If renting were a sport, I might be its mascot. Or its cheerleader. Or in its hall of fame (shame?). I moved to Boston in August 2003 and I am now living in my (counting pause: Brookline, Davis, Salem, Inman, Porter, Porter, Arlington) SEVENTH apartment since then. Each has had its pitfalls; some have had their glories. And in every single one, this book
has seen me through. In my landlord-neglected studio, it taught me how to install window locks. It taught me how to fix a perpetually running toilet in another apartment where the landlord was slow to act. (Present rental excepted, it has been my experience that fixing something myself will get the job done far faster than calling a landlord, who won’t return the call for hours, then will say he has to call his buddy who can only come by on Saturday morning at 8…but I digress.)
In my oldest rental (as in, I later saw the building in a history book), Dare to Repair helped me change glass fuses (cloudy inside=blown). I thought this skill might come in handy today when our brand new stove unit
suddenly ceased working on day 2. The backstory… “It is too much. Let me sum up.” 1. Two weeks ago, we have a water leak. 2. The water leak is traced to our dishwasher, which needs replacing, being too old to be worth repairing. 3. The friendly plumber suggests to our landlord that he replace not only the dishwasher, but the stove, which being of a similar age is likely to kick as well. 4. In a move which shocked me completely, this was decided upon and we came home from California to a newly intalled dishwasher and stove. Domestic bliss ensued!… for 24 hours. Then tonight, while I had ribs in the oven and chicken stock on the stove, the thing simply quit. To sum up again:
1. My first thought was blown fuse, though nothing else had gone out.
2. My second thought was: I need Dare to Repair! So after leaving a message for our landlord, I went down into the basement, wearing a headlamp, and opened 6 boxes of books from our move looking for my trusty volume.
2a. Discovered Anna Karenina and decided to give it another shot.
3. Realized that Dare to Repair, being invaluable, was already upstairs…
4. Found the trusty diagram on glass fuses and consulted, but to my dismay, realized none of the fuses seemed blown.
5. Our landlord came over and got in on the fun, Tim came home and also participated, but in the end we all had some fun with fuses but no success with the stove, which remains inert and is perhaps defective.
6. The ribs went next door to cook in our landlord’s oven, so as to not be wasted (seriously, they were from the farmer’s market and not cheap!). This is how we came to be starving, currently, at 8:46PM, while our landlords cook our dinner.