Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wanted: Handy Man/House Husband: Must Love Books

I’m not quite sure when it first appeared in my subconscious. Maybe it started to appear about the same time I was trying to teach the triplets how to drive. Bullet Hole’s Curb-Climbing School of Driving. As I found myself grabbing the steering wheel, jamming my foot against the floorboards searching in vain for a non-existent brake and extracting my fingernails from the dashboard in triplicate, the first glimmers of ‘I sure could use a man around the house’ sentiments began. I shrugged it off. Well, as best I could wearing a cervical collar. This, too, shall pass, I told myself. And I moved on.

Then it came time to buy cars for those licensed drivers and it happened again. I found my head beneath the hood of a 1984 Mercury Grand Marquis looking at the engine components with no clue what I should be looking for. Or at. If there isn’t a puddle of oil or some neon green liquid beneath the car that wasn’t there when I parked it, I’m pretty much good to go. “It’s only got 53,000 miles on it,” the salesperson told me. “It belonged to the great-aunt of the owner of the lot and she hasn’t driven it in years.” Later, after I bought the car, I was to discover why. As I wrote out a check for valve cover gaskets, new brakes, a water pump, and a new oil pan, I had to wonder if I’d have been ripped off if I’d had a male with me. Car dealers so like to screw with women. Well, you know what I mean.

Maybe it would be nice to have a man around the house.

Then, the floods of 2007 hit and I was up to my knees in cold water, going through my basement in hip waders and the thought occurred to me again--among a lot of other not-so-nice thoughts. I sure could use a man around this house. I sucked it up--both the water and my nerve--and reminded myself I was too set in my ways after all these years to consider bringing a man into the mix at this late date. With an independent streak so wide they can see it from the space shuttle, the idea of being accountable to someone other than the Big Guy upstairs didn’t sit well.

At the time of my divorce many years ago now, I promised myself I’d devote my time and energy to raising my four kids and focus on their needs. And frankly, after my first ride on the marriage mobile, the last thing I wanted was another go round. I was still reeling from the last one. Plus there was the ratio of parent to child thing to consider. There just wasn’t enough ‘me’ to go around as it was. And that fact that the only guy who would take on a divorced mother and four children would probably turn out to be a pedophile I’d have to hurt real bad also factored into my decision to go it solo.

Still a series of elements had me reconsidering. Like the leaves that are hanging out of the gutters taunting me day in, day out. And the dead tree in the back yard that I know someone who is competent with a chain saw (so not me) could make short order of. And the dining room that needs new laminate. Or the kitchen that needs new everything. Or the lawn mower that refuses to start.

Hmm. Maybe I could use a man around here.

I thought about it long and hard. (Uh, that’s not meant to be a lewd reference, folks.) I thought about being able to come home from work and wash my face and get into grubbies and not have to deal with issues like, “Does this make me look fat?” Or, alternatively, “horribly unattractive?” And the fact that I can get by with just general maintenance when it comes to ‘body work’ rather than keeping the old chassis spit-shined and polished all the time. And the reality of all that ‘me’ time I’ll have when the kids leave the nest next fall.

Then I consulted a friend. “If something happened to your dear husband, you’d get married again, wouldn’t you?” I asked. She reached out and felt my forehead.

“Wouldn’t you?” I pressed.

She slapped me upside the head to make her point.

Message received.

Yesterday as I left to walk to work and I noticed a long, green trail of radiator coolant running down the driveway from my daughter’s car and into the road.

Hmm. Know any handy man types? Just in case I change my mind...

And remember. He must love books!

~Bullet Hole~

19 comments:

Christie Craig said...

Kathy,

LOL! I'll keep my eye out for a Mr. Fix it with a some good tools who appreciates a good read, and isn't afraid of women who know how to use a gun.

Thanks for the chuckle.

Crime Scene Christie

anne said...

I have met the handyman par excellence. He is capable of any type of repair job imaginable. I rarely get to spend time with him since he is so occupied with his day job.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

My husband loves books but that's about the only criteria he has that you require!

