Monday, May 16, 2011

Joe Fix-It Strikes (Out) Again

The stereotypical cliché is that the helpless woman marries the man so that he can take care of the house and fix all the things that break and need fixing. I’m sure this is the case with some people, or it wouldn’t be the stereotype. I am not one of those people.

Some guys are “Joe Fix-It.” I’m “Joe Ignore-It-And-Hope-It-Gets-Better-On-Its-Own.” It never does. Then I switch to “Joe Stand-There-While-The-Wife-Fixes-It” mode. I’m very good at being “Joe Stand-There-While-The-Wife-Fixes-It.” Sometimes you just have to find your niche and go with it.

I may not be "Joe Fix-It," but I do know the difference between a crescent wrench and a Croissan'wich.
(I would prefer a Croissan'wich.)
Case in point: A while back, I got out of the shower and noticed the faucet was dripping pretty badly. My immediate reaction? I must not have turned the shower off far enough, so I crank down on the knob as hard as I can. The drip gets worse. My next reaction? Like Tim “Tool Time” Taylor from "Home Improvement," I decide to go with “more power.” I crank down even harder on the knob. Of course, this only makes the drip worse yet again.

My next course of action? Reboot. (Hey, it works sometimes with the computer.) I turn the shower back on, then turn it off again. Since the faucet doesn’t run on any Microsoft systems, this strategy fails miserably.

Now I have nothing left in my arsenal except ignore-it-and-hope-it-gets-better-on-its-own. It’s a tried and true strategy that I’ve employed for years. And, surprisingly, it’s actually worked a few times, most notably with engines that have overheated or are flooded. But, I don’t think the “Ignore it” strategy has ever worked with a leaky faucet. That doesn’t stop me. I’m going to give it a try.

So, I went back to my daily grind of watching the kids and whatnot, and didn’t give any more concern to the faucet. Then The Wife came home from work at school (she’s a teacher), and went to the bathroom. Any thoughts about the faucet had completely left my mind (I’m good at “Ignore” mode) until the moment she yelled, “Joe!” I always hate it when reality strikes and I’m shaken out of “Ignore” mode.

(And to be clear, when The Wife yelled, “Joe!” it wasn’t a yell of “Joe, what did you do to the faucet!” It was more a yell of, “Joe, do you know anything about this faucet that is leaking?”)

What was The Wife’s first reaction to the leaky faucet? “Where are the tools?” The thought of using tools to fix the faucet hadn’t even occurred to me. (I am an idiot.) And soon enough I had reverted to my role as a 14 year-old on the farm: I was the tool gopher. Except that now instead of going for tools for my Dad, I was going for tools for my Wife.

Soon enough, she had the thing taken apart and the problem diagnosed. We needed a new shower handle knob. (My cranking down on it had, of course, made the problem worse.) So, we stopped at the hardware store to get a new one. (Ironically, The Wife likes to have me with her at the hardware store, because if she is by herself they treat her too condescendingly.) Before the evening was out, the faucet was fixed. (For good measure, while she was in the area, The Wife decided to change the shower head, too.) (Just because.)

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