Monday, September 4, 2017

The Crazy Handyman

          St. Bob and I have spent the majority of our marriage remodeling.  This is because he is a closet architect and loves to re-imagine spaces and I am a closet supportive wife (very much in the closet at times) and agree to his schemes. I mean his inventive plans.
          When I hear couples anguishing about the stress of a remodel, I think, What must that be like, NOT to be remodeling?
          For years we’ve had workmen traipsing in and out, dust in the air, sawing noises, hammering, and yes—a ladder falling onto our baby grand piano and causing it to be refinished.  It’s not something everyone brags about, but I have probably seen more butt cracks than any human alive.
          So I know a thing or two about hiring contractors and handymen. Now I like crazy people as much as the next person (more, if you ask St. Bob), but here's my advice: You are in for a load of misery if you hire someone who needs to be on medication and who is not.
Next to choosing the correct spouse, this one decision can account for 90 per cent of your future happiness.  Okay, that’s made up, but it’s pretty important.  Take, for example, a fellow we’ll call Barney.  We hired Barney because he was an inactive member of our church and we thought we could help him find his way back.  But Barney can drive you crazy in five seconds or less—faster than many Porsches can hit 60 miles an hour.
If he is in a jovial mood, you will mistakenly think everything is going to go well.  But there is a huge difference between cheerful and hysterically ecstatic.  If you get trapped in a small bathroom while he is loudly extolling the virtues of, say, shower grout, you can go deaf.  Your husband can emerge from this encounter staggering down the hall, wiping spit from his face, and grabbing for something to steady himself.
Laughter beyond any level you have ever heard can echo through your attic and smack into your kitchen, making you bang your head on the  underside of the sink.  When you go to the attic to investigate what on earth could be so funny, you find that it is nothing.
And in this fit of euphoria, the wacko handyman will go easy on himself, and forgive a little quarter-of-an-inch here and there, and the next thing you know, you will be tripping over your own floor.  Your faucet handles will turn backwards and your stove won’t fit its intended space, all because someone was thinking happy little thoughts instead of measuring accurate little measurements.
If said Barney is in a bad mood, he will come over, drop his tools, ladder, and buckets wherever he happens to be (in the doorway, say), and begin yelling about government corruption, cowardly police who won’t arrest his neighbors, and rich celebrities who give nothing back.  Your own neighbors will crane their necks to see who’s about to kill somebody, and you’ll have to yank Barney into the house and slam the door.
His work will be disastrous.  He will emit loud, gaseous noises, and will swear like a crazy handyman.  You will wait as long as possible, and finally you will drive like a demon to Nordstrom’s and buy three new outfits, and stop for a chocolate malt on your way home.  And thus your outfits won’t fit.
And you’ll have to hang them in a crooked closet.  So now you have plenty of advice for a happy marriage and a home that is not shaped like a rhombus.

Much of this blog came from my book, Funeral Potatoes—The Novel which you can buy here.  But there are many scenes in that book which came from my real life, and this is one of them.

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