I‘ll admit it, I have an electrical problem. I’m not talking about my house, because it’s so brand new everything is probably under some warranty or other. I’m talking about me.
I have a fairly checkered past when it comes to small electrical and battery operated nuisances. There’s not a watch made that I can’t stop just by wearing it. I even wore a series of them around my neck on a chain – charming little pendant watches – thinking it was the direct contact with me that was the problem.
Nope. About once a month I’d be at the jewelry shop getting a battery replaced or apologizing while my favorite repairman scratched his head in disbelief. As a second-generation watch-guy, he’d seen cases like mine before. Chip died not long ago, and I quit wearing watches altogether.
Light bulbs. Now, they’re a real issue. I can blow a light bulb dark faster than anyone. Those can be a bit pricey to replace, so I tend to leave them be and live with a few lamps here and there. Climbing up and down the ladder that much is a worrisome venture anyway.
As a public school teacher I had an unnerving habit of blowing those little overhead projector bulbs regularly. Students in my classes took this phenomenon for granted after a while and one of the sweet backrow-boys would always scuttle off to the office to bring back more bulbs. Sometimes they came back emptyhanded.
I was rationed. My reputation was so tarnished that none of the other schoolmarms would loan me the use of their projectors, not even in a pinch. We were close friends who would and did share our last dimes and many times our county-line box-wine. Not their overhead projectors, though. They knew better.
There are other incidents. My favorite was the time both Em and I were writing furious poems at the dining room table and the chandelier bulbs began going out one by one. And the other time when we argued loudly over something teenagery and knocked out cable TV for three days. I suspect she’s got a few electrical issues as well.
Oh, and the neighborhood street lights. That’s okay. I don’t walk the subdivision loop anymore and no one on the Homeowners’ Association board has fingered me as the culprit. Let’s just keep that one between us.
The point of all this is that I think it’s getting worse. Recently I’ve found myself stuck in elevators that don’t seem to stick for anyone else. Twice last month and once again already this month. The first one was a particularly good stick, one warranting pushing that button and asking the campus police for a little assistance. The other two I’ll call “stalls.” The elevator hesitated, then decided to deposit me on a floor I didn’t choose all the while refusing to open the door.
The other day, I rode that badboy up and down half a dozen times before anyone could get the thing to release me.
I‘ve almost made friends with the problem, really. It’s a lot like the watch-and-light-bulb thing. If I half expect the elevator to malfunction, then there’s no reason panic. Eventually, the door will open. As long as it deposits me and my trick knee on the first floor, I’m golden.
I figure if it happens again I’m going to outfit that elevator with a comfortable chair. I’d carry a flashlight for emergencies, but that’s just asking for trouble and darkness. Maybe I’ll stow a box of kitchen matches and a fat candle under the cushion, just in case.
29 thoughts on “Dancing the Body Electric”
Oh, I love your writing. I'm going away for two weeks, and I'll miss it. But see what I'll have to look forward to when I get back!
P.S. I can send you my mother's old wind-up watch…
Ok, I am a weirdo when it comes to this stuff, but I guess I kinda believe there is a scientific explanation to paranormal activity and the like. I guess its just my overly analytical mind. Anyway… what I kept thinking is it probably has something to do with the energy that you have as as person. That would mean that you just have so much life energy that you start messing with polarities and electrical currents (which would explain why stuff goes haywire when your emotions are running high). It would explain why your daughter has the electrical problems, lol. It could be semi genetic. I would watch out for the perfect grandson too, just to test that theory. I dont want to make it sound like your family is a science experiment rather than people, but i find all that kind of stuff interesting. Well, Idk if any of that makes sense, or if its all mumbo jumbo lol. Yes, I am a dork. Yes, I overanalyze every situation haha. Anyways, just thought I would share my input, please don't think I am a weirdo.
HOW SHOCKING….sorry….couldn't resist.
Kate, I hope it's a vacation! You know, I never had problems with the old wind-ups. My old Mickey Mouse wristwatch lasted forever. Time to go shopping.
