Let’s say, for example, you have a hip-style roof and several years ago a tree fell on the house, placing tremendous stress on the structure. The tree is quickly removed, but the potential for future damage, through normal wear-and-tear, becomes a growing concern. Your wife wants it fixed properly, but you convince her everything is fine.
Now, the home has begun to sag from the added weight. So, you contact a specialist who studies the situation and informs you, “Based on my diagnosis, you need a hip replacement.
“Oh, Lord,” you respond, “I was afraid of that. So… What about the other hip? How does that look?”
“Right now it looks fine,” you’re assured, “but keep in mind, the other hip has had to absorb extra stress to compensate for the injured one. It’s quite natural.”
You look over at your wife, who has an “I-told-you-so” look on her face, which only tends to sharpen the pain.
Bitter, you try to switch the subject by saying, “You know, sweetheart, I hadn’t really noticed this before, but the outside of the house is beginning to sag, fade and even peel in places, especially in the lower back and around the facia. Maybe there’s a way we could try to try to stretch the paint ‘til it looks younger and fresher. Then use some plastic to try and hold it in place for a few years. I mean, advancing years can really play havoc with appearances.”
“You know what, darling,” she replies, “I think you may be on to something. Because before today, when I discovered what a sloppy nuisance the roof has become, I never really noticed the shingles.”
“What about them?” you ask.
“Well, for some reason, almost all the shingles on the front and top of the roof are either badly faded or gone altogether. And yet, those shingles around the lower sides and back of the roof, are mostly still hanging on. Oh, sure, they’re a lot thinner there as well, but nothing like the front and top. Have you noticed that, dear?”
“Yes,” you say, “I have noticed that. What about it?”
“Well, maybe we could buy one of those tarps to lay over the terribly thin parts and pretend it looks good. I’ve seen that done. Not well, but when there’s an obvious need…”
“Interesting,” you reply, “very interesting. Say, listen, while we’re on the subject of the house, have you thought anything about the sports closet down in the basement.”
“The sports closet,” she ponders, “Why, no, I haven’t? What’s wrong with it?”
“Well,” you explain, “when the kids still lived at home, and even for a while after, we used to use that closet quite often. Both doors swung open easily, and my favorite piece of sporting equipment was going in-and-out, and in-and-out as much as three times a week. Now -- after longer than I care to remember – the closet’s become covered with dust and the seam where the doors meet is warped and rusted. I suppose we could use some 3-in-1 oil, or a lubricant of some kind, if we thought it was worth the effort, you know?”
“That’s amazing,” she responds, “And to be perfectly honest, I hadn’t noticed that. And certainly haven’t noticed the inconvenience.”
“Big surprise, there” you respond.
“But…” she begins again, “I do have to say that, in the very front of the house, right in the middle, I’ve noticed how moldy and unsightly that short piece of garden hose has become. I mean, there was a time when you could count on it for at least an occasional spurt. Oh, sure, it never reached very far, wasn’t particularly big around, or offered much in the way of pressure, but I suppose you’d have to admit it was close to adequate.
“Well, anyway” she continues, “now it just lies there looking tired and worn out. Almost sad, if you know what I mean. So, let’s either roll it up and put it in the garage, or – just for old time’s sake – why don’t you store it next to the sports closet. Might you make feel better.”
“Good idea,” you admit, “Let’s go have a drink, sit on the patio and listen to the neighbor’s argue. I swear I don’t know what keeps them together.”