Weird question for you: Have you ever seen the aftermath of when a cat is trapped/has been playing with mini-blinds?
Strings hanging everywhere, every other slat bent, broken or missing all together?
Well, you would think that’s what’s happened to all the blinds in my house except for one tiny detail: We don’t own a cat.
What we do have, is a 2-year-old.
In case you weren’t aware, there are few things on this planet that can wield the same destructive force as a curious toddler and while my son Sam, who will be three in July, is one of the brightest, happiest little boys I’ve ever known, he is also — pardon my French — Hell on wheels.
This kid can whirl through the house with the force and raw power of an F-5 tornado, leaving a path of utter chaos in his wake. There is no stopping him, there is no channeling his energy.
All you can do is seek shelter and then attempt to clean up the aftermath.
Such was the case on Sunday when I decided I it was time to finally fix the blinds.
It started out such a simple plan: buy the new blinds, discard the ripped-out-crack-house-looking ones and hang the un-damaged window coverings on the brackets already installed. Piece of cake, right?
Yeah, none of that worked.
The blinds we needed to replace weren’t just regular mini-blinds, there were the nice(ish) two-inch (fake) wooden ones. Plantation shutters I think they call them? I don’t know.
Anyway … As it turns out, they don’t make them anymore — at least, not the same brand. So, of course, they wouldn’t attach to the old brackets. That meant I had to take down all the old brackets and re-install the new ones that came with the newly purchased blinds — which doesn’t sound like a huge deal — but it is.
My house is 100 years old. Do you know how hard it is to drill into 100-year-old wood? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that stuff has completely petrified by now.
So — as I’m trying to drill pilot holes into what I’m fairly certain is just solid rock — it occurs to me that this job is going to take much longer than I had originally anticipated. Much, much longer.
Finally, new brackets installed, I lifted the replacement blind in place only to discover I had made the distance between the supports too close together.
Crap. (Editor’s note: That’s not actually what I said.)
Twenty minutes (and a substantial amount of swearing) later, I was finally ready to hang the blind — only to discover Sam had already gotten to it and had damaged the pull cord to the point where only one-half of the blinds would lift. The left cord’s elastic was sprung out, leaving a coiled up mess of frayed nylon (or whatever) in its place.
At this point, I kind of lost it.
“I’m going to the store!” I screamed in the general direction of my husband before stomping out the back door and driving off to buy a replacement (for my replacement) blind.
And here’s the kicker — they were out.
Sure, they had a plethora of 32’s and 38’s — but no 36-inch blinds. Oh, that poor man who just worked there and happened to ask “if he could help … ”
No dude, there is no helping this situation.
And when he suggested I simply “order them online and they’ll be here in 2-3 days.” Oh, God help him …
I left the store empty handed and was sitting in my car beating my head against the steering wheel when my husband called and suggested I try a hardware store before I gave up all hope.
Again, there was every size and color you could want — except a 36-inch white.
I hung my head in defeat and fought back tears in the aisle of Home Depot.
This story might not have had a happy ending if not for a particularly brave customer service employee who upon seeing the crazy girl in aisle 8 decided to come lend a hand. He informed me all blinds actually measure .5 of an inch smaller so if I thought I needed a 36-inch, what I was actually looking for was a 35.5 — which they had in stock.
He also assured me if I really did need a 36, they could cut them to size.
I could have kissed him.
Spirits bolstered, I returned home with my 35.5-inch blinds and discovered not only would they fit like a glove into the brackets I had already hung — but they were cordless as well.
Until it hit me: I had four more rooms to go.
Kasie Strickland is the managing editor for The Sentinel-Progress and can be reached at email@example.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not necessarily represent the newspaper’s opinion.