Tuesday, February 3, 2009

This Little Light of Mine

The plan was to buy lighting fixtures at IKEA and Ryan would put them up that night. It’s good to be married to an electrical engineer at times like this, right? Wandering around IKEA at 9:00 we were seized by laughter at our current situation. We decided to give up and live in the IKEA. When that wore off we decided that instead of ceiling fixtures we would each buy a reading lamp, and a few spares for guests, and just carry them around the flat, plugging them in as needed. They were cheap. Then Ryan stopped laughing and suggested floor lamps.

I told him I hate floor lamps. I do. When pressed I can’t really explain. They are convenient, sure, but I don’t like cleaning around them. I don’t like that they take up floor space when they could just dangle above us. But Ryan’s fancy use of logic won out and we bought the second cheapest one. The first cheapest had a small reading-lamp light extension about midway up that bent to various angles. I was admiring it when Ryan said “You like the erection lamp?” After that there was no way I could look at it without giggling. What can I say? I’m very immature. So we bought the other model, sans erection.

It was a good thing we did, because at that late hour neither of us could bear the idea of trying to decipher the IKEA picto-instructions. Tuesday I discovered that none of our furniture, no matter how it was dangerously stacked, could reach our high ceilings. Wednesday was spent in a state of despair that we would never have lighting, and would lug our floor lamp from room to room for all eternity. Ryan suggested that I call the Hausmeister and ask him to do it. Herr Kube offered to drop off a ladder the next day, but didn’t volunteer any further help. As Ryan left for work Thursday morning he hollered something about the circuit breaker, and I asked him what the hell he was talking about. He looked incredulous, how have I survived this long without knowing about ground wires and circuit breakers? He gave me a quick spiel and told me not to electrocute myself.

It took me about 40 minutes to figure out the first fixture, during which time I got an eye full of plaster dust and almost fell off the ladder, but after that they got progressively easier. And as long as we don’t have an earthquake, they’ll probably stay in the ceiling just fine. But just in case don’t stand directly underneath them.

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