When the going gets tough, I have no choice but to use my “think melon”

March 5, 2014

Dear Max

Your dad has a great phrase, think melon, which basically refers to your brain, or common sense, or that great Yiddish word, seichel. So when you ask him for a solution, instead of solving it immediately, he will likely say, “Max, use your think melon”.

I don’t know where he came up with it, obviously from his own think melon, but I’ve  started using my own think melon to think about what it means to actually utilise one’s think melon in ways one never has.

I guess it’s the same as “applying oneself”, something I was told to do in school, but never really did, especially when it came to maths and science, where applying oneself was the only way to pass.

And for so long, I’ve avoided doing certain things because applying myself is just too boring, or hard, or unnecessary, or infuriating. I’m talking about stuff like complicated Sudoku or Crossword puzzles – I can do them, but refuse to apply myself because it takes too long, and I like solving things quickly. Or stuff like fixing and DIY. Why apply myself to the task when there’s a partner on hand to do it for me?

But lately there has been no one on hand to help, though I know your dad would come to the rescue for Undealable With Stuff. So I’ve been applying myself, because if I want to watch Netflix, or have internet, or have a gate remote control that works, I need to use my think melon.

And while my DIY “victories” might be laughable to some, they’re significant to me. They either reflect a bit of capability, a bit of application, a bit of patience or the new skill of simply sucking it up on the DIY and home front.


In the last few months, I’ve done the following tasks ordinarily done by a significant other:

– Set up home wifi after lightening struck ours

– Cleared blocked drain and shower

– Changed a lightbulb. Not a new thing, but it was the first time I’d ever got high up on a ladder, and unscrewed a fitting. That’s all.

– After an Apple TV fail, I learnt to reset it, plus reset every other bloody setting to allow me to watch Netflix

– Reset three gate remotes after my old one broke. Sadly, this is not as easy as taking remotes into a shop and them doing it for you. We have a more sophisticated system where one has to get into the machine to reset.

– Fixed broken shelves (and by fixed, I mean just put in a screw that had popped out)

– Chase the fricking birds out the house each time they sneak in to eat the cats’ food

– Phoned around and got quotes for a fridge repair. You should know that I hate phoning around for stuff, and dealing with repairmen. But the ice cream was melting, and I had no ice for my chardonnay

– Replaced the printer cartridge, via YouTube demo, since I couldn’t find the old cartridge in the machine

– Cleaned a crapload of crap from the garden (not much application here, I admit, but I just really wanted to type the word crap three times)

In the Bob the Builder theme song, there’s a bit that goes: “Can he fix it? Yes he can!” (and let’s just say that with all the Bob the Builder episodes you’ve stumbled across on YouTube in Dutch, German and Swedish, I’m pretty sure you can say that line in various languages). Inspired by Bob, my new mantra is “Can she fix it? Yes she can!” Even if she has to use the think melon, or Google, or cry from frustration.

Yours in pooper scoopers and remotes,


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  • MeeA

    This makes me miss how independent I used to be. I did everything for myself before I got together with my husband. I never used to *get* what women meant when they talked about losing their identity and independence in a relationship. Now, I really do! I look at myself sometimes and think, “Who ARE you?!” The me I knew prior to marriage and kids was fearless and fiercely independent. I moved into my first flat on my own when I was 17 and never looked back…
    And now I can barely move a couch around the living room without help. It’s quite pathetic!
    Don’t get me wrong – I could not be more grateful to have a kind and supportive partner in my life. But I’m beginning to think more and more that it’s time to jump into the deep end of something on my own again…
    Thanks for the inspiration! 😉

    March 5, 2014 at 5:55 pm Reply
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