Nowadays, my father seems to have a knack of destroying everything in the house. Attribute it to ignorance (don't know how to use) or... old age? But he is only in his 60s!
Since I was a kid, my father has always been the self-appointed handyman around the house. Last time, whenever something was not working or got spoilt, be it the radio, old grandfather's clock, house phone, video recorder, TV!, washing machine etc.... he would try to fiddle with it until somehow he managed to repair it. He even tried to clean and vaccum the aircon and the piping!
Perhaps technology has evolved so much that my father sometimes do not understand what it is all about. Take for example, the PC and internet. My father knows simple surfing, does a little of internet banking or checking statements, and he keys everything in Excel (he still save everything into a diskette, which I bet you the disk is not working anymore). He does not know how to use a thumb drive. Other than that, he plays Solitaire (a simple card game). Every time something goes wrong, he would ask me (to him, even a small window popping up means there is an error somewhere or virus). I have to admit I am not the least patient during these times, because when I tried to troubleshoot by asking him what he had done earlier, his almost-same-reply every time would be "I didn't do anything". It sounded like a kid who had done something wrong. I thought, so if you did not do anything, how come there was an error?! I just hope that I don't get to see the blue screen on his laptop one day.
Then the other day, he was trying to take down the curtains for a wash. The curtains came down, somehow too the window grills also came down! When I asked him what happened. He said "Shoddy workmanship. Don't know how those fellas fixed up such lousy window grills". I was like !@&#%*#!! I had to say, "If you didn't touch it, how could it have miraculously came out by itself?". He refused to let me fix it and so I let him think and wonder how he should fix it back. I was thinking, first he tore down the window grills, he blamed it on shoddy workmanship. If he ever tear down my whole house, would he blame it on the act of Nature?
My father likes to play with his handphone. Whenever I buy him a new model, I had to make sure it is not too complicated in functions, otherwise I am sure he is going to get really confused. He had to painstakingly key in all the contacts and addresses, even though I told him no need, there is a function to auto-copy all from the SIM card. He fiddles with his handphone for hours and especially early in the mornings, when he wakes up, in bed he likes to test each and every ringing tone in full blast. It has become my morning alarm clock, even though I am sleeping in the next room!
Another time when the lock in the bathroom door was not working properly, I said I would call the locksmith to repair or change a new lock. My father insisted he knew how to fix it. Again he blamed it on "shoddy workmanship". He fiddled with the goddamn door for like forever in the bathroom. He ended getting himself locked up inside the bathroom for almost 2 hours and we could not get him out! I had to call a locksmith in the middle of the night to drill a hole on the door to "unlock" him. And we still did not managed to fix the lock that night.
Previously my father still liked to use the kettle to boil water over the stove. We made sure we had a whistling kettle to remind him when the water had boiled to turn off the switch. A few times he did not even hear it "whistle" and hot water overflowed onto the stove and all over the wooden cabinet below. He did not tell us, but I found the stove floating with water and the interior cabinet wet. So I hid the whistling kettle, out of his sight and made him use the electric kettle. I do not wish to have a house on fire.
A few days ago, my mom bought a simple Novita water filter. You just had to pour tap water into the container and the 2 filters inside would filter and remove all water contaminants, sediments and bacteria from the tap water and convert it into clean drinkable alkaline water, which is supposedly more beneficial. No need electricity. No need to boil water. Or so we thought. I woke up one morning and felt the water inside the upper container (before it was filtered) hot. I quickly poured the hot water away, and asked my father why he poured hot water into the container! I was afraid the hot water might melt the plastic and destroy the water filter. He said "Mom said save the trouble, no need boil water, but now more leceh (Malay for troublesome), have to boil water and pour into this thing!" I told him NO NEED! We were supposed to use just tap water and after filtering it, we can drink the water! Even after explaining to him how to use it a few times, I do not know if he understood. I knew something like this would happen.
So, in times like these, can you blame me if I have a short fuse?
We try to make things easier to operate and less complicated around the house so that my father knows how to use them and thus hopefully doesn't spoil them. Or we make sure he does not need to operate complicated electrical stuff. But then we realise, we also cannot let him be too idle, otherwise he may just destroy more things! I just wish he can spend more of his free time on fruitful things like going out to socialise more, or get a (even no-pay) job, or practicing the Dharma. But you see, I am not a preachy sort of person. I will only pray for that someone and not force it upon him/her. So, I have been praying for my father to have clarity of mind and for myself, patience. PATIENCE!!! -__-"