A Simple Home Improvement

Soon after we moved into our spacious new abode, the light of my life asked if I would install a peephole in the front door. Of course I could, I assured her; I’d even done it once before, long ago. Had I only heard the chorus laughing!

Here are the steps for installing a peephole:

  1. Go to the hardware store and buy a peephole.
  2. Drill a hole in your door.
  3. Insert the peephole halves from each side and screw them together.

Step one only took me about two weeks, if memory serves. That was a long time ago; facts may be blurred. I got the brass tube with a lens at one end out of its package and perused the instructions. This model required a 9/16″ hole. My tools are still in storage, but my sweetie has the basics, including not one, but two sets of drills*. Alas, the largest in the home measures 1/2″. Almost but not quite.

No worries, a short walk away lives Father of Sweetie, and there are few tools he does not possess. All we had to do was remember on one of the many occasions we were over there that we needed to borrow the thing.

That took two months, give or take.

Finally, finally, the stars aligned and we had in our possession a yellow plastic sleeve with the needed drill.

That’s about the time the pipe broke in the kitchen. That was, I can tell by traipsing through the archives of this august site, in late August. Two solid months ago, plus change. Repairs continue, but that’s another story. A couple of weeks ago I resolved to take part of the home repair back and to install the dang peephole.

Only… Where had the thing got to? With half the house piled into the other half of the house, there was just no telling. This weekend we decided to just buy another one. Off to the local downtown-killing mega-home-improvement store I went. Living in an area where the mall is about the closest thing to a downtown we’ll ever have, I don’t feel too bad about that.

Home I came, with fake logs for the fireplace (the hippie brand), a fire extinguisher, light bulbs, oven cleaner, and a new peephole. Nothing was going to stop me now! I installed our new doorbell first, then turned to the peephole. 9/16″ bore, just like the other. I’d made sure of that while still at the store. I got out the drill motor and the extension cord and repaired to the front of the house.

The drill was the wrong size. Way too small. I should have noticed that two months ago. But there I was, almost ready to install the damn peephole after all this time, and I still couldn’t drill the hole. Exactly where I was months ago.

This time, I strolled over to the home of Father of Sweetie, exchanged the 19/64″ drill for the 9/16″ one (he is a precise guy and was mortified at the mistake), and walked back. As swiftly as the next day, the peephole was installed and ready for peeping. Because I’m a Guy Who Gets Shit Done.

* Peeves, like curly red hair, are inherited. The light of my life inherited both an appreciation of precise language and a peeve about about the use of the noun “drill” from her father. The drill is the piece of metal with corkscrew cutting edges running up the sides. [edit upon reflection – actually, that’s a twist drill. There are other pieces of metal designed to make holes in things that are also drills. See also: mining.]

The thing that powers the drill is the drill motor. My sweetie reacts to misuse of “drill bit” much the way gun enthusiasts (including her father and me, though I don’t own a gun) take exception to people calling a magazine a clip.

I could argue that language is a plastic thing, and words mean what everyone agrees they mean, but then I’d have to give up on several of my own favorite peeves, and that’s not going to happen.

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