more than she needs or wants to buy. During this process, CC has been muttering and talking to herself out loud. Yet another kind Home Depot employee comes to her rescue, opens one of the towel bar boxes to find the instructions, locates the smallest possible kit with the bits she needs, and marks a fair price on the kit that has lost its UPC packaging. CC considers asking this 65-year-old gentleman to marry her.
One hundred and thirty-five dollars later, CC drives home, sweaty from stress and disgusted frustration. She grabs the stepladder from the garage on her way in the house, replaces the fluorescent bulbs. Angel choirs sing when there is light. She cuts the patch down to three smaller patches (she decides she might as well rip the unstable towel ring out and patch that hole as well), sands, spackles, and waits for it to dry, about an hour.
During this hour, while vacuuming and dusting the drywall mess, CC loses all enthusiasm and energy for this project and decides that she does not need a towel rack right away.
End of May: CC comes to the end of a five-week stretch of traveling.
May 28: CC decides it’s time to tackle the towel bar situation and charges the drill.
May 29: CC wakes up, makes coffee, catches up on the world, takes a deep breath, and opens the towel bar box. She follows the instructions, using the included template to mark where she should drill. She installs the correct drill bit into the drill and makes four 3/16-inch holes.
CC can’t find a hammer in the house for the plastic anchor, decides to use the handle of a big screwdriver. The anchor pops out of her hands after the first strike.
CC goes into the garage where she finds three hammers. Like Goldilocks, she selects the medium-sized one.
CC begins hammering the anchor into the wall. It doesn’t go well. CC perseveres, because that is what CC does.
The anchor warps into a useless shape. CC tries to claw it out, discovering that the medium-sized hammer is very, very rusty when it leaves reddish-brown streaks on the wall.
CC’s cursing continues.
The anchor will not leave the wall. CC accepts that she is going to have shift the placement of the towel bar and start all over again. CC goes to the kitchen for the utility knife and cuts the head of the anchor off so it is flush with the wall and busts out the spackle to fill in the four holes she just made.
Tomorrow, CC will go to Home Depot with the remaining plastic anchors, find a kind employee, and ask if there is a sturdier option that will tolerate hammering. Maybe. She has survived without a towel rack for this long; she can probably go longer.
Y’all. Between all of this and the skylight that was leaking and had to be repaired, as God is my witness, I’ll never be responsible for a house again.
If only you could call a friend who has done this many times and possibly used to work for The Home Depot. It does make me laugh to hear about your bulb and towel bar adventure. 😉
I have to attack these things when the mood strikes! Plus, it didn’t seem like it would be that hard. I’ve hung other things that needed anchors.