Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Home Improvement
Co-habitation is an entirely new concept for the other-half and me. I’ve been, essentially, on my own since sixteen, followed by a decade of marriage to someone who worked out of town up to nine months a year. The other-half built the house we live nearly 20 years ago and has been a bachelor all that time.

He hadn’t done much to the place before my arrival. He had no furniture, unless lawn chairs and exercise equipment count. The walls were white. Not Dutch Boy semi-gloss antique-white, but the primer dry-wallers shoot from pump cans like insecticide white. That’s okay. I’m an artist and starting with blank canvas suites me just fine.

I soon discovered my Mr. Wonderful is not Mr. Home Maintenance. His maintenance plan is simple: If it’s not working right, throw it out and buy a new one. His back-up plan: If it’s not working right, take it out back, shoot it and leave a gaping hole in the spot it used to occupy. His alternative back-up plan: If it’s not working right let it sit there and call it furniture. So, what happens when one moves into a never touched by repairmen bachelor pad closing in on its twentieth birthday?

She gets blamed for EVERYTHING that goes wrong, as things are likely to do in a 20 year old home.

Some little gems over the years:


Me: Um, the county is coming out to inspect the septic tank. Guess the construction workers next door suspected a drain-field problem.
Him: *#$&#!@!! It’s your fault! With all the showering, cleaning and flushing you do. I didn’t have a septic problem until you moved in!
Me: (Contemplating my conservative flush-only-when-necessary, turn the water off between rinsing nature) Maybe it just needs to be pumped. When is the last time you had that done?
Him: Had what done?
Me: Had the septic tank pumped.
Him: You’re supposed to pump septic tanks?


Me: (Pushing random buttons on the dishwasher the week I moved in): The dishwasher doesn’t work. It doesn’t seem to be getting any power.
Him: Well, it had power before you started pushing random buttons.
Me: (Opening dishwasher) It did? These dishes look like they’ve been here since the advent of the Bee Gees.
Him: Well, it just never worked right. I’ve thought of getting a new one but it’s brand new. I’m not sure I’ve even used it once.
Me: (Realizing he just got a new dishwasher – me!) Can we get a new one?

Me: (Two years of hand-washing later) I had to pull the dishwasher out to grout the kitchen tiles. You’ll never guess what happened.
Him: What?! What’s broken now?
Me: Um, nothing. I fixed the dishwasher. It works!
Him: How’d you do that?
Me: Did anyone tell you dishwashers actually require a power supply?

Me: Is it getting hot and muggy in here or is it just me?
Him: It’s 100 degrees out. Even with the air on, it isn’t going to be comfortable. I’m fine. It’s just you.
Me: (From the mild Pacific Northwest and totally uneducated about air conditioners, having never had one): Oh.

Me: (An hour later, miserable and dripping in sweat): I think the dogs are dying.
Him: &$%*)! Did they get into something?!
Me: They are panting and their tongues are hanging out. Does it feel hot and muggy in here or is it just me and all the dying dogs?

Me: (An hour later, talking to the a/c repairman.) Well, what’s wrong with the thing?
A/C Man: Can’t find a thing wrong, but the fan doesn’t seem to be working. Why don’t you check the inside unit and make sure the filters are clean.
Me to Mr. Home Maintenance: A/C man says nothing’s wrong and that I should check to make sure the filters are clean.
Him: We have filters that are supposed to be cleaned?

I could continue this, but I love the guy too much to be so cruel. And, he does so many things for this household and our wellbeing; picking on him for his home dis-improvement doesn’t seem fair. But, stay tuned for the next episode, Honey, Why is There a Bullet Hole in the Refrigerator?”

[Interesting factoid: Spell-check doesn’t recognize the words “adoptee’ or “blog,” but it corrected my spelling of the “Bee Gees.”]
Rhonda Ruminated at 1:15 PM | Permalink |

4 Ruminations:

  • At 1:43 PM, Anonymous charlie

    From what I could tell, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this man. As a matter of fact, I like his laid-back attitude.

    Is he, perchance, Navajo? Navajo men believe that, if you don't look at it or don't think about it, it doesn't exist. Needless to say, that is why many Navajo women drink.

    When you are not repairing something that is not broken, I suggest you go to your artsy-fartsy drawing board and write on it ten million times, "Men are idiots."

  • At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Atilla The Mom

    bahahaha. Now I have to start a list. LOL

  • At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Rhonda

    Charlie: LOL, like me, the other-half is a bastard, origins unknown. So that makes two mysteries you've solved today - the mystery behind the girly-boy pants and ancestry of Captain Home Improvement. Thanks!

    ATM: Somehow, I knew when I posted that your husband was going to pay for it :)

  • At 9:53 AM, Anonymous Sven

    Funny stuff.

    For me it's about the money. I'm a tight wad so if I can squeeze another few months out of the freezer that no longer keeps things frozen or the carpet that could pass as a (dog)fur rug, I'll do it. My wife has figured out what it seems you have discovered as well, don't ask just do. Last fall I came home from work to find the whole kitchen had been painted and the appliances replaced.