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Saturday, October 15, 2011

In Which my Husband Fails at Home Improvement...

   I love my husband. He has many fine qualities, not the least of which are an unwavering devotion to my own awesomeness that I find to be somewhat endearing. Call me crazy, but I enjoy the boost it gives to my ego. I make him read these blog entries, by the way, so he's well aware of the public defamation suit he could win if he ever decides to seek legal recourse against me. That being said, among the list of his finer qualities, you will not find anywhere a check mark or gold star next to an item praising him for his unwavering devotion to honey do jobs and home repair projects. You just... won't.
The funny thing is, most of the projects that he needs to do are very simple and would only take him a few minutes to complete, but he still puts them off as though he were avoiding a kitten execution or something. Case in point, a few years ago, I decided that I wanted a bookcase headboard for our king size bed. Not one of the ones with the huge shelves on both sides that take up a ton of room, just a simple bookcase headboard because we are both avid readers and it seemed like a practical choice. But, when we went looking for what I wanted, it turns out they don't actually make those, or at least they don't sell them anywhere near here. But I have this issue where if I can't have what I want, then I just don't want anything. So, we went without a headboard for awhile until I received an email from a freecycle group one day offering a king size bookcase headboard. It was intended for a waterbed, but I asked Hunny and he agreed that it could be made to work with minimal carpentry skills. So, I responded to the offer and we picked up the headboard and lumber and supplies to make my bookcase headboard dream come true. I was so excited about this project. We came home with all of the supplies, and carried them in, but it was a Sunday afternoon, and Hunny had to work the next day, so he didn't start on the project that day. No problem. We just sat the stuff in the hall and I waited patiently for my bookcase headboard. I waited... for nine months. When I was finally sick of cleaning around the stack of materials and so aggravated that I was ready to tell him just to throw the stuff out if he wasn't going to actually do anything with the headboard, he got mad and started on the project. 15 to 20 minutes later, I had a headboard. I was happy about the headboard, but completely flabbergasted that I had worked around the headboard, reading lights, and lumber for 9 months for this “big project” that he completed in less than a half an hour. Sigh.
At any rate, these kinds of things have happened here and there throughout our marriage. I don't even get mad about them anymore. It's actually just kind of funny exactly how far he'll go to avoid a project. I've come to determine that, in many cases it's because he's decided that he wants to turn it into this big production, and make it perfect, when I just want it functional. The headboard, for example, he had big plans for that. I just wanted it functional. Regardless, knowing his penchant for avoiding honey do projects like the plague, I've learned to be fairly self sufficient just in self-defense. But, sometimes it will still catch me off guard just how much he hates fixing things.
Which is why, when the flush handle assembly on our toilet broke, I didn't expect to be reaching down into the tank and flushing it by pulling on the chain by hand for a week. But, that's exactly what happened. I even mentioned a couple of times in passing that he should pick up a new handle thingie (technical term, that) on his way home from work. It didn't happen. This is another example of me not really knowing how big of a project we were looking at. I, like I suspect many of you reading this, don't give much thought to the inner workings of the toilet. I do my business, I push the handle, it makes the big whoosh sound, water flows down, and it flushes. Occasionally there's plunging involved, particularly with 3 small children in the house, one of whom has been quoted as saying, “I can clog a toilet with me eyes shut!” (That's actually a factual statement, by the way. No details, but really, it's impressive.) Anyway, finally, last night, we were going out to dinner and then to the store to pick up a few odds and ends, and Hunny demanded that I write a shopping list. So, amongst the other items, I scrawled “toilet handle flusher thingie.” I was hoping against hope that he would get the subtle hint that I was really tired of plunging my hand into the back of the toilet to flush it.
To my surprise, when we traveled to the plumbing aisle of our local Wal-Mart, the flush handles were under $5. In fact, I think we paid a whopping $2.86 for the one Hunny chose to replace the broken one. So much for my theory that he was hesitant to buy an expensive repair part. Well, it must be terribly difficult and or time consuming to put in, was my next theory. When we arrived home after our shopping excursion, I was putting away the few groceries we had picked up, and I sent Eggy to take the flush handle to his daddy so that the toilet repair work could begin. I had an ulterior motive. I had to pee and I did NOT want to put my hand into that tank one more time just to flush the toilet.
10 minutes later, Hunny was lounging on the bed, playing with his smart phone, and the handle assembly was still in it's package, waiting. Sigh. I picked it up and started into the bathroom.
What are you doing?”
Seeing how hard it is to fix a toilet since you haven't moved.”
Calm down. I'll get to it. I just haven't gotten up yet.”
At this point, I have visions of headboards and flat tires in my head. No, thank you, sir. “I have to pee and I don't want to reach into the tank to have to flush it one more time!”
Then don't.”
I heaved a long suffering sigh. He continued peacefully playing with his phone. My bladder gave a squawk. Really. This toilet stuff couldn't be that hard, right? No, it really couldn't. It consisted of screwing off the old handle and throwing it away, taking the nut off of the new handle, putting it through the hold on the tank, and threading the nut onto it. I did have to reach into the tank to attach the chain, but it was a 2 minute repair. Don't think I didn't question exactly why I'm married if I have to change my own flat tire and fix my own toilet within the space of a matter of days. Then I remembered he can still get things off of high shelves and the paycheck comes in handy. Okay. He can stay. ;-)

1 comment:

  1. Great Blog! I am without a doubt the procrastinator in the family (usually because my plans are a little bit over the top)and it is great to read about this annoying habit from the other side!