Friday, August 17, 2012

I Have Fulfilled My Destiny!

Okay, remember all those silly serious aptitude tests we all took in high school that were supposed to help us narrow our focus to a career path? Well, when I was in high school, I was a bit a lot confused and overwhelmed by the future and what role I was to play in reshaping the world into a better place and all that stuff. I needed all the help I could get, and so I took those tests really seriously. I remember the one that I worked the hardest on also had a manual dexterity part where we had to see how many colored pegs we could pull out of a board, reverse, and push back into their spots in a certain amount of time. I can remember how intensely I focused and concentrated and flipped pegs just as fast as I could, and I have to say, I left the other kids standing in the dust. They could probably do more math problems in the time limit, but damn, my dexterity was off the chart! (I was pretty sure I'd done really well on the reading and writing bits, too.)

So, when I got the envelope back with the results, my heart was pounding. I knew I was destined to be a great writer, but with that manual dexterity score, maybe I would also be a great -- I don't know, violinist? No, surgeon! That was it. I would become a brain surgeon and save lives with my supple, fast fingers.

I scanned the letter, waiting for it, waiting for the big reveal of  my destiny, and on the bottom line it said that with all my scores combined, the career that I would be best suited for was...

Venetian blind repair.


So, where would I be today if I'd followed my destiny?

I just Googled Venetian blinds, and you can buy a very nice blind starting at $10. I found one very top of the line light filtering blind for $100, but most were around $35.

Then I Googled Venetian blind repair and found one shop that would repair Venetian blinds. It's in the state of Washington, and they charge between $35 and $50 to fix your blind. Now, I can see that if you have a house full of top of the line blinds and one broke, you might dish that out to fix it. So I guess, to follow my career path, I should move to Washington and see if this company will hire me ("My qualifications? Um, no, I have no idea how the things work or what makes them stay up or how the louvers open and close, but when I was in high school, I took this test, and...")

I have Venetian blinds in my house (the $10 kind) and they're pushing twenty years old. They're getting pretty worn out, at least, the ones that the cats didn't try to climb when they were kittens. Those unfortunate blinds got thrown out a long while ago. But this week, a blind that I still use a lot broke. I like to put it down when the sun is beating in the kitchen on a hot day, and open it so I can see out later. It was kind of hanging there half up and half down and looking pretty ratty, so I decided it had earned its well deserved rest after twenty years and could go to whatever paradise awaits worn-out Venetian blinds.

BUT THEN -- I remembered my destiny. This was it -- my chance! I was meant  to fix this thing! It was preordained! This was my opportunity to prove that those tests were not a waste of time after all!

I wrestled the blind out of the brackets that had held it in place for twenty years. (Cough, choke.) I laid it out on the operating table (well, I moved the tablecloth off the kitchen table). I studied it. I contemplated the intricate weaving of the cords. I saw where one had come out. I re-threaded it. I wound it back and forth, I fussed, I sweated, I used every bit of dexterity my fingers had in them. No brain surgeon could have used more care than I.

And I did it! I got the cords to move freely again, and the blind to go up and down!

Bursting with pride, I put the thing back into its brackets and pulled the blind up.

Only to discover that it wouldn't stay up. Somehow, I'd bypassed the little grippy thing with rollers. That must be what holds it up. Huh. I stood still a while. My shoulders were aching and I really had some writing that needed to be done. And I had a faceful of dust.

But this is my destiny, my mind cried! I must repair this blind!

So, I pulled it all the way up, took the cords, and knotted them around the curtain rod behind the little valence at the top of the window with an easy release slip knot. Voila! Blind goes up and down, and stays up when I want it to. No one can tell I cheated got creative.

And my destiny is fulfilled. I have repaired a Venetian blind.

I wonder if I can find my guidance counselor on Facebook and make his day? (Remember me? You told me all I was good for was repairing Venetian blinds? Well, I finally did it! I repaired one! And let me add -- I've published two novels, and I've raised two kids, and I teach students in that school now, and...) But I would never do that.

Would I?

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