Buying a nervous breakdown, for less than $1 |

Buying a nervous breakdown, for less than $1

Karel Ancona-Henry
For the Appeal

This is the story of how 92-cent drawer knobs can lead to general insanity.

You think I jest?

As I write this, my house looks like a construction zone, with my chef’s table in the living room, stove in the dining room, dining room chairs in the bedroom, boxes filled with stuff from three different rooms stacked here and there.

Not only is it making me somewhat crazy (symptoms include feeling overwhelmed, inability to focus and general uneasiness), because order is very important to me, but it all began with less than $8 in hardware.

Now, being a fairly decisive person, finding the perfect knobs was a piece of cake. “Oh, look at these beautiful Celtic knot-style little things. They belong in my bathroom.”

And that, folks, is where my decision-making abilities ran out and chaos set in.

From the knobs came the thought that I needed to tile, but first I would need to paint (easy choice) and find new hardware (light fixtures, faucets, towel racks etc.). How hard could that be?

Since my rent-a-husband (he belongs to my friend Cheryl) had moved to Elko (with Cheryl and his son Henry), and there were other man projects that I also needed help with, I contracted my contractor brother-in-law to come in from Idaho and help with those man things.

But before his arrival, there was this knob/hardware issue, and I have learned this process of matching, selecting and deciding is like watching film dailies on a circular loop.

One plot change dictates everything from there on out, and the slightest deviation means another week of filming. Not a picnic for retentive folks like me. With each moment of indecision, also comes a feeling of failure and “why is this so difficult?”

Because now I had to find the perfect matching hardware, which turned into a month-long fiasco and finally drove me to Home Depot, where, because of the company’s support of the Grand Old Party, I had decided in 2000 never to visit again (you know, the old vote with your dollars thing). I only bring this up to underscore my desperation.

Any rate, there I am in the faucet department with my Celtic knot knob trying to match color, keep style consistent and not spend my children’s college fund.

I’m guessing I had an overwhelmed, deer-in-headlights look about me, because men kept approaching and asking if I was OK and if they could be of assistance.

Finally, “Mike” bounced happily into the isle. He was on his own kitchen remodel mission, was enjoying every minute of the process and had very clear direction about what he was doing.

He asked if I was finding what I needed, and of course I told him about how my freaking drawer pulls were dictating the rest of the project and how it had taken on nightmare qualities. And he said …

“Why don’t you get different knobs?”

Really. It could be that simple.

After thinking about the simplicity of the solution for two days – yes two – I found towel racks and other stuff that were on the complete other end of the metals-finish spectrum, bought new knobs (same style, different color), then spent at least a third of the children’s college fund on faucets.

Faucets is where they get you. Once I accepted that, the rest was easy.

Now I just have to get through tiling.

In other news:

Tonight, Dayton Intermediate School hosts its annual Chicken Bingo family dinner and game night, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Parent Faculty Club, cost is $5 per person ($20 for a family of four and $3 each additional member). This includes fried chicken with all the trimmings, beverage and dessert, one free Bingo card and raffle ticket for each person. Additional Bingo cards and raffle tickets cost 50 cents. First Bingo call is at 6:30 p.m.

Last year’s event was a huge success, so let’s make this one just as great.


• Karel C. Ancona-Henry is a Dayton resident and can be reached at 246-4000.