Gloria Steinem came to town this weekend. She is awesome. Her advocacy for equality among all genders, races and socioeconomic classes is inspiring. She is 85 years old, brilliant, calm and quick-witted. When she greeted the audience at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium, only to realize that her microphone wasn’t working, she quipped without skipping a beat, “Women need to take control of technology.”
With those words — and so many other pithy Steinemisms from her new book, The Truth Will Set You Free, But First It Will Piss You Off!, ringing in my ears, I set out the next morning to deep-clean my house.
Yes, I hear myself. I know, June Cleaver called and she wants her apron back. But the moths are coming for my family — first they came for our sweaters — and I will not let them win.
I was swiping at a silvery constellation of cocoons above my guest room, when I realized the source of the infestation was a tattered wool rug on the hardwood floor. Commonsense would suggest removing the moth-eaten rug, but there was a problem: The floor covering performed the critical function of concealing the cable cord on its unsightly path from a closet to the television.
In fact, long before the guest room suffered from insects, it suffered from sub-optimal feng shui, due to the restriction of the cable cord, which functioned as a coaxial leash for the television. Sure, I could have called the cable company to fix it, but life is too short to make elective phone calls to the cable company.
Suddenly, Gloria Steinem’s words echoed in my ears: Take control of technology!
It occurred to me that I had not applied my new Tennessee College of Applied Technology handiness to this confounding wiring set-up, and I suddenly realized that, now that I have power tools, THE CABLE CORD IS NOT THE BOSS OF ME!
After twenty years of living at the mercy of an ill-placed cable cord, I went to the basement, traced the dastardly wire, decided where I wanted it to enter the guest room, then drilled a hole in the hardwood floor, shoved the wire through, plugged the TV in right where I wanted it, and disposed of the infested rug. The whole outrageous act of everyday rebellion took ten minutes and one Dewalt cordless impact driver.
Of course, I still had to wait for my kids to get home to hook up all the USB and HDMI and WTF cords, but that gave me more time to browse Gloria Steinem’s new book, which is now on the bedside table of the moth-free guest room, right beside the TV remote.