My husband Kevin meets me at the door, his eyebrows in upside-down V formation. “Is everything okay, hon? You just went to mail one dinky package, and that was two hours ago.”
I throw my purse and myself onto the couch. “I had a Maggie moment,” I huff. He shakes his head and grins. A look of relaxed understanding replaces the V-formation.
Maggie, bless her darling heart and ditzy head, is a crisis magnet. She’s the one member of our family we can count on to add glitter to the mundane. Every task turns into a screenplay for a feature film.
Take repairing a door that won’t lock.
“I think this door is cut wrong,” declares Maggie. “They just don’t make things right anymore. I’ll have to see who I can get to take it off the hinges and re-cut it. Lord knows I can’t afford a new door.”
Kevin and I look at the door, then the lock. We are allergic to tools, but we each have a smattering of left-brain cells. And if we collaborate, we sometimes manage to replace a worn-out part or fix a broken one.
Kevin tries the lock, then turns to Maggie. “All you need here is some WD-40. I have a can in the trunk. Be right back.”
He sprays hither and yon, wipes the door, then tries the lock again. Magic. “There you go, Maggie! Good as new. I’ll leave the can with you, so if this happens again, you can spray it yourself. Okay?”
But Maggie is unsatisfied. A solution that takes only two minutes can’t be right. She tries the key herself, jerking and tugging ‘til her forehead glistens. “I don’t know what you did to mess this up, Kevin. It’s worse than before. I can’t do a thing with it. I’ll just have to call that guy down the road who does carpentry work. I wish things were simple, like they used to be.”
We wonder if anything in Maggie’s life was ever simple. But next time we visit, her grin is wider than a melon slice as she shows us her new lock.
“After he cut the door, he realized he’d chopped too much off, so he had to put this weather-stripping on the bottom to keep the wind out. He attached the lock down here, where it bolts directly into the floor. I practically have to stand on my head to lock it, but at least it’s secure now. And he only charged me $150!”
We shrug, congratulate Maggie, and Kevin pockets his WD-40. At least Maggie is happy with her new lock. It will give her something to talk about until the next crisis arrives.
We’ve tried to analyze why Maggie thrives on trouble above her fellows. We can change a toilet valve, replace a garbage disposal, or patch a garden hose, and run into glitches that annoy us to Mars and back. Yet, we only manage to get a tenth of the emotional surge from our episodes that Maggie receives. We still haven’t figured out why her predicaments are superior to ours.
But, hey, maybe you can you help us. I see by your knowing smile that you have a Maggie in your family, too.
A spunky, sometimes reluctant pastor’s wife of more than thirty years, Jeanette Levellie has published stories in Guideposts anthologies, articles in Christian and secular magazines, greeting card verses, and calendar poems. Her bi-weekly humor/inspirational column, God is Bigger, has been a popular feature in her local newspaper since 2001. She writes twice a week for her devotional/humor blog at http://jeanettelevellie.blogspot.com. Jeanette also enjoys speaking to church and civic groups, offering mirth and worth in every message. She and her husband Kevin live in Paris, IL. She is the mother of two, grandmother of three, and servant to several cats.