Wednesday, September 17, 2008

(Re)Building A Nest

Exciting things have been happening around our house. You see, somewhere in the past month our garbage disposal blew a seal. We realized it the other day when I pulled out the bucket below it to find it filled with rancid water and floaty chunks. Soup anyone? So on Saturday night Chris grabbed his giant flashlight (ok, who owns a 3 foot flashlight?), went under the sink to take a look around.

Assorted grunts, grumbles and comments came from the cabinet under the sink. Apparently he found what happens when over 5 years of sludge builds up in a garbage disposal. Got a real up close view. I’ll pass on confirming how disgusting it was, thanks.

But oh no, here we go again. Another home repair by none other than Christian – Schneider – Waterstraat. Remember Schneider? Of One Day At A Time tool belt, white t-shirt notoriety?


Well, he hasn’t quite gone full toolbelt crazy yet but sometimes he gets close. Recall a few months ago – one hot water heater that would go out at the most convenient of times. Like Christmas morning. The one morning of the year you sort of need to shower. Hot water heater broken. Schneider goes down there, does a few things with some tools. For all I know he finally just kicked it and it came back on. And then a few weeks later – off again. On again, off again. A few more kicks until finally I said enough. We are calling in the big guns – the real men that make a living off wearing a tool belt. Put your tools down, Waterstraat.

Seems he found them again. Took one look at the disposal the other night and somehow decided this repair was in the realm of things he just knew how to do. How do men know this? I do laundry, right? I have no freakin’ clue how to fix the washer. I put groceries away in the refrigerator. No idea how to fix it if it should go out. And the dishwasher? I load and unload it – and the best I can do with its sticky buttons lately is keep opening and closing the door until finally it starts.

Kind of like hitting the television to get reception. Two hits, clear as a bell.

At this point, Chris is online looking up to how repair the disposal. Meanwhile Boss has stolen a plastic bag from somewhere in the house (reminder, there is an Ironman in training around here, plastic bags go with the territory) and he runs around with it like he’s found gold. I’m sitting on the floor icing my legs with a bag of frozen mixed vegetables thinking I should probably get up and save the plastic bag from sudden death by Boss.


In case you’re wondering – this is what married couples do on Saturday especially when one is training for Ironman. I know, I know. Somewhere out there a married couple has the man dressed in a suit and the woman in strappy heels eating some exorbitantly priced dinner at the nearest five star restaurant. I don’t believe it. Or I’ll believe it every once in awhile. Instead I know most of them are at home cleaning up messes. Repairing household items. Chasing the dog after it has stolen things like socks, receipts and plastic bags. Doing loads of laundry. Making trips to stores like Costco in which I swore to myself I would never set foot in there again on a Saturday after getting a little too close to what I would call a real slice of American life. As if you couldn’t top that, eating dinner like good little elderly folk at 5 pm.

And…as if all of that wasn’t enough, they probably cap off Saturday with a trip to Home Depot for their home repair. Chris tried to talk me into joining him. But Costco was bad enough. Costco AND Home Depot in the same day? Death by big box store. No way was I setting foot in a Home Depot on a Saturday night. You think it will be empty. You think wrong. Why? Because every other married couple is in there doing what married couples do on Saturday nights – they buy paint, they select a new garbage can, they pick out a light fixture, they purchase a new Evolution Compact ¾ HP Heavy Duty Motor Insinkerator.

This my single friends is what you have been waiting for all of your life.

Sometimes Chris gets antsy and sad – about our social life. He mourns for whatever it is that other married couples do or other couples with one not training for Ironman do. Times like this I have to remind him that this is exactly what they are doing out there. Wife is wearing pajamas while eyeing the mountain of laundry on the washer. Husband is wearing some ratty concert t-shirt while contemplating his next home repair. Dog is chewing squeaky squirrel apart. There is no secret swingers Saturday night club for married couples living on the edge. This could be as good as it gets. No, it’s pajamas, laundry, home repairs and … has the dog pooped yet?


