Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Handymaaaan, the Handyman--Can't*

So I happen to have a husband who has a lot of positive "is" qualities. He is a great father, he is funnier than hell, he is posessed of a cute butt. But one thing he isn't is a handy guy.

Let me elaborate.

My sister, she's married to a handy guy. She didn't like their fireplace. Bam! It was sledgehammered out and a new one put in with hand-tumbled marble. By him. No help. Oooh, her kitchen is dated and she wants to rearrange the entire layout. Bam! Kitchen completely demolished, everything rewired, new marble tile, new cabinets, everything done by him except putting on the granite counter top. Not to mention he has the type of attention to detail that has him painting the petals on the rosettes he placed above their doorframes a color matching the wall paint. You get the picture.

Contrast that with dear Hubba-hubba. When my father taught him, at the tender age of 26, how to change his own oil, he thought he was the man. He raises his fist in triumph when he successfully re-hooks the chain in the back of the toilet. Our air conditioner recently broke in the midst of a heat wave, and he thought he knew the problem. Since he is not handy, he has a serious lack of tools and equipment. So he tried to scrape the condenser coils clean with a toothbrush attatched to a wire hanger. I didn't say he wasn't ingenious. But needless to say, that particular tool was not successful.

And I'm not sure it is his fault, really. His own father rarely took the time to say hello to him, much less show him the finer points of fixing a car engine. He had uncles who he adored and were handy, but his adoration apparently never led him into the bathroom to learn how to grout and lay tile. I happen to be of the opinion that you need someone to sort of show you the way, a repair guru, if you will. I personally am not handy either, I'm not sure my father ever thought to show me what he was doing.

Now one thing, however, that my sister and I have talked about is the trade-off we got in our husbands. Yes, her husband can fix or do practically anything around the house. But in social situations, he is at a complete loss. He tends to talk too much and not listen enough, or will just sort of ignore people. Hubba-hubba can tell a story that has people leaning forward in their chairs to hear the conclusion, and can talk to almost anyone and put them at ease.

I think I'll keep mine, because I can hire a guy to fix our garage door, but I can't hire a husband to be the life of the party. At least, not the last time I checked.

*Sung to the tune of "The Candy Man." Don't pretend you don't know how it goes.

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