Time to Tool Up
Three decades of shirking is enough

This one was going to be an "Impeach the Bushoviks, NOW!," piece—but we still have a couple of weeks before the Plamegate trial formally outs the Cheney-Bush junta as official war prevaricators.  No need to jump the gun.

Instead, today I'm turning my attention to manly man subjects on the home front, literally.  This is the world of Honey-Do's, changing the oil in your own automobile, and replacing one's own furnace filters... where a real man's heroes are Bob Vila and Tim "the Toolman" Taylor.

Although I did actually become a mechanical engineer, my heart was never into the whole nuts-and-bolts, Mr. Fixit thing.  With the new feminism deemphasizing the Suzy Homemaker role for women, maybe I felt I didn't have to step up to any masculine tinkering responsibilities.

Yeah, that's it.

In any case, as I progressed through my adult life with my significant other(s) or on my own, I was more inclined to crack a book (or a beer) than open the toolshed to launch a home-improvement project. 

But this weekend brought an epiphany while I'm over at my lady friend's.  We sort of had an argument the previous week, and I think I found the solution.  It occurred to me, instead of talking about social justice or the latest cause-related info, I could pitch in and fix the downstairs toilet.


The new place she's bought is not what she had hoped for, and I sense the problems sometimes just batter her hopes.  So my taking some initiative and subduing even such a minor annoyance could really make her day.  Maybe even mine. :)

Step one is locate the leak and determine if it can be fixed by tightening the fitting.  No tools!  Yikes.  Well, she has a few scattered about.  We find a vise-grip wrench.  Promising I won't force anything, I clamp the wrench on the wrong part of the fitting and it splits.  Whoops.  Damn.

She says, "That's enough, just leave it.  Don't make it worse.  I'll get one of so-and-so's friends to fix it." 

And in the past I'd just say all right and let it go.  But for some reason, this time I resolve to stick with it.  I mean, geez, it's only a standard plumbing doodah that grows on a hook down at True Value.  Dammit, I'm a man, for Chrissakes!  I can do this.  

What is it Red Green says?

"Dammit, I'm a man, and I can change, if I have to, I guess."

Next morning, I go down to True Value, find the right tube and fitting, and using a crescent wrench make the repair. 
Da dah!  Okay, so I also helped her move some furniture around and lay down a new rug.  But, now, my status just changed from argumentative to semi-heroic!

And I do feel some primal sense of accomplishment:  discharging a male responsibility, like bringing down the mastodon—well, okay, the slow-moving, badly wounded duck—for dinner, and guess who just stepped up!  Moi.  And the whole thing starts me on a whole new line of thought.

I'm going back to True Value and buy that toolbox on sale.


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