I was the one who did all the car maintenance (when we had one) Funny story - once we had a flat on the way home from work. I pulled off on to the shoulder and was rooting through the trunk looking for the jack and tire iron while hubby tried to be inconspicuous around the side of the car while reading the owners manual. A man in a truck pulled over almost immediately to help me out. He was a little taken aback when he saw my hubby skulking. But he kindly stayed and changed the tire for me anyway.

I say take some DIY classes. Maybe you'll get a cute teacher :)

Estella said...

I would NEVER get married again. I learned how to do most of my own car maintainence from my father, when I was a teenager. I am retired, but i can still do a lot of my own home and yard clean-up also.

Lucy said...

I recently got tagged to list eight "quirky or random" things about myself. #8 on my blog (which I posted yesterday) was as follows:

8. The thought of me ever getting married again scares the heck out of me. Just thinking about it possibly happening some day makes me hyperventilate - and I'm not even seeing anyone!

My dogs recently brought a possum in through the doggy door (actually two - one dead, one that was still alive). I handled the dead one but for the one that was taking the grand tour of my living room, I walked across the street, introduced myself to my male neighbor and had him come take care of the problem for me. At this point in my life, that works for me. LOL

Stacy S said...

Wish I knew some handy man for you! I never thought I'd get married again, but I did. If it didn't work out this time, I would never do it again. 12 years and counting hopefully.

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks, Christie, for being on the lookout for Mr. Goodwrench.

It's either that or I take an auto mechanics class and a crash course from Bob the Builder.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

I feel like I've already gone over and above the line of duty in home repair, Anne. I've fixed toilets, cleaned gutters, shingled TWO houses, spackled, painted, stained, and stenciled. I've changed tires, changed oil and charged batteries.

Several years ago I asked for a drill at Christmas. What's worse I was delighted when I got it.

I'm in a bad way...

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

That is too funny, Jenyfer! I can just picture the guy's face who stopped to do his good deed for the day only to spot your hubby.

Back when they really taught driver's ed, students had to change a tire in ten minutes in order to pass the course. Now everyone just pulls out their cell phones and calls the garage. Or, in the case of my teens, Mom.

Thanks for sharing!

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

I think I'm probably with you on marriage the second time around, Estella. After all this time it would be really hard to change as much as I'd have to in order to accommodate a husband.

And I really do know a dipstick when I see one. And water pumps. I've purchased three in the last year. Sigh.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

LOL...!

I'm with you, Lucy. Just the mere thought of marriage gives me heart palpitations. And I like your idea of consulting a nice neighbor first. I have to admit. I have a really extra special big brother who helps me out a lot, as well.

~Kathy

Kathy Bacus said...

Congratulations on twelve years and counting, Stacy!

Sounds like love the second time around is workin' for you, girl!

~Bullet Hole~

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Just for the record, I could have changed that tire if I'd had to - I've done it before. But why get my hands dirty if I have a volunteer!?

As for the possom? I might have called animal control if no neighbors had stepped up! They have too many teeth!

lila n. said...

I am not sure I would like someone who loves books... he will have no time for me!

Nathalie said...

Marriage also gives me palpitations and night sweats... if I need someone handy I call an agency, they do the job... and I pay!

Lily said...

I am so not handy... if I get married I would want him to know how to do basic stuff like use some tool... but I will be able to deal with the scalpel myself!!

Kathy Bacus said...

It would just be kind of nice to have someone else who enjoys a good book too, Lily. I can see us now. Sitting in two big Lazee Boy (and girl) recliners reading our respective books.

Hey, I write fiction. What did you expect?? :)

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Okay, today I had to haul in patio furniture and clean gutters. And the mower wouldn't start.

Then my computer started going funky on me. Now I can't decide if I need a handy man or a computer geek. Or both.

Regardless, the idea of dating scares the living daylights out of me, too, Nathalie.

Heck, Lily, if you know how to wield a scalpel, a screwdriver, putty knife, and paint brush oughta be a piece of cake!

Thanks for checking in!

~Bullet Hole~

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