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That sound you heard yesterday was me screaming in pain because my shoulder went out on its rotator cuff.

Okay, let me back up and explain.

A. and I have a lovely house. What is not so lovely are the decorating choices the previous owner had made. Every inch of the house has wallpaper. A. and I spent last summer removing the wallpaper from the upstairs. We spent hours scraping and cursing (sometimes the latter seemed more constant than the former). We laughed at the wallpaper. I mean, look at this paper that was in our small bedroom:

Rah Rah for State! Let's go to the roller rink after the game and have a malt!

Truth be told, I loved that wallpaper. Yes, it was stained, and there were holes in the wall so the paper needed to come down. But as a former competitive roller skater (yes, you read that correctly), I took this as a sign that the house was destined to be ours.

However, the dining room chandelier was a different story. It mocked us. It was loud, obnoxious, and purple, and plastic. To begin with, I hate the color purple. You know those senior citizens who proudly and loudly proclaim, “When I am old, I shall wear Purple!” Yeah, well, right now, I am going to wear whatever the hell I want, stay soaked in gin, and give a hearty “bite me” to those other people.

In a nutshell, our dining room chandelier is an old woman I can’t stand.

If it could, this chandelier would totes give you a Werthers Original and try to set you up with the cute son of her bridge partner.

So, after a marathon weekend of wallpaper peeling, sanding, priming, and painting, that lamp was ready to come down and be replaced with a sleek, modern drum light. My gin martini with olives to your purple fruity drink.

That is when the fun started. Since before we moved in, we had the floors refinished, the chandelier was pinned to the ceiling with a plastic clip. Standing on a chair in my socks, I reached up to cut the clip. That would be when my shoulder went out on its rotator cuff. Screaming in pain, the chandelier swung dangerously close to my head as it came down, and at the same time, I was trying not to lose my balance and fall off the chair while simultaneously putting my shoulder back in. A., in a cross between fear (IS THERE BLOOD COMING FROM YOUR HEAD?) and panic (WHY IS THERE NO BLOOD? ARE YOU HAVING A STROKE?), wasn’t sure what to do. By the time I managed to pop my arm back in, get off the chair, and curse the lamp, I was ready to shoot the damn thing down.

Alas, when we finally managed to pull the light down from the ceiling and start to put in the new one, we realized the wiring was old, and we couldn’t reach the junction box. We played around with the wires and started to lose patience. At one point we broke a lightbulb as the fixture went plummeting to the ground. I started to beg A. to call the electrician. But we figured, we would try one more time, the room is so close to being finished, maybe the fiftieth time is a charm…let’s turn the breaker back on, and see if the light works. A. went down the basement. And then I screamed for a second time that evening due to the sparks flying out of my ceiling. That’s right – two college- and master’s-degree-educated adults damn nearly started an electrical fire.

The breaker is back off. The lights in my dining room and kitchen are off until Wednesday when the electrician is coming over to fix everything.

The purple, plastic, old lady chandelier is sitting on my living room floor having the last laugh. Apparently those purple ladies are not to be messed with.

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