My wife once framed and displayed a broken piece plastic from the refrigerator to remind me not to try to repair things around the house.
So of us are better with our hands than others.
I try – and that might be the root of the problem. Some people have it; others don’t.
“Don’t worry honey,” my wife will say to me. “You have other strengths.” The gentle pat on the arm, I believe, is a nice touch on her part.
The odd thing is I come from a long line of men who could fix anything with a pair of pliers, a roll of silver duct tape, or an odd screw discovered on the bottom of their toolbox. My grandfather worked for decades in a wire manufacturing plant – touching, bending, and shaping metal into long ropes used in industrial construction cranes, oil and gas rigging, and or loggers clearing forests. My uncles worked their farms – a world where calling a local repairman is not an option. The combine jams or shuts down? Figure it out or starve.
As a child, I don’t believe a repairman ever darkened our doorway. The screen on the television going bad? My dad always kept a cardboard box filled with vacuum tubes stored away in the basement just in case. And doesn’t everyone use a broom handle when replacing the alternator on the car in the driveway? Silver duct tape, for the record, was so common around our house I began to think it was a fashion statement.
Skip forward a generation and you find me failing to perform an unsophisticated fix on the refrigerator door. Nothing particularly mechanical or requiring me to dig out the instruction manual. No, simply figure out how to get the water line flowing again. Apparently beating on a flimsy plastic part with brute force was not the best solution. This clarity only came to me only after picking up half of the offending part off the kitchen floor.
Or toss in the time I changed a flat tire on my wife’s car and remembered to only tighten one lug nut. She drove for a week before we discovered what all the noise coming from the rear of the car was about. We now have AAA.
Our how first dog, sweetest soul in the world, would run to the furthest back bedroom whenever he spotted me with a toolbox in hand. Animals apparently have those keen senses.
Eventually, my family developed an official standard operating procedure when repairs were needed around the house. My wife, the love of my life, pulled the kids together to make sure they mention when something would break around the house.
“I’ll call someone on Monday,” she said to our kids. “Until then, let’s keep this between us.”
So yes, some of us are better with our hands than others. My wife, in her kind way of protecting my ego, is supportive.
“Your hands seem to work fine on the keyboard. You might stick with that.”