As compared to many another man in the blue-collar world, the ToolMaster doesn’t swear to excess. However, if he’s working on a home improvement project, and it’s not going well, absolutely everyone in the house has to know about it. Just last week, in fact, after a particularly blue batch of air emanating from the soon-to-be-fitness room in the basement, the kids and I had a conversation that went something like this:
Frank: Whoa. Did you hear Dad last night? What was that all about?
Molly: I don’t know, but it must have been bad.
Me: No. That ten-minute “treat” was probably because of something like a crack in the wall. A micro-crack that would not be visible without the Hubble telescope. The one that will be hidden behind the ceiling tiles when they are in place.
Molly: …I wonder what he’d be like if he hurt himself.
Well I knew. From experience, the time to really be concerned is when I hear construction sounds followed by nothing — meaning the radio goes off. There’s an ominous silence. Then non-clomping steps ascend from the basement. The door to my office doesn’t fly open. Nobody yells. By ToolMaster standards he’ll practically sneak up noiselessly on me and scare me half to death.
Then I’ll be shown a sliced finger, a huge bruise, or — once — a foot penetrated by a rusty nail all the way through a steel-toed workboot.
Last Monday, as it happens, it was a plum-colored finger, easily doubled in size with a clot under the nailbed. It came with a sheepish, “Look what I did.”
Yup. That’s what happens when a framing hammer is applied with brute force to flesh instead of flooring. My poor guy.
From observation, the next stage of manliness involves negotiation about what we should do for his injuries, and in this arena, there is only one rule to know: If it involves any kind of health care, I’m wrong. Never mind that I used to be a healthcare professional. Never mind that I have experience. Never mind that I’m not the one turning grey and barely able to speak due to pain. I am wife, and therefore, belong to the ignorant masses.
So…last Monday, the incident. Last Wednesday, after he had two sleepless nights, I was finally allowed to drill a hole through his nail and drain the blood. Ah, true love.
So here are my research questions for you, me Zesties: If you live with and love a man, do these vignettes sound familiar? Are they as common as helplessness with the man-cold? As intrinsic to the Y-chromosome as inability to ask for directions when lost? Or is it possible I married an atypical guy?