You know you’ve been in a relationship too long when…

Ceiling Fan

You almost fight on Christmas Eve about the direction a ceiling fan is going.

Yep, you read that right.

Here’s the deal, I had to flip a breaker so that I could replace a broken light switch.

As an aside, this light switch was a $50 motion sensing complicated deal made in China. As usual all I could think about was the line from Mr Scott in one of the Star Trek movies. “The more you overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the works.”

Anyhow, once again I discover that the electrician the builder contracted while this house was being built, had been hit by 220V once too often. The single breaker, turns off all the overhead lighting fixtures, and the sockets that feed the network closet. It’s a miracle that the breaker doesn’t trip when I flip on a light. 


However, this configuration also means that the overhead fan in the dining area got turned off.  Because it’s a “smart machine”, it had forgotten which direction it was set for by the time I flipped the breaker back on.

Which led to this exchange between myself and the Other Half.

OH: “Turn the fan off so that you can set the direction.”

ME: “Why?”

OH: “So you can set the fan to rotate clockwise for winter.”

ME: “It’s already turning clockwise.”

OH: “No it isn’t. The fan always resets after a power outage.”

ME: “I know, but I’m looking at it right now, the fan is turning clockwise.”

OH: “No it isn’t.” (Turning the fan off and hitting the reverse button)

ME: “What direction is clockwise sweetie?”

Me Thinking this would be resolved when the other half re-evaluated that clockwise is something spinning from left to right. Instead, the other half points to fan and starts calling off 12, 3, 6, 9. Indicating a clockwise motion from left to right.

ME: “Sweetie, what direction are the fan blades turning?” Indicating the slowing fan blades of the now powered off fan

OH: “Clockwise”

ME: “So we didn’t need to reverse the fan.”

OH: “Yes we did.”


ME: “Ok are you looking at the fan from the top or bottom?”

OH: “From the bottom.”

ME: “So we didn’t need to reverse the fan.”

OH: “Yes we did.”

I take off my watch, I hold it face down in front of the fan whose blades are now moving very slowly. 

ME: “Clockwise is the direction that the clock hands move right?”

OH: Gives me dirty look

ME: “Are the fan blades moving the same direction as the second hand of my very expensive swiss watch?”

OH: “Why are you being an ass?”

ME: “I’m honestly not trying to be an ass. I’m trying to make sure that we’re working from a common set of reference points so that when you tell me to make the fans in the house go Clockwise, I get it right. Alternatively, if I’m telling you how to tighten a screw if I say clockwise to tighten, you are successful. I’m actually trying to adapt my internal programming to accommodate your needs.” 

OH: Stomps out of house, “I’m going to the grocery store! Reverse the damn fan!”

Trying to put this to bed I go down to the basement, get the ladder so I can get to the switches on the fans in the bedrooms and I reverse all the fans in the house.

Based on the data obtained in our conversation prior to the other half stomping out, I’ve set all the units spinning in a direction I call Counterclockwise.

One hour later… 

OH: “I told you to reverse the fans!”

ME: “I did.”

OH: “No you didn’t, they’re spinning clockwise!”

ME: Facepalm