Monday, March 20, 2006

My Approach to Home Repairs

When I first bought a house, some 8 years ago, it needed a lot of work. A lot. It was built in the late 40's, and apparently nothing had been done since. Let me tell you, my testosterone was flowing. I was going to gut the kitchen, put a new coat of paint on the entire house, replace the windows, redo both bathrooms, and Xenu knows what else.

Since I was new at this, I asked my father, who had owned at least 4-5 houses in my lifetime, what the best way was to fix the kitchen. His reply: "Open the yellow pages and look under K."

Ha! I laughed. I could do it. After all, I have opposable thumbs. I can hold hammers, saws, drills, and just about any other tool known to mankind. I was going to do it myself, with maybe an assist from some friends.

Wrong.

It turns out that while my opposable thumbs allow me to hold all sorts of tools, (yeah, yeah, including my own), that's all they do. I can't use tools to save my life, although apparently I can use them to endanger the lives of others. Although I still think that gas line should have been better marked. I am simply the worst home improvement person on the face of the earth, with one important saving grace: I know I suck. Therefore, my approach to home imporvement is to pay someone else to do it. You know what hapens when you do that?

It gets done. The first time. And it stays done too. Yep, unlike that screen door I put up myself one afternoon. That one got ripped off the house in a big wind and blown into the yard. The one I paid someone else to do? Still there. Looks good too. Much less crooked than the first one. And it gets done in less time than it would take a tree sloth to complete a marathon, which never happens when I'm trying to do anything more complicated that Legos.

So eight years later, we have a new kitchen, new bathrooms, new basement, new attic and half of the windows are replaced. I can proudly say that other than the initial demolition work, (which I'm really good at, whether I want to be or not), and the sort of work that a trained chimpanzee could do without supervision, (I had supervision when I put in the insulation), I did nothing except sign checks. And I don't feel bad about that at all.

Some of us were put here to create works of beauty, either with wood, or paint or anything else that requires patience, skilled hands and a trained eye.

I was put here to pay those other people.

6 Comments:

Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Yep! Your father was right. I learned the same lesson via the same route you did.

7:27 PM  
Blogger eclectic said...

See, this is why Mr. Eclectic and I do not buy fixer-uppers, because we are completely helpless in a home improvement store, and even worse at the improvements themselves. Gaaaaah! Step away from the power tools and no one will get hurt.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

Xenu knows what else... hahaha. I have got to start using that. I'd never rip you off behind your back. No, I do it right in front of your face :)

K and I are both pretty good with tools and home projects. Well, we are lesbians. But the line was drawn several years ago with plumbing, after we went a month with no downstairs shower. I'm not allowed to even look at flux or blow torches (damnit) again.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Pud said...

I was put here for the same reason too. I leave it to the "professionals" to do all that hard work, while I reap the benefits.

4:02 AM  
Blogger little sister said...

You da man! You understand how these things really do work!!! I had to help my father do home improvements as soon as I was old enough to "pass the screwdriver...no, the flathead screwdriver!" "here's the fathead screwdriver, daddy?"

"I was was put here to pay those people." Takes a real man to admit that, Limpy :)

4:07 AM  
Blogger Big Pissy said...

We're lucky in that Sweet Man can do quite a few home improvements himself. but he's also man enough to admit that there's a lot he shouldn't attempt.

for those: out comes the checkbook...

4:28 AM  

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