Mr. Fix-It works his magic

This is my first ever wall patch job. Isn’t it splendid! Sanded to absolute perfection. Not a blemish. You can hardly tell there was a big hole there from when Daughter #2 mistook the towel rack for the uneven parallel bars and tore it off the wall.

broomI am hopeless. I’m sure that my brother-in-law is having big laugh over this. Not only can that dude smoke and cook ribs to absolute mouth-watering perfection, he can tear an engine apart and put it back together. Blindfolded, if necessary. He and his father single-handedly installed central air conditioning in their home. The only thing I keep in my toolbox is a checkbook.

I think your dad is supposed to teach you these practical skills. But I was such a repugnant failure to that guy, that he couldn’t stand to look me in the eye much less take the time to teach me how to properly patch a wall.

After leaving home I spent the vast majority of my life (up until New Jersey happened to me) living in apartments. If something went awry I called the superintendent from my office and, for the most part, it was fixed when I got home. The good old days.

* * *

Me, with WAY too much enthusiasm: “I have fantastic news, [Mrs. Wife]!!!”

Her: “What is it?!! Did they hire you on staff!?”

Me: “Nope. That’s not it.”

Her: “Was the mortgage refinance finally approved?!?!”

Me: “Ummm…no. Not exactly.”

Her: “What happened?!”

Me: “The corporate cafeteria is serving buttermilk fried chicken and collard greens this Thursday! Not yesterday! I didn’t miss it!

Her: “…?” “Are you serious?”

This is the type of nonsense she has put up with for a long, long time. I can’t wait until The Daughters are old enough to get a dose of my irritating, hyper-childlike enthusiasm. Just ask daisyfae what it’s like to walk through Rockefeller Center with me at Christmastime. It’s not sexy. It’s not mature.

14 thoughts on “Mr. Fix-It works his magic

  1. So what was the news from Mrs. Wife? I hate endings that leave you hanging. You could have always left the hole there for Mr fix it when we come for our summer visit. I have to say not a bad job for your first time-quit beating yourself up.

  2. Dear Mrs.Wife -This is a complicated game that it took me years to master. Hubby would come home from NYC and say, “Guess how many blocks I walked?” I – thinking I was supposed to be legitimately guessing – would answer, “67.” Oh the look of utter disappointment on his face would break your heart and then he’d mumble “No, 66”. I finally figured out I’m not really supposed to be guessing at all. I’m supposed to be giving him an opportunity to excitedly tell me something. What you have to do is low-ball it. In my case, I should have said 16. In your case you need to say something like “I don’t know, did they cancelled American Idol?”. It has nothing to do with anything and now he can Happily tell you about the chicken.From a wife who’s been around the block a few times(approximately 67), learned a few things along the way and has survived to graciously spread my wisdom.

  3. Well, I think I can just make out a sort-of shadow beneath that rail.But I am wearing fairly strong glasses…And if anyone gives you stick refer them to me and I’ll tell them what a damn-fine needle man you are.(I’m talking about the book-binding, not shooting up!)

  4. Anon: What the hell kind of vacation would that be?! Welcome to NJ! Now get to work?! The only thing we’re going to work is the casinos down in AC.Cat: You guys should collaborate on an owners manual. Or form a support group.dinah: I suppose my talents lie somewhere outside the bounds of my inadequate homeowner skills.

  5. Practice makes perfect! By the time your girls are all grown up, you may get lots of it.Hey, it’s fine! It’s not a hole in the wall still. If Mrs. Wife, doesn’t like it, she can always take over the handyman duties. 😉

  6. not bad for your first patch! i learned to do this while attending college – as we’d lose our apartment deposit for any damage to the walls. nail holes filled with toothpaste (NOT Gleem, as it had those blue specks). larger holes filled with spackling compound… got good at it eventually, but my first few tries were pretty awful!and yes…. you were enthusiastic about Rockefeller Plaza – but it was charming. but i was visiting. if i had to live with it, suspect i’d have to adopt Cat’s brilliant strategy…

  7. Ponita: To her ever loving credit, Mrs. Wife has no problems with my handyman acumen (or lack thereof). She knows what was in the box when she opened it on her wedding day.daisy: I was told not to use toothpaste to fill nail holes because it could draw bugs. Another leap in logic, I suppose. The good news about the wall patch is that when there’s a towel on the rack, you can hardly see it.

  8. I have to say that if either of my husbands had done what you have done – wall patch wise – I would have been pleasantly surprised.Tip: next time Daisyfae visits invite her round to do a few jobs.

  9. There’s no way my husband would ever attempt to patch a wall, so I’d say Mrs Wife is lucky. In our house I’m the handyman and it’s taken me years to patch to my satisfaction. And because we live in an ancient, crumbling sort of place I’ve had a great deal of practise. One of the things I learnt is to always use real plaster, the powdered stuff not ready mixed, rather than fillers which are always lumpy and easily knocked out with over zealous sanding. I think it sounds like much fun to walk around town with you. And who wouldn’t get excited about buttermilk chicken – not that I’ve ever had it but it sounds delicious?

  10. Pat: I just assume all husbands/men are more adept at these things than I am. If there are more of us out there, I should start a support group.Eryl: I wish I had had your plaster tip earlier. The stuff I used sanded away so easily! I was down to the screen patch in no time and had to reapply. Pretty irritating stuff. The buttermilk fried chick was so good that I was tempted to rub it on my chest so I could smell it all day. Instead, I simply ate it.

  11. my eyes! MY…..EYYYYYYYYES!dear god man, get some sandpaper! and no more manly food until some manly behavior crops up. Mrs. Wife will be giving me regular reports. youaresocuteijustwanttopinchyourcheeks…

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