There are benefits in a lowered bar

I’m the beneficiary of a lowered bar.

It’s not so bad to be the beneficiary of a lowered bar. Sure, on one level, having the bar lowered for you assumes a certain lack of confidence in your ability by the people controlling the bar. But if you don’t really care what people think about you, then let them lower away.

At least that’s my thinking.

The other day I was working on some equipment in our backyard. Specifically, I was trying to get a hose attached to a pipe so I could run a bunch of water through it. Technically, the hose should have been attached to the pipe by the guys we hired to work on the equipment in our backyard, but apparently they forgot about it.

I hate trying to attach the hose to the pipe. See, the hose has to be attached very tightly to the pipe in order to be able to run a large amount of water through it so it doesn’t — to use a technical expression — spew water all over the neighborhood.

I spent roughly two hours trying to get the hose onto the pipe.

I know what some of you are thinking. You’re thinking, “But Mike, how hard can it be to attach a hose to a pipe?”

To some of you thinking that I refer you back to the lowered bar of expectations.

I’m not handy with tools. Actually, I’m not handy with anything — including hands. So for me, even something as simple as attaching a hose to a pipe is a major undertaking.

By the way, I think my dad served with a Major Undertaking in World War II.

After about two hours, I finally got the hose attached to the pipe, but then I discovered that the clamp I needed to use to secure the hose was — again to use a technical expression — older than dirt.

So I drove to the large hardware, lumber, appliance and just about everything else store in our town to buy a new clamp. While I was there, I remembered that we were supposed to change the water filter in our refrigerator five years ago, so I bought a new filter.

Then I drove home, reattached the hose to the pipe and secured it with the new clamp. Then I went inside, opened the refrigerator and changed the water filter.

Later that day, my wife called me to complain about something. I don’t remember exactly what my wife called me to complain about, I just know that she did. See, that’s what my wife does. She’ll be at work and feel the need to complain, and she’ll call me.

Me: “Hello.”

Wife: “So how’s your day?”

Me: “Fine. I just fin…”

Wife: “Great. You won’t believe what Broom Hilda (not her real name) just told me. …”

Me: (15 minutes later) “OK, talk to you later.”

But the other day when my wife called me to complain, I mentioned that she didn’t need to buy a water filter for the refrigerator.

“Why not?” my wife asked.

“Because I bought one and changed it already,” I said.

There was a long pause, and then my wife said, “You changed it?”

“Sure,” I said. “I needed to buy a new clamp for the hose so I bought the filter while I was there.”

“You bought the water filter, a new clamp, changed the filter and got the hose attached to the pipe?” my wife said.

“Yes,” I said.

“By yourself?” my wife said.

“Yes,” I said.

“I don’t believe it,” my wife said.

I tried to convince my wife that I had indeed bought a water filter, a new clamp, changed the water filter and attached the hose to the pipe, but she wasn’t buying what I was selling.

Because the bar had been lowered.

Sigh. Good thing I don’t care what people think about me.