All hail the handyman

My husband Larry is not the most handy guy around the house. If a computer isn’t working, he’s your man, but things like electrical work or plumbing are bigger mysteries to him than they are to me, at least it seems that way. Which was why the fact we had a leaky toilet filled me with trepidation.

It being just a fill valve, Larry decided that he’d be able to take it on without too much trouble, having seen his father replace one some 35 years previously. “Are you sure you don’t want to call Jack first?” I said with foreboding.

Jack is a friend of ours who is the source of all things handy, having been our knight in shining armor when we needed help with electrical things and I refused to let Larry work on them for fear of his new nickname being “Sparky” or my becoming a premature widow. Jack also installed our water heater for us when Larry chickened out after taking one look at the instructions and the warnings about electrocution and scalding.

Toilets aren’t nearly so dangerous, so I didn’t feel like this was something he couldn’t handle. It was something that he needed to take care of, since our water bill had shot out the roof and we needed to get it fixed or start sending my paycheck directly to the utility office.

Larry took the morning off work Monday and was able to get the shut off valve turned so there was no more water coming into the tank. That was when the quest for the right tool began.

My husband, like most husbands, has managed to acquire a collection of various tools in the process of doing various projects around the house. Unlike most husbands, mine seems to delight in avoiding buying the right tool for the job in favor of jury rigging something he has laying around already. Never mind that going to the hardware store would just be a lot easier and take less time, the challenge of figuring out a way to use a crescent wrench when a pair of vice grips is what’s really needed seems to be a large part of the satisfaction of a job done, even if not particularly well or efficiently.

Finally, after a couple of days of flushing the toilet with a bucket, Larry finally gave up his quest to jury rig something and went to the store and asked their advice. They sold him the right tool and he proceeded to fix the filler valve in an hour or so.

Being the wise woman that I am, I praised him greatly and gave him much admiration without mentioning that I would have preferred that he have just gone to the store the first day and gotten it fixed that much sooner. I think that’s an important part of a wife’s duties, making her husband feel appreciated when he does things, regardless of how long it takes.

I wonder when the right time will be to tell him that the dryer vent needs to be replaced?