What Makes a Man a Man

The other day I managed to short out the oven while trying to change a light switch in the bathroom. Naturally it’s a long and dull story. And it’s really Frigidaire’s fault, which is an even longer story. The upshot is, my fiancée was on the Google the next day looking for a home maintenance course I could take.

I am not a handy man. I’m not a complete bungler around the house, but I’m also easily stymied by such things as light switches that are wired differently from the examples I can find online.

Normally, I suppose, you learn how to do handy things at dad’s knee, but my father wasn’t around when I was a kid and his dodgy replacement was none too handy himself. I learned a thing or two watching my grandfather when he would step in to fill the handy gap, but mostly I watched the hand that was hoisting a bottle of Old Vienna and not the one fiddling with wires and hammers. As a consequence I am now the drinks columnist for a national newspaper and I don’t know how to install a chandelier.

My semi-uselessness with tools didn’t seem to faze my fiancée when she was my girlfriend and we rented, but now that we are engaged and own our home, she’s willing to humiliate me by openly expressing disappointment with my skills.

(Yes, humiliate. Ladies, I explained to my fiancée that her saying, “I think a man should be able to do things around the house,” was akin to me saying, “You know, I think a woman should look better in that outfit.” She apologized.)

As it happens, I was way ahead of her. I had already been searching for ways to learn more about home maintenance. In this matter there’s no switch you can flick to change from boyfriend to pater familias, so I’m looking at a protracted do-it-yourself job.

Image courtesy of iampeas.

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