Oh, Nathanael. How could I think you're a weirdo when I'm the one knocking out lights? It's completely electrical. I know there are folks out there who like to think they have “powers” and such, but this is really just a lifelong irritation with what – I'm sure – is a logical explanation. My friends are used to it.
I know exactly how you feel. My grandfather and I had this exact same problem. He always wore a watch out of habit even though it rarely was working b/c he didn't care to replace the batteries. I just don't wear them. Do you have any problems with the remote controls for the tv? That can be an expensive problem!
Sounds to me like you have excess kinetic energy. It may all be mumbo jumbo as Nathanael says, but I put a little stock in the unexplainable stuff that goes on around us. I think it would be worth looking into. There are lots of books out there about personal energy, paranormal activity and the like. Who knows? Maybe with a little research and some effort you and your kin may learn to focus this energy. Now wouldn't that be cool? If you could use it to your advantage instead of it stirring up FML episodes in your life?
This could explain the issues I seem to have with watch batteries. Hmmm… this little suburban Tennessean-Coloradoan housewife (square peg, round hole) is enjoying your blog as she works on her own. Keep on edu-ma-cating those unruly youth of the world.
Hi-larious! I do that to watch batteries, too. And I stopped wearing them because no matter how expensive or cheap they were, I'd ruin them within six months. Thanks for sharing!
Jeanette, ya killin me.
No remote control problems yet, Stephanie, other than losing the damn thing all the time. I tell you, Chip the watch repairman had lots of stories about folks who stopped watches.
Screwedup20, I don't know. If we learned to channel the energy, would my electric bill be cheaper?
GSV, thanks! I'm about to educate the unruly in about half an hour. If they show. It's a holiday weekend and all, so my expectations are low.
See? JMberrygirl has the same issue. I'm telling you, it's more common than folks let on. Watch out for elevators, gal.
Here's what you need to do: stand in a cemetery under a new moon and swing a dead cat over your head counterclockwise while hopping up and down on one foot. 😉
Thankfully I don't blow out lightbulbs, but I'm always creating sparks. At first I thought it was static electricity, but after trying several pairs of shoes, I came to the conclusion that it's just me. I can't go to the store without creating a spark trying to get something off the shelf…opening the mailbox practically lights up the box…then there's the car door – OUCH…and the list goes on. Sometimes when I touch something and it sparks…you can hear the pop from 10' away. Like you, it's something I have to live with! Have an electrifying day!!!
Could it be your MAGNETIC personality? LOL! Very interesting story!
I recently purchased a watch that doesn't need a battery – it's solar powered. It was a little on the expensive side – $150, on sale for $100, but worth it. That might help you.
I've experienced a few times driving under streetlights and they burn out. More than once this has happened. I never thought more about it. Now I wonder. Hmmmm…
You are so funny! I love the way you write.
I believe you said you like to watch storms. I think it would wise for you to stay inside during lightning!
I do this with alternators on American cars. (I have a Toyota now.) I can tell just by the smell when an alternator is about to go.
“I've experienced a few times driving under streetlights and they burn out. More than once this has happened. I never thought more about it. Now I wonder. Hmmmm…”
Pat, you may want to check your headlights' alignments. Often if a headlight is angled too far upward it will hit the streetlight's photosensor and cause the light to go out, thinking it's daytime.
Now if it happens when you *walk* under the streetlight…
Okay, I totally dig the person who said it could be because you have “so much life energy”. I would start introducing myself like that if I were you. You know, “Hi, I'm Monda. I have so much life energy I break electrical stuff.”
Girl, if you ever get stuck in an elevator with me, the little button won't be necessary cause they'll hear the screaming and trying to claw my way out all over the building.
I have a watch that has no battery, no wind up..it winds itself with the movement of your wrist……but the light bulb thing??
