Where Are You Making Do?

Where Are You Making Do, Lela Davidson

My hair dryer exploded this week. Literally, sparks came out of the little box where I have plugged it into the wall for I don't know how many years. I really thought the whole thing might start a real fire. I smelled that weird electrical fire smell and sniffed the outlet several times, in between concealer and mascara. I stopped short of texting my husband, who was traveling for work. Because what could I say? Hey, honey, there might be fire in the wall.

There wasn't. I'm lucky like that.

Even luckier, my hair was about 98% dry when it happened.

Just a few days earlier, for the first time in a long time, I thought I was probably going to have to get that on my list: buy new hairdryer. Because it's been broken. For a while. And I'm not just talking about that melted part where it got overused while defrosting the freezer because household appliances must multi-task to earn their keep in this house. One of the many, many times I dropped the dryer, I broke the mechanism that holds the handle in place while the thing is in use. The same one that "un-holds" for handy folding and storage. For a week or two after I broke the handle I was determined to get a new dryer.

But that task never made it to the list.

In time I learned how to hold the handle just right so that drying my hair was almost the same with the damaged tool as it had been before. That happened about 2 years ago. Rather, I should say at least 2 years ago because I have no idea really, except that I remember it was broken before we moved. All those years accommodating something broken, holding it just so in order to make do. Not only because buying a new one never made it to my list, but also because why did I need a new one when this one still worked?

I take a certain pride in making do. It's seeded deep within me. Which is why it took an explosion to make me take action. An interior designer once assessed my house and declared, "Well bless your heart, you're just using what you have." I didn't know there was another way. And I'm not alone. I have a friend who asked a group of us to hold her accountable for buying new shoes because, although she went back to work nearly a year ago, she has been "making do" in her wardrobe. I have been making do in my office at work for almost 2 years. Maybe it's time to settle in and make it pretty.

My new hair dryer is slick. It's very light and it has fancy red lights where the air comes out that make it look like a heated up burner, which is actually kind of terrifying, but also makes me smile. The hair dryer incident made me think about other things in my life I'm just making do with, and that I might want to replace before they threaten bodily harm.

Where are you just making do?