“What are you doing home ... didn’t you call the electrician?” I nervously question my husband, as he stood in the doorway, with a new oven hood in hand.

“I decided I’d just do it myself,” he announced. I was pretty sure his voice had just gotten an octave deeper. That always happens when he says he’s going to fix something. It’s like it makes men more masculine. “No need paying someone for something I can do myself.”

“Oh brother,” I said to myself. “This is not going to go well.” I retreat to my office, because I know what’s coming.


There are many positive things I could say about my husband, Dennis. He’s intelligent, thoughtful, good-looking, athletic, great with young people, and a genuinely nice man.

But he is not a handyman! Let’s just say fixing things is not in his toolbox, as it were. But here’s the glitch – he really thinks he can.

Our garage door has been broken for 20 of the 25 years we’ve lived in our house. When I ask him about it, he responds with a short dissertation on how he’s going to fix it ... what ladder he’s going to use ... what tools he’s going to use, etc. It just never happens.


“Hey Dix, can you come in here and hold this thing up while I screw it into the bottom of the cabinet?” He hollers.

“Sure,” I answer, walking into the kitchen, and trying to avoid tripping over the numerous tools strewn over the floor.

Not a good sign, when they ask you to come and help. It has been my experience (after a lifetime of dealing with men) their patience is greatly reduced when they are fix-it frustrated. You just may become a target of said frustration.

“You did turn off the power?” I question, as I observe some dangling electrical wires. “I have no desire to become a lightning rod.”

His disgusted sigh, was apparently my answer. “Just hold it up, and I’ll reach underneath and ... you are holding it straight aren’t you?”


Now I realize that we all – both men and women – have different skill sets. Each individual has their own talents and weaknesses. For instance I can’t sew, not even a stitch. In fact, I’m so terrible at it, I was almost kicked out of 4-H club for an uneven hem.

But I have this theory about things like that.


“Son of a b_ _ _ _!” he shouts. “This darn screw just won’t go in.”

We’re fortunate our grandchildren aren’t visiting during Dennis’ foray into ‘handy manning.’ I’m quite sure this isn’t the second language their parents want them to learn!


Daylight has come and gone, and it has been hours since he started the oven hood project.

My theory is if you if don’t know how or can’t do something yourself, just hire someone! I realize that’ll be more costly, but then again so is marriage counseling.

“Hey Dix, I’m done! Took me a little longer than I thought – but it’s in and it works!”

I guess task accomplishment is a good thing.