How about wearing gloves for doing every electrically-related task? Latex gloves would do in a pinch, probably. Let' just hope your electrical problems don't start affecting your computer keyboard, or we'd all be doomed to NOT being able to read your wonderful posts.
My oh my. That would also explain the computer gremlins, eh? No wonder you like typewriters so much…
I have a car problem. My car decides it's going to hit other vehicles at random. I think it's been magnetized.
the watch and light bulb thing were once a common occurrence for me and then about 6 years ago it ceased. coincidentally that is also when i ended my last serious relationship. hmmm one commenter noted possible paranormal activity… i don't think so… i'm a woman now in my 50's… one possible explanation… hormonal?
note – i thoroughly enjoy your writing.
Everywhere I go street lights die all around me. So much that the Boyfriend That Keeps Staying has noticed, uneasily. Hope this doesn't scare him off.
Olivander, can I swing a dead snake instead? I've got one of those.
Ouch, Calamity. That sounds like getting “the paddles” every time you touch something.
A solar powered watch! Pat, that may be just the ticket.
Thanks, Oklahoma Granny! You know, I love a good storm too much to stay inside. You're right though, it could be risky.
Becs! Alternators cost a fortune. You might want to let someone else start your car. Egads.
Candace, that sounds like I'm introducing myself in a twelve-step meeting. Not a bad ice-breaker, though.
Steven, the light bulb thing is an issue. I need relief.
So far so good, MJ. A good laptop costs as much as a good alternator, and I can't manage replacing either one. Fingers crossed.
I had a car like that once, Julia. I say sell, sell, sell.
Baffled, everything is hormonal. I've known some men that made me want to break light bulbs, though. Coincidence? I think not.
Oh, Em. The Boyfriend That Keeps Staying doesn't look like one who'll spook easily. The fact that he noticed is a good sign, though. Trust me on this.
Hi Monda, my sister has the same thing as you! She has never been able to wear a watch all her life. It doesn't even matter what kind. She bought a house a few years ago. Since then, the washing machine has had to be replaced, the dryer, now the dishwasher is going. She also has this wierd thing with water. The plumbing in her basement stopped working, and I think it was about 2 months her kids couldn't use the bathroom down there. Her old computer stopped working, and because the family wanted to keep in touch with her, we all pitched together to buy her a new laptop for her birthday. I think it lasted less than a year, and then … kaput!
About a month ago, she came to visit me. The day after she arrived, my newly finished basement bathroom stopped working. Oh.. and mysteriously, the day she left my stereo refused to turn on until she was a few hundred kilometers away! I think it's both fascinating and a bit scary…lol. I'm almost afraid to invite her back!
Anyway, I love your writing, and good luck with your inner storm 🙂
Wow, BarbiD, your sis sounds like she's definitely got some mojo! I'm feeling much less destructive now that I know her story. Thanks!
Well, this is the most awesome thing I've heard in a long while! I like Nathanael's explanation, it fits somewhat with what I was thinking.
One day I took a nap and when I woke up, the watch on my wrist was suddenly set to four hours ahead of the real time. Of course I attribute it to an alien abduction.
My father was a mechanic and he soaked up so much electricity over the years that he could make the tv go wonky just by walking past it. He could also start an engine by laying his hands on the right parts. At least his talent was explainable; I don't know about yours…..
Alien abduction is the only explanation, Saphron. I hear they only want pretty people, so it's quite a compliment, really.
Oh, Kat. Your daddy is a novel just waiting to be written – laying on of hands and the engine starts. I love it!
I have a static electricity problem. I seem to collect it so that even on a humid day, touching a car door sends a spark flying. When I worked in an educational supply store and had to use a laminating machine regularly, the laminating film always stuck to me and snapped, crackled and popped with static when I removed it. I can't remember how many times I shorted out the phone if I had to answer it after using that laminating machine. Maybe purchasing so many new phones is what finally bankrupted the owner. And it's a wonder I've never spontaneously combusted while pumping gas into my car.
Janet, that sounds painful. Be careful going out in bad weather, gal!