handy man.

I've had a stack of five pallets sitting next to my driveway since last fall. I got them for free off CraigsList, because I wanted to build a compost enclosure. I saw instructions online on how to build it, and I'd even bought the parts. And then everything just sort of sat there for a long time. I guess it wasn't high on my priority list. There's a rolled-up hammock sitting in my dining room for a similar reason.

Tuesday evening, I came home and it was magically done. It even had a hinged door. It's so nice to have a man around the house.

After admiring the new compost bin and giving lots of compliments to the maker, he asked what else needed to be done. For reals? I can just, like, tell you things that need to be done and things will happen? I mentioned the ceiling fan that had mysteriously stopped working one day during the winter. It wasn't a huge deal for a long time, but now that it was getting hot in the day, I missed having the cheap cooling mechanism spinning above my head. Also, it was the only source of overhead light in the living room, and sometimes, lamps just don't cut it. I was to the point of calling an electrician and buying a new fan.

Thursday night, the fan was whirring pleasantly. I told my sweet handyman to have a slice of pie for his trouble. He had two, then asked for the next task. I mentioned the door locks.

Some time ago, his grandparents' house was broken into, which led him to assess the security of our house. It's pretty basic. I'm relying mostly on the fact that ours is probably the cheapest house in the neighborhood. It's a similar principle as going out to the bar with ugly friends. But he decided that, at the very least, we needed better locks, particularly since I was alone there so much of the time.

I lived alone for years, and I'm not scared of it. But I do get a little spooked every once in a while. One night, the porch light came on mysteriously, as it does from time to time. Maybe it's rapists, but more likely it's a bat or a bunny. But then I started hearing thuds and clicks coming from the other side of the door and I became very aware that I was just a little ole girl, sitting here alone and watching a musical, very vulnerable. I grabbed a pair of scissors and my cell phone and crouched next to the door. Standing on tip-toes, I peered out the tiny decorative window and saw nothing except bugs. Giant bugs, declaring their love for my porch light by throwing their bodies forcefully at the house. Bugs are very romantic.

I don't know that new, tougher locks will really make me feel any more secure when he's gone. But Josh says it makes him feel better about leaving his baby alone (that's me). And so I get the double bonus of having my big strong boyfriend do handywork and also wanting to protect little ole me. It makes me feel delicate and dainty.

I'm hoping to capitalize on this mood of his for as long as it lasts. There's the hammock, and those outside lights that have never worked. Maybe a clothesline and a fence for the back yard so we can get a dog. The gutters could be use a cleaning, and there is moss on the roof. I could do all of these things myself, likely with considerable trial and error. But it's so much nicer to have someone else do it for me.

I don't like to rely on gender roles. I would never say that he has to do those things because he is the man, nor would I try to apply our situation to any other couple. But he seems to enjoy doing these things for me and I enjoy thanking him with food. Maybe it's because we were brainwashed into thinking that real men fix things and real women cook, but, hey, we don't care. It works for us, and in the end, we can both enjoy the cool air generated by the fan as we eat our pie.

No comments: