I said something to a friend the other night about how I don’t know how to fix things, I just learn to adapt to them. At the time, I was speaking explicitly about my wonky door which doesn’t close firmly unless you futz with it. Wonky and futz are technical terms, obviously. When the words left my mouth, my friend and I both mentally noted what I had said and, while I don’t know about him, I know I’ve been thinking about that personal epiphany a lot in the last couple of days. My inability to fix things is kind of embarrassing, but at the same time, I think that learning how to accommodate for flaws can be a practical solution to a problem. But are we just talking about doorknobs?
I think that one of the after effects of divorce, is a feeling of personal failure. Public vows had been made with the best of intentions, as well as an abundance of emotion, yet the marriage has ended. Two people living as one are guaranteed to expose flaws and demonstrate failures which require attention. Are the repairs necessary to maintain a healthy, satisfying relationship something which can be taught as simply as how to replace a door’s faulty switch plate? Does one develop a technique to close the door in a slightly alternative, but still ultimately effective way?
When I consider my lack of hands-on handyman skills, I console myself with the knowledge that I can’t possibly do everything. But, you know me, I do always manage to see something positive in a situation, and a reality check about one’s limitations isn’t necessarily a bad thing, right? It isn’t as if I’m totally lame – I can sew buttons, fix hems and simple tears in clothing, and I am adept with a glue gun. It’s just household repairs that I can’t manage and, if you’ve ever sat at my wicked wobbly dining room table or seen the spot in the upstairs hallway where Quinn pushed Liam
through into the wall, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I’ve wondered through the years why I have no maintenance skills and think one of the reasons is that, prior to my current address, I’ve never lived in one place longer than 5 or 6 years. Much less owned a house, of course. I also didn’t grow up with an adult modeling these handy skills, so I didn’t get to observe how simple, (or complex), routine home repairs happen. But, