Tuesday, December 29, 2020

I still don't know which switches control which lights in my house

Nearly six years ago, I wrote a blog post lamenting the fact that I can't figure out the light switches in my house. You can either click that link to read it, or keep scrolling and I'll paste it below.

I am sad to report that there has been no change on this front since that 2015 post.

The other night my wife tested me on it. It was a two-question quiz and I got one right.

We were in the kitchen, so she asked me which switch turned on the light under the ceiling fan there. I had to think about it for a second, but I got it right.

Then she told me to turn off the light near the stairs in our living room. I knew this would be trouble.

Actually, I had a 50-50 shot at it and guessed wrong. I knew roughly where the correct switch was, I just happened to select the one next to it.

It shouldn't be that tough.

Anyway, here's what I wrote back in 2015:

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I've been living in the same house for almost 12 years, but in some ways it still seems new to me (MODERN-DAY EDITOR'S NOTE: We've now been here 17 years.)

Like the smell of the basement bathroom, for instance. It's not used that often, and the door is generally closed, so it maintains a certain "new" smell.

And almost the entire upstairs area is relatively unfamiliar to me. All four bedrooms belong to various kids, so the only time I generally go up there is to put Jack to sleep for the night. It's like it's part of my house, but at the same time it isn't.

Then there are the light switches. Altogether, I would estimate we have 300 light switches in our house. Not really, of course, but it seems that way to me. And my wife knows exactly what all of them do.

You probably would, too, if you lived here, because you are at least of average intelligence. I, on the other hand, am quite clearly brain damaged. For more than a decade I've been using the light switches, yet I can't quite tell you which light is controlled by any given switch.

Is that bad? It is, isn't it? I'm thinking it's indicative of some sort of brain defect. I should know, after an entire decade-plus, what each light switch does. But I don't.

The consequence of this is that when it's time to turn out the lights in, say, the living room, I flip a dozen different switches up and down until I hit the right combination. I might manage to darken the room, but at the same time I've turned on every external light we have.

My wife is amused by this, and she understandably can't fathom why this confuses me so much.

Even the three switches in our master bedroom puzzle me sometimes. Terry will ask me to turn on the ceiling fan, and I flip the left-most of the three switches, which does not appear to do anything and could – for all I know – have turned on the neighbors' bathroom light.

(NOTE: I just walked over to the light switches here in our room and flipped that left switch. Turns out it controls a light in the ceiling just outside our bedroom door. Who knew?)

Someday, when I've lost my faculties and I spend my days talking to house plants, you'll all be saying to one another, "Yeah, it all started with the light switches..."

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