Sadie Fowler

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Sadie Fowler is a former editor of the Times-Gazette; she now works with Dabora Inc. in Shelbyville. Reach her at sadiekillian@yahoo.com.

I'd go through fire to get what I want

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm often amazed by the way some men prioritize their spending, compared to most wise women.

A man might ignore the leaking roof, the broken garage door, or the molding he forgot to finish, only to turn around seconds later to state a case as to why he "needs" a new toy.

Jack, my husband, and I have different ideas about how our money should be spent.

Jack has never met a stranger and is one of the most generous people I've ever known. He would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need.

We once spent the weekend in downtown Nashville and I woke up Saturday morning only to wonder where my husband was. As it turned out, he had driven down to Hardee's and bought about 50 biscuits to pass out to the homeless folks settled along the river.

Jack has always had a huge heart and a keen ability to empathize with people, helping wherever he can.

Jack believes in simplicity, and believes happiness comes from the time you share with loved ones, not the house you live in, the car you drive, or the clothes you wear.

Jack and I do eat out a lot, spend money on fun, and travel often, but expensive "things," to Jack are not important -- unless it's an old beat-up truck or Jeep in which he can go four-wheeling (traveling Jack believes, from time to time, that he'll actually have the time to do that sort of thing). I swear, our driveway looks like a used car parking lot right now.

I care deeply for people as well, and understand that people and relationships are more important than marble and fancy tile, but ...

Since I moved in with Jack six or seven years ago, we, in my humble opinion, have needed a new washer, a new dryer, a new dishwasher, a new roof, and the list goes on. Jack never could see the need to spend money on these items.

We might have money for a vacation to Hawaii, but we don't need to spend money on a dishwasher. Typical man. Of course, typical men don't typically wash dishes, either.

Last week, we were watching a movie and the dryer began squeaking loudly. I was so annoyed I asked Jack to fix the dryer.

Months earlier, when my mom and her friend, Dean, visited me (Jack was out of town), the dryer was doing the same thing. Dean said he could fix it, which he did, with a little bit of WD-40. That seemed to do the trick and the dryer worked normally for the next six months.

When I asked Jack to do something about the screeching noise last week, his solution was to turn the volume up on the television.

Jack was content with his pizza, and seemed to enjoy the volume on full blast (perhaps a sign of our age difference).

I demanded he save my and Lizzie's eardrums by turning down the volume and silencing the dryer.

"Dean could fix it, why can't you?" I asked, hoping to inspire a challenge to his manhood.

It worked.

"Fine," Jack said. "I'm telling you, Sadie, it's dangerous to use WD-40 on a dryer because it could start a fire, but since you insist ... where's the WD-40?"

I told him where it was, and Jack, while the dryer was still in cycle, begrudgingly went to work.

Two minutes later he was in a complete state of panic, screaming for my help, as he darted for the fire extinguisher.

The dryer was on fire.


Thankfully, Jack, an environmental scientist, put it out and, as he shot me a look of "I told you so," I held in my laughter, trying to push the thought of him dancing around like a mad scientist clogger to end a potentially disastrous situation, out of my mind.

I was also smiling inside because all of my laundry was already done, and I wouldn't need to use the dryer. He had procrastinated on unpacking and therefore I hadn't done his laundry earlier in the day, when I did mine. Maybe this was my payback for his procrastination. (It drives me crazy when he leaves his suitcase in the middle of the floor after returning home from a long trip.)

So it was his clothes that were in the dryer when the fire broke out -- not mine.

Even though he managed to put it out quickly, and no damage was done to the house, it amazed me how much smoke came from the small fire.

I began coughing, and when we opened the doors, smoke rushed out. All I could think was that someone would drive by, see the smoke, and call 9-1-1. I thought police beat reporter David Melson would be there any minute.

Thankfully, no one noticed the smoke and everything turned out just fine ... because I finally got my new dryer.

It's amazing what us women have to do to get our way sometimes.

-- Sadie Fowler is lifestyles editor at the Times-Gazette. She can be reached by e-mail at sfowler@t-g.com. Her column, Sadie Says, is scheduled to run every Sunday.