My Mister Fixer-Man

I know that I’m lucky. I hear other women discuss their men, bemoaning their general lack of handiness. For example, one friend had to spend a small fortune because a sock had worked its way outside the tub of her washer. Every load became a whumpety-whumpety-whump session that rivalled her kid’s time on his drum set, and neither she nor her husband had a clue how to fix it.  Another had to hire a contractor to fix the do-it-yourself shed which became a health hazard.

That would never be me. I’d never have to put up with that bill. I’d never have to so much as strain my index finger to dial the phone.

All because I’m married to a handy man.

But there are two sides to every plywood plank, peeps, and this would be the other one of them:

Yup. That’s my sink. Boxing Day morning. When I’m expecting four guests for dinner and have a ton of prep to do.

What’s worse is that I had no warning  — well, not quite true; I had no specific warning.

See, shortly after summer holidays, P noticed some water pooling on the cement floor of our basement. It wasn’t much — just a few tablespoons — but once he had shuffled his shop contents around, removed the vapor barrier, stripped off the insulation and examined it, we had a confirmed leak. He figured it came from a cracked wall and would have to wait until he had a chunk of time.

That was fine with me. I have had enough experience with home renovations to know that every day they’re delayed is one more day I actually have hair to style. Plus, there are these laws to contend with:

1. The repair will occur at the time of biggest inconvenience. (I enter the above photo, Your Honor, as incontrovertible evidence.)

2. It will somehow manage to interfere with one or more meal preparations, even if it  occurs on a different floor in a different room. (Ditto.)

3. Despite being available by phone/text/personal availability 24/7, its scheduling will occur without discussion. (Hence my surprise at the timing of the photo above, Your Honor.)

4. At minimum, it will cost twice as much as originally expected.

5. It will take three times longer than originally estimated. (Yes, I have evidence. Twenty-five years’ worth of it.)

Now, I will repeat that I know I am lucky, because some of you are getting defensive on my husband’s behalf. A good portion of these things are beyond his control, after all, and despite these…idiosyncracies, P gives freely of his time and effort to keep our home running. Plus, there’s one more law that far outweighs numbers one through five:

incontrovertible rule #6:
Despite how messy, costly, inconvenient, and lengthy a home repair might be, once P has touched it, one can only marvel at its craftsmanship. Hurricanes might plague our temperate climes, seas swarm the prairies, Steven Harper win a majority in the House of Commons next term, but despite these clear signs of the impending Apocalypse, P’s repair will stand.

Now that I think of it, he’s in the hope business too. Yes…  I like that! I like that a lot. Beyond the financial savings, reliability and convenience of having someone so handy in the home, there is poetry in my sink. Social activism, even. (Pardon me. I’m just having a personal revelation here and it can get a little maudlin.)

Anyway, have you got a handyman/woman/person in your life? On the whole do they drive you crazy or make you weak at the knees in appreciation? Got any construction rules to add to mine?

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15 thoughts on “My Mister Fixer-Man

  1. Hope – having a “framer” for a husband, I can relate to the six rules you’ve noted. I might also this one:

    7. No matter how busy, tired, cranky home handyman is, never suggest, or even hint, that anyone else should do the job – even if the suggestion is meant with good intentions.

    I’m blessed with a handyman, but also a guy who understands he also has a role in the day-to-day things that make our home – cleaning, cooking, etc. (Of course, since I major suck at all things domestic, he kind of has no choice.)

    Kudos to your handsome handyman – and to you for recognizing his many talents. He is also a lucky man.

  2. Yes, Dawn, yes! How could I have forgotten #7?

    And if I recognize his talents, it’s only because we’re cut from the same cloth. Guess who spent a good chunk of Christmas day making biscotti (Chocolate Almond Cinnamon, with one end dipped in white chocolate), rather than get a comparable product from a bakery?

    And why do I suspect the same desire to be self-sufficient might be said of you?

  3. Hope – indeed we share the same self-sufficient desires. However, I am a little put out that Chocolate Almond Cinnamon, with one end dipped in white chocolate biscotti did not appear at our last crit meeting…

    I could trade you for the less-than-perfect banana / chocolate chip loaf Aydra and I made? 🙂

  4. I am convinced this won’t appease you in the least, but I did have a batch in the freezer for you and Loki. They were discovered.

    And eaten.

    Which would make another excellent topic for a Tartitude poll, except that’s issue #102 in line for public disclosure.

    Perhaps I could taste your loaf to see if it warrants another batch of biscotti baking…?

  5. Hope – I’m certain this won’t appease you (grin) but the slice I’d reserved for you and Loki was discovered early this morning, and thus is no longer an option for barter. However, a fresh batch of biscotti might inspire a new (and improved) banana loaf…just saying.

  6. Your number 1, I am afraid, transcends simple mechanical-reparation related problems. Why is it that *every* little problem in life has to crop up at the absolute worst moment? :]

  7. Glinda, I can’t be of service in that area. I don’t even recall who sent me this picture. However, because I am such a caring blog host, I found another amazing picture for you:
    http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c14/pgforte/newsletter%20images/Books_Handyman.gif

    Dawn, would this banana bread also contain walnuts? If not, I regret P will have to handle our recurring oven issues this very week…

    Lia, uh-oh. Is there a story here? Or are we being rhetorical?

  8. *snickers at graphic*

    DH is mildly handy, able to put up shelves, for instance, and make said shelves out of scrap wood.

    I know only one Almighty Law of Handiness: righty tighty, lefty loosey.

    The difficulty comes with a relative by marriage who is not as handy as he thinks he is. The things he tackles end up not quite as broken as they were, but not as fixed as he intends. Oh, well, that assures we’re always reminded of him!

  9. I came to check out something for our darling Hope, but had to stop by and thank you for the image with this article. I’ve come here to post a few times, but the darn picture gets me all tongue-tied and I keep forgetting to comment. *sigh* Okay, I’m recharged now.

  10. MJ, there are other, far more risque smiley’s available. It took great effort to restrain myself from using one. 🙂 Who knows; I may go there yet.

    Aside from building pre-cut fences and sheds, I lack all useful carpentry skills myself.

    Becke, I’m blushing about the darling Hope part of your comment. It is quite a picture, isn’t it?

  11. Glinda, he jerry-rigged the sink drainage to make it through the dinner, and had it repaired the next day. Now I’ve put him to work building a home gym. After Christmas, we all need one. 😮

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