Chris returns from Home Depot with the goods. He reports that at 8 pm on Saturday night the Home Depot was packed. They were all in there – the married couples. Mostly buying sump pumps and paint. Then he shows it to me. The brand new Insinkerator. Oh this is nice. It looks like R2D2 on the kitchen counter. Where is its tall skinny friend CP30? And that hot guy Han? I am looking over the new disposal when I ask Chris how did he make the choice? Is this another thing that men just know – they look at a variety of disposals and something shouts – that, that’s the one. Kind of like how I know how to select a loaf of bread (I really don’t – have you tried choosing a loaf of bread lately? Can it be anymore complicated and must everything have some sneaky form of sugar in it?) Chris admits that he knew of the brand after we had watched the episode of Made In America about the Insinkerator factory (note: we watched this on a Saturday night).

He installs R2D2 under our sink and then in a display of his handyman repair skills – he turns it on. It is quiet and functional. Schneider can call it a raving success. We are now back to grinding food remnants without any leaks. And finally around 9 pm the tool belt gets put away.

But not for long. Because tonight he installed a new car stereo. I had no idea I married both Home Depot and Radio Shack. Found him on the back porch with assorted colors of wires and a sodering gun. And this was after – AFTER – he made dinner. From scratch. Chili and cornbread. Now before you start sending me requests to clone him, send over his chili and throw in the toolbelt....need I remind you that we have an Ironman in training here. As someone politely pointed out – all of this might have nothing to do with married life Saturday night and manly need for home repair. No folks, you see with less than 3 weeks until Kona all of this can mean only one thing:

My husband is nesting before Ironman.


Not that again. Remember what happened when Chris was nesting last year before Ironman? Remember the "I washed the floor with Pledge wood polish" incident? It wasn’t good. And looking at this year – it’s not good again. It’s safe to say before we leave on October 6th all of our vehicles and home appliances will be rebuilt. The dog will be bathed weekly. Dinner will be made. Tools will be scattered around the house (right now there is a hammer hanging in the laundry room). But as long as I keep him away from the floors, I think we'll be ok.


Right?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't let my wife see this, she'll realize I'm totally useless. I barely managed to hang blinds the other night without damn near reducing the house to a smoldering crater, and I'm pretty sure I've been banned from every Home Depot in the Chicagoland area.

Wes said...

ROFLMAO... Dee Dee is responsible for all garbage disposal repairs in this house. She's my kind of gal. Of course, I cook and clean and such.

We don't question the super secret ways of women. Why question the super secret ways of men? There are things we just know? Like sizes of equipment, directions, and instruction manuals? For children!!!

I'm sure you guys are old hat now at Ironman nesting. You should be able to hold off the gray hairs for a few more years :-)

KodaFit said...

What good self respecting man doesn't own a three foot flashlight?

As far as how do we know this stuff... I think it's genetic, just part of being a man. I tried to explain it to my wife once, but her eyes were glazed over before I got too far into it.

Kim said...

This is perfect.. Our house has been on the "I'm going to fall apart piece by piece and try to kill you before Ironman" bender the last few weeks - you've got a husband who is "nesting" and fixing everything in sight. All I can say is - How much to ship him to PA? I'll pay extra for 2 day or overnight. He weighs what - 165? That shouldn't break the bank. I'm sure he'll screw some things up, but if he even fixes one we'll be further ahead than we were with Mr. Freak Roter Rooter and a soggy basement we had last week!! I'll have a fresh toolbelt waiting!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Um, you guys sound like us. Except we live in an apartment and we're supposed to call maintenance. It doesn't always happen in that order, though. You are not alone. :)

Flatman said...

You are so screwed...

TriGirl Kate O said...

Be grateful you have a husband who has at least TRIED to mop the floor. In 15 yrs of marriage, I don't think Joe has ever swept, mopped, or vacuumed. He is also not very handy w/ tools or technology.... but he is good at other things! We love them anyways.