The light over the front door had been burned out for over a month and despite repeatedly asking my spouse to replace it, he hadn’t. As it was winter in the North, it was dark by 3:30pm and as I was coming up the front stairs to the house from a Doctors appointment, carrying a toddler and about 5 months pregnant. It had snowed lightly while we were out and I slipped and fell. I turned to protect the little ones and as a result, bruised up my side, my hip and elbow.
As I struggled to my feet with a crying baby in arms, my spouse rushed around the car as he heard my cry as I went down. I snarled at him as he went to help us up, to remove the light fixture and change the burned out bulb before coming inside the house. I was furious and in pain. I kicked off my snowy, wet boots, shrugged out of a heavy winter jacket, limping towards the sofa with both me and the baby crying.
I heard him come inside, heard him leave all while trying to calm down the baby, blow my nose and get a bottle of milk warmed up. After a few minutes of sitting in the arm chair, my spouse came back through the front door dragging a kitchen chair behind him. A chair with an ivory colored upholstered seat. A seat that now had dirty wet boot prints on it and that had obviously had the seat board broken; snapped from an adult man standing on it instead of a ladder, to replace the burned out light bulb.
Over the years, I have asked him to fix it, to replace the board. We fought about it, I asked for it to be a gift, I offered to barter services for it to be fixed. Eventually, I just put the small table and 2 chairs out into the garage as it simply wasn’t useable.
Eight years ago, I had a need to use the table and 2 chairs again and moved them up into the kitchen. The battle resumed over fixing the damn chair. Two weeks ago, I removed the seats from the chair, pulled out the staples and took the measurements. I have no desire to use power tools and frankly they scare me, and so last week, I approached the husband of a friend, who is a carpenter and had a garage full of plugged in things that make noise and leave a mess, as we were leaving a venue.
In front of a group of friends and our spouses on the way to the vehicles, I told him I had a little job for him, I asked him if he could help me, by cutting out my tracing of the seat bottom in the ¾ inch board I had purchased. Of course he agreed. As he glanced between my and my spouse he said, “Are you sure you need my help for this? Isn’t this something your husband should do?”
My reply was heavily laden with suggestive innuendo. “In an ideal world, my husband would be equipped with the appropriate sized tools to take care of everything I needed him to do; but it’s not and he can’t, which is why I have to ask other men to take care of jobs he’s not equipped to handle.”
Everyone roared with laughter and I continued looking straight ahead, not bothering to check my husbands reaction as everyone made their own raucous and inappropriate jokes about what I had said. “You’re still working with kids tools, buddy?” “Not enough weight in the hammer?” “The job needs a longer drill bit, does she?” “Too many curves for you to handle with too little equipment?” “The plastic toy sets are harder to use for certain jobs to get good results.”
So today, as I worked on a client file, I hear the unmistakable sound of a power tool out in the garage. Sure enough, he enters with a cut out base for my chair , using the miter saw I bought for him years ago. Twenty years of asking, begging, fighting and pleading got me nowhere. All it took was a well aimed remark to another man and in front of a crowd, that my husband wasn’t up to the task of doing jobs a wife needed to get done, in order to be satisfied.
Looks like he finally gave me some hard wood to work with.