My life with servants


I love an obedient nightlight

Glutton or prankster -- I can't decide

Later I will wipe that smile off its face -- I prefer a less self-satisfied toilet lid, but my husband likes it














I’m old school and consider my appliances, furniture, and gadgets to be servants. I’ve heard all the debates about furniture rights and gadget liberation, but frankly, I find it beneficial to maintain clear boundaries. And although I’m worried that the bedroom set may read this blog, I’m going to write about some of the gadgets we use that have made my life bearable.

Those motion detector lights that I wrote about yesterday; we employ some in our house. One works in the garage, and as I leave each day to go to school, it says, “Watch your step, my lovely. And have a nice day.” Cheeky, but sweet.

Another one stays in the entryway between the garage and the office. This light usually says something like, “I’m sorry I can’t open the door for you, but I do what I can do.” It does double duty because the entryway is also the landing of the stairwell to the basement. That’s where the washer and dryer wait, wondering why they only see me on the weekends. We’re on speaking terms, but barely.

We also have motion detector nightlights in each bathroom and one in the front hall. They don’t require any arm waving to turn on, and they stay lit up almost two minutes after you leave the room. I love obedience, especially in nightlights. The bathroom ones are a bit chatty, and say things like, “May I help you tonight? Not sure where to put your hiney? Let me show you. No, I’m not looking.” The one in the hallway is a bit obsequious and always calls me Madam: “Good morning, Madam. Watch your toes. Madam looks like she needs coffee. The kitchen is this way.” I suspect it would like to move to the living room to be able to watch the TV. Not going to happen. My coffee pot is mercifully silent when it offers me a cup of freshly brewed coffee. It’s one of my favorites.

I try not to speak ill of the servants, but I am uneasy about the motion-operated garbage can. I haven’t decided if it is greedy or just likes to joke around. It works fine, but half the time when I walk by, it opens it maw and asks for more. It has startled both the grandchild and me several times.

My husband has his favorites, too. One is the automatic toilet lid. I personally think it puts on airs. It’s not really automatic. When it is in the upright position, you still have to give it a small push to make it go down. But once you do, it moves along at a steady pace. Then it settles down to do the somewhat thankless job of a toilet lid. I shouldn’t complain; it carries its load.

I could go on, but it’s Saturday. All week long I’ve pushed dirty clothes down the laundry chute. Now I’ve got two resentful appliances to face.