Homeadults with learning disabilitiesThe Tale of Procedural Fail

When something around the house breaks, instead of rushing to replace it, my husband and I are both fond of trying to repair it, first.

Cushion cover, were you REALLY worth all of that
(Picture also included in the article I wrote
off of this fiasco – How to Replace a Broken Zipper.)

Since he has pretty extensive experience with projects like plumbing and mechanical things, he tackles those, while I mend everything else.

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that one of our couch cushion covers was in bad shape. The zipper was missing the pull, and the seams around it were shot. My husband had attempted a repair job with all of my safety pins (I wondered where those went), but although they held everything in place, I ended up ripping my hands up when I took the cover off to be laundered.

Good thing I’m up to date with my tetanus shot, ‘eh?

It wasn’t until yesterday that I buckled down to fix it.

Removing the old zipper and preparing the cover wasn’t that hard to do. All it involved was a seam ripper, a little patience and enough attention to avoid sticking the ripper into a finger.

Putting the new zipper in place, though, that was a problem.

I don’t know exactly why I do this, but when it comes to carrying a task out that requires specific steps, I end up focusing so narrowly on what I’m doing that I tend to forget the details.

The first time I tried it, I started from the wrong end. I thought that I’d measured the new zipper out correctly, but by the time I got to the end, I discovered it was too long.

So, I unpinned it, and tried again.

By the time I finished one side, I realized the zipper pull was staring straight at me. This isn’t a good thing. The cover was inside out, and if I sewed the thing on as it was, there would have been no way to open or close the cover from the outside.

Seriously, brain? Is there a short in your common sense circuits?

Third time was the charm. Finally.

I sewed on the zipper without further incident. The wrecked seams got closed up, and I mended what I couldn’t get with the sewing machine by hand.

Perfect! It was good as new.

But something seemed off.

What was it?

The zipper was closed! You can’t turn something right side out if there’s not a hole to do it with!


Thankfully, I have tiny fingers, and I was able to get the pull down enough for me to unzip the sucker the rest of the way.

No more zipper installation for me for a while. It’s bad for my blood pressure.

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