No, this isn’t about daffodils or crocuses that surprise you by not dying off, their bulbs remaining sturdy and healthy, year after year.
This isn’t about tulips that require digging in the dirt and planting with love, though the thought conjures recollections of my mother’s garden and the pleasure she took in the colorful and fragrant arrival of Spring.
This is about magic. A special bulb. Endurance. And the nose.
You will tell me I’m pulling your leg, I’m shining you on, I’m crafting and creating for the sake of April Fool’s when I tell you this: I am seated next to a magic light bulb, one that has burned brightly for more than eight years, through thick and thin, and I swear – it isn’t a special “green” light bulb, and nor have I changed it in that period of roughly 100 months.
Oh, this isn’t even a blip on anyone’s radar! Or my own, except that it struck me this morning as I turned on the lamp by my bed as usual, and began to check my phone and my computer, to glance at the day’s lists, to pick up the folders nearly ready for completing my taxes, and get on with the day.
How Long Does the Average Light Bulb Last?
I never gave this so much as a moment’s thought previously. Why would I?
Like many of us, I grab the least expensive bulbs needed when I run through Target or the grocery store, at times wishing I could spring for the heftier price tag of something energy-wise(r). Yet I estimate that the bulb by my bed has served reliably for more than 2800 days, and likely 16,800 hours – at a minimum. That’s considering 350 days/year and 6 hours/day, both figures being very conservative estimates.
What is the average life of a 40 watt bulb?
According to this source, most regular bulbs burn for 1,000 hours. There are some that last 5,000 hours.
And my magic bulb? Is it imbued with special powers?
What Is the Average Length of Time for a Marriage?
Hmm. That bulb has lasted longer than many marriages. A strange comparison I realize, but what can I say? That’s the way my mind works.
Then again, perhaps I need some statistics to back up that assertion. After all, as an Internet friend loves to remind me, the plural of anecdote is not data!
So, resorting to The Google, I seek intelligent signs of life – and answers. I search on “average length of time for marriage” as well as “average length of marriage” and what I find is a fascinating void when it comes to an answer, but a number of other (sorrowful?) items:
- Average length of time before someone cheats (7 years? 15 years?)
- Average length of first marriage (if you have to ask, don’t get married?)
Though I also discover, through a related search, the average length of time people date before marriage is equally elusive, though people do ask. And the answers are all over the map, from three months to a year, and the occasional advice with regard to dating without marriage that essentially states: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
According to one source, the average length of marriage (presumably in the U.S.) is calculated as follows. For the roughly 50% of us who divorce, it is eight years, and for the rest, using average age at marriage (26) and average age at death (71), the result is 45 years.
Do you buy those numbers?
Are they illuminating? Are they deceptive? Are they meaningful in any way?
Marital Light Bulb Moments?
Comparing light bulbs to marital commitment. Yes, it’s definitely apples to oranges, but hey, it’s April Fools and aren’t we all fools in love?
Let’s see. Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage comes to mind. 72 days totals 1,728 hours. More than one average light bulb, but not quite two.
My own marriage lasted 12 years. I “bettered” the divorcing average by 50%. As to the light bulbs that did their duty during that period of time, magic or otherwise, I won’t do the math, but it’s certainly quite a few. Among them, I count periods of low light and poor vision, as well as marvelous moments involving extended family, and happy “conventional” times, raising my sons when they were still quite little.
But I don’t believe we should judge the quality of our relationships by their longevity. Nor should marriage be an endurance race. Not every friendship or relationship should last forever, now should it?
Sometimes, we sense when a relationship is troubled – or will be, though we don’t pay attention. Sometimes, we sense that a relationship will work – and blossom. It’s as though the nose knows…
Magic, By Any Other Name Would Smell as Sweet?
Still, there’s my science-defying light bulb. What am I to make of it? And who cares?
I have bulbs in the pantry waiting, should it burn out. It’s five minutes to deal with it, if – and when – it does. But 16,800 hours? Even if I’m off by a huge margin, how do I explain it?
I offer no wisdom in this bit of nothing for a Monday morning, but I can’t help but wonder why some commodity objects or anything else we take for granted – people? – astonish us with their endurance and forbearance, quietly going about the business of their tasks, while others don’t manage to make it to the barest minimum.
Surely, now that I’ve mentioned my bedroom bulb, it will burn out in the next days or weeks! (Do you hear a hint of superstition in that statement? Shall I knock on wood, or claim April Fool’s after all?)
But for now, I’m appreciative of the details we rarely notice, and the people who stand by us in steadfast fashion, month after month, year after year – unflinchingly honoring their relationship and purpose.
Perhaps I should sniff out more answers after all, via Google Nose.
- Any inexplicable device longevity you’d care to offer?
- Any great pranks for April Fool’s in the works?
- Any enduring relationships you’d like to mention, wherein a friend or loved on is always there, through thick and thin?
- Do you have a good “nose” for those who will stay in your life? A gut feel? An impressive intuition?