On Handymen

I HATE to admit it, but I never thought my husband would be good at fixing stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I thought he wasn’t handy with a hammer, I’d just never seen any evidence of his “manly'” abilities.

For most of our relationship we’ve been inner-city dwellers, renting apartments with no real maintenance issues except the odd leaky tap.

A couple of years ago, though, we moved to an isolated property. That’s when I discovered the man can get shit done, and at the risk of sounding like a ’50s housewife, I dig it.

It started with the odd job around the place, nothing major, maybe a replacement nail on the fence here or there.

Then it started to get more impressive. I remember standing on the back deck with a couple of our mates, staring at him as he split wood for the fire. We were all quietly in awe. Where did this whippet-thin, long-haired dude pull this lumberjack talent from?

Then there was the septic tank hose, which had the disgusting habit of blocking and then overflowing. He may have dry-retched the whole way through, but he cleared that hose even when it was pouring with rain. Yeah, he’s a keeper.

Speaking to a friend the other day about the attractiveness of “handymen”, she lamented that she was the Mr-Fix-It in her household.

Given the fact she was raised on a farm, it’s hardly surprising the girl knows how to fix a tractor and can wield an axe with the best of ’em – she’d just prefer not to.

“I know we’re modern women and I should be OK with it, but there’s just something about a man who can fix and build stuff,” she sighed.

I was reminded of a scene from Mad Men, where Peggy Draper and her neighbour watch the ridiculously smooth Don Draper build a dog house.

“That man!” the neighbour gushes as Don hammers away.

The feminist in me gets a little uptight about my new-found admiration for handymen, but then I remind her I don’t have the time or energy to be doing this stuff myself.

Show me a woman who wants to come home from a day at the office and then fix the damned washing machine and I’ll show you a woman who has managed to clone herself.

And at the end of the day, it’s nice to know that when the septic tank literally craps itself, your other half will clear it just so you won’t have to. In my books, that’s better than roses on Valentine’s Day.

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