Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

A Guy Thing

Today, at the bottom of the accumulated mail and catalogs on my kitchen island counter, I found the March 2008 issue of Fine Homebuilding magazine. Technically, this periodical belongs to King Richard, but I enjoy reading a column entitled “Great Moments in Building History.” These are usually pretty hilarious and pertinent to my life (or to some event in the history of my marriage). This month’s article, “My $14,000 Lamp,” was no exception.

A short account of men and the tools they require to make household repairs, the author had me at this paragraph:
After an intensive month-long search for a replacement part turned up nothing, my husband said, “You know, I could make that part. I just have to buy one tool.”
How many times have I heard that mantra?! I have a hydraulic jack, jack stands, and various small auto-repair-related tools in my garage that were purchased under the auspices of “I just need one more tool.” Fortunately, none of them set me quite as far back financially as this poor woman:
The next thing I knew, a 2-ton, $12,000 lathe was being delivered to my husband’s workshop.
And, not surprisingly, once this awesomely necessary tool was delivered, the much anticipated replacement part did not materialize. Why? What woman hasn’t heard these words in answer to that question?
“You don’t understand,” my husband said. “This is just the basic lathe. Now I need accessories.”
Oh, ho! I should have guessed that was coming...along with the tale of delivery trucks that dropped all those boxes of “accessories” on the author’s doorstep. I can so relate to this scenario. I just spent the last three weeks waiting for various and sundry parts to arrive so that King Richard can improve my hot water system.

But the best part of the entire article, the part that made even my husband howl with laughter, was this:
I felt trapped in a male version of the children’s classic If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. If you give a man a lathe, then he’s going to want a collet. If you give a man a collet, then he’s going to want a chuck. If you give a man a chuck, then he’s going to want a reamer...
Of course, my husband says that this holds true of women as well. If you give your wife a new refrigerator, then she’s going to want a new microwave. If you give your wife a new microwave, then she’s going to want a new kitchen. I don’t see the similarity in these arguments at all. Nope. I think it’s a guy thing.

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