Skip to main content

Will Work For Metaphors

Christmas was great and all that good stuff, but what I really want to write about is how I just repaired the dryer.  Myself.  

First it must be noted that the reason why it needed to be repaired is my fault: I love to clean out the lint catcher thing.  I find it very satisfying.  So two days ago I did just that in preparation for a load of wash to dry.  But while the lint catcher thing was out (I could google the official name of said piece, but really), I also decided to rearrange the overflowing recycling bag that sits upon the dryer.  It sits there so that it's less at kitty-nose-height, as it usually is on the floor.  Recycled kitty canned food is just too tempting for Scrabble and Clue.  Unfortunately, in my rearranging I managed to knock a cardboard food cover thing from the recycling bag into the now open lint chute.  And down it went.  As irretrievable as ever a cardboard food cover thing could be.  

Hoping that somehow the dryer was smarter than me and it would figure out a way to helpfully expel the thing, I decided to run the dryer anyway.  Unfortunate sounds ensued.  But it was Christmas and I couldn't be bothered with home repair, so it was left for today.

In order to retrieve the offensive piece of cardboard, the entire back of the dryer had to come off, and the chute removed as well.  That part took a very long time, because as it turns out, between Dan and I we only seem to own three useful tools, and none of them worked just right.  So, as the swearing at the dryer began (all on my part: I shooed Dan from the laundry room, determined to do this myself), I slowly and painfully removed the back of the dryer, all the while trying to figure out how to make this experience literary.  I thought: of course, not having the right tools (i.e. not knowing enough about the craft of writing) makes things harder than they should be.  Or, sometimes cardboard (i.e. overwriting) clogs up something that was otherwise working just fine and you have to go in after it, otherwise the whole thing just doesn't work at all.  After about twenty minutes or so, I rescued the culprit from its death trap in the lint chute and felt very impressed with myself and the metaphors I was coming up with.  

I love metaphors.  I grew up with them.  As the daughter of a pastor, I would sit in church and while my dad was preaching, I would come up with parallel sermons in my head, often utilizing a satisfying metaphor to persuade the imaginary audience in my mind.  In my mid-twenties in Seminary (something I still need to figure out how to talk about and then blog about how I figured out how to talk about it), my metaphor skills were really stretched through language studies, deconstructing the parables over the cafeteria dinners, and the Metaphor Game that I used to play with myself whenever I saw a particularly interesting street sign (One Way, Not a Through Street, and Yield could really all mean so many different things about life, the universe and theology).  

The culprit: sweet potato mashed potato box cover.  It doesn't even look like it should be able to fit down a lint chute does it?

All that to say that my search for the appropriate literary metaphor in my dryer repair project kept me entertained for the first half hour.  

Unfortunately, reassembly of the machine proved much harder, so the last hour was just spent swearing.   


  1. How about "Collect $200 and Pass Go" for taking up the call to fix-it yourself, despite a shortage of tools, and not bowing down to calling in a "professional". Kudos on that one Chica and Happy New Year! It's been an age!

    Liz G.

    1. Aw, thanks Liz! And, yes, it's been much too long! We should get together and swap stories about life.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

For Mom, Twenty-One Years Later

I lost my mom twenty-one years ago today. She died from complications related to a long battle with chronic-progressive multiple sclerosis. I was a week away from turning twenty-one. Which means I have not had her as long as I did have her.
It used to make me unique among my friends, to have lost a parent at such a young age. But I’m no longer young and many friends have joined this depressing club. The dues are astronomical and no one prepares refreshments.
People, moms are important. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Whether you were once a child or are currently a mom. They are the sun, moon, and stars, even when they are completely obscured by darkness.
I wish she mattered less. She doesn’t. She matters more than almost anything: that first hit of love, that childhood sense of safety, that initial understanding of what it means to be a woman in the world: mom.

Memory is funny when it comes to dead people: I can remember her any way I want. Which means I can also mis-remem…

Writing is a Confidence Game

Some people just naturally walk around the world feeling like they are hot shit. I'd wager most weren't writers. Oh sure, there are some exceptions: some cock-sure arrogant types who truly believe every word from their pen is golden. They've either been praised too much in their youth or never been workshopped before.

In general though, writers are a needy unconfident bunch. An unexpected side effect of going part-time and tripling my writing efforts is to get way more in touch with this part of myself.

My job has its own cycle of feedback and reward, and mine is not generous in either but I generally know how I'm regarded, and I'm quite confident in about 60% of what I do. The other 40% are either things I'm getting better at, or things I don't care if I ever get better at.

It took me a solid one and a half to two years at this job to feel confident. That's a really long ramp-up time, but universally true for my role in my organization. It's compli…

Book Review: Anything is Possible, by Elizabeth Strout

I inadvertently found myself in possession of an advance reader's edition of Elizabeth Strout's newest book, Anything is Possible. It's set to drop on April 25th.

Scrabble's response to the title: Does this mean I can eat ten times a day?
It's a companion, a follow-up if you will (but not a sequel) to her last novel, My Name is Lucy Barton. Which was fantastic and spare and a perfect example of Strout's phenomenal carefulness in her writing. I loved it for all those reasons. I love Anything is Possible for completely different reasons.

It's a collection of linked stories, not unlike Strout's Olive Kitteredge. Each of the stories showcases a particular character referenced in My Name is Lucy Barton. In My Name, conversations with her mother over the span of a few days reference a host of do-you-remembers, and whatever-happened-tos involving offscreen characters that are delightfully interesting in their own right. Anything is Possible is full of these ri…