Friday, July 15, 2011

The Hazards of Marrying a Handyman

When I met Jeff, he was an accountant.

When I married Jeff, he was an accountant.

But when our washer broke down, Jeff turned into a handyman.

I didn't know what happened. Jeff had the machine pulled apart within minutes - parts strewn across the laundry floor. And he had this look of consternation about him. A serious manner overtook his usual joking self.

You would have thought Agent 007 was on the job.

Suddenly, he needed more tools, which devolved into a two-hour detour of scavenging through the garage. Once said tools were acquired, the repair commenced.

To my amazement (and I mean that in the nicest possible way), he fixed it. Well, I mean, he mostly fixed it. There remained a certain temperamental attitude with the machine after that first fix. Closing the door required a sort of hip-to-door action while one hand simultaneously pushed the starter knob.

But hey, it worked.

After Jeff successfully repaired the washer, though, it became something of a personal matter to him that it remained thus repaired. Any subsequent break-downs were forever-after perceived as a personal affront to him. It was as if our washer had become our very own Moby Dick. There, lurking amongst the sloshing laundry water, a menacing creature was ready to take Jeff down at any given moment. And Jeff wasn't about to give in.

By the umpteenth break-down, and years of hip-bruising door-maneuvering on my part, I was begging my handy husband to ditch the machine, once and for all, and buy a new one. But Jeff wouldn't hear of it.

In fact, by this time, Jeff had all but convinced himself that he had missed his calling as a numbers-and-spreadsheets-kind-of-guy. He thought for sure that a destiny of repair-work beckoned his true name.

But I was now living in a house where an eclectic assortment of household appliances only sort of worked some of the time. Even our brand-new trash compactor would only receive trash, and not actually compact it, because of some cross-wiring incident. And I won't even get started on the abysmal state of install-them-yourself sprinklers in our backyard that have consumed countless hours of digging because the-one-who-shall-remain-nameless refuses to ever call someone, like a landscaper, for help.

But I digress.

These are merely a few of the hazards of marrying a handyman. However, I am frequently reminded of how much money we have supposedly saved with all of these do-it-yourself repairs.

He may be right. Only God knows.

So I confess. I pray for patience often. I've even been known to pray for my appliances on occasion. Hey, don't fault me here. I firmly believe that Jesus can fix anything - even my washer.

I probably pray a number of "please-fix-it" prayers.

Lord, please fix my short fuse.
Lord, please fix my faulty wiring.
Lord, please fix my connectors.

I wonder if Jesus ever gets tired of His bride always asking for Him to swoop in and fix stuff? You know, petty stuff? And quickly, too, if you don't mind?

With a Roman soldier's hammer and nails, Jesus already fixed everything.

Of course, some prayers feel as though forever is delayed. But I think He's been trying to teach me something about waiting.

Waiting for certain situations to get fixed.
Waiting for certain relationships to get fixed.
Waiting and then waiting some more.

My dear husband, with all of his handy antics, has taught me a lot about waiting. I wish I could say that I have never griped like an Israelite in a desert. But I can say that I have lived to see a Jordan River of my own part waters.

And the waiting was worth it.

What are you waiting for today?



Warren Baldwin said...

DJ, you make a very good point here about patience, something I certainly need more of, too. But, I really liked your discussion of "the handyman." I can sure relate to Jeff! My wife will not sometimes say, "Just call somebody to come fix it b/c I need it right away." Ah, maybe in retirement our true mechanical talents will be fully realized!

Anonymous said...

As one who has done handy work many decades ago, I learned early on NOT to do any handy man stuff. It was never good enough (in my own eyes, and anyone else around me). Interestingly both of our sons are very handy and will work on anything.

A few months ago, I did did a simple repair and my wife of 40 years said, “I never knew you could do that!” I had safely hidden my ability to do SOMETHING handy and feigned ignorance so well. My standard line has always been, “Let’s call someone to do it right.”

In a sense that is pride, and I recognize that now. But my patience at not having something work the first time I tried to repair something always left me incredibly frustrated.

Missie said...

My husband is learning the handy man position along with being a husband and a homeowner so I can totally relate.
I am so blessed to have God and faith because I definately need a handy man more than my house does!

Tami Boesiger said...

LOVE it D.J.