Wednesday, May 16, 2012
She Never Ceases to Amaze Me
You would think after 45 years of marriage that the element of surprise wouldn't be a big part of our marriage. It probably wouldn't have been in my way of thinking because I didn't factor in my wife's retirement and how big of a difference it makes. If you count the military, I worked for 40 years but my wife worked for 45 years. She now has free time because the cats and I are low maintenance.
What's that got to do with the element of surprise? My wife has never had time on her hands because when she was working outside the house (I’m not going to make that Hillary Rosen mistake) and she was super busy being the bedrock of our family. She really didn't have time to tinker with appliances or electronic devices that much but I could tell she always had an interest in it. I didn't have the patience to teach her what little I knew. That's the background and now here's the rest of the story.
My wife is very traditional and will always resort to the instruction manual and takes tedious notes before tackling a project she is unfamiliar with. I guess that's why I didn't have much patience in teaching her the basics of computing. I would be at the computer telling her how to apply certain commands and she would stop me in mid-sentence, so she could literally write down every word. I still believe that “hands on” and learning by making mistakes is the best way of teaching.
Yesterday, she surprised me by leaving her traditional world of instructional manuals and relying on her common sense. I had a television sound system installed several years ago but about a year ago, after one of our storms, the system died. I've tried exchanging the power cord and even took it to repair man who told me it would be more expensive to fix it, than to replace it. There you have it, all the answers were laid out for me and I pretty much gave up on it but having those inoperable speakers in the living room bugged the hell out of my wife. We went looking for a new system where I could use the same speakers but the salesman said that my system was out of date, so I heard those magic words again" it's just cheaper and better to buy a whole new system." My wife said she poured herself a cup of coffee and decided to tackle the sound system by using a process of elimination. She tightened all the cables and re-plugged the unit and to her surprise the blue light came on indicating power, this alone supplied her initiative to continue. The RCA cables were color coded so she started plugging them in one at a time. She then called me to do the easy work of using my remote to turn off the TV Sound and test the receiver. I was reluctant because all the answers were already laid out. Anyway, after 45 years I knew I wasn't going to get any rest unless I obliged. On first try, nothing, but she said "just wait a minute," and rearranged some wires, and like magic the sound system was working. You could see that glow of pride come across on her face. Rather than having the friendly argument of how she saved me $300-$600, I quickly decided to take her to dinner rather than tell her I wasn't ever going to buy a new sound system. First that would sound unappreciative and she probably wouldn't believe me anyway...:-)
I think my wife was inspired when Dish Network called and said that they had some work to do on our system and that we were not going to charge us for it. The technician told me that the main office noticed a glitch in our system through a signal from our DVR. He said the newer model DVRs have software that are capable of detecting trouble and transmitting that information to the main office. I don't know if I believe all that but it was free and we were having some minor problems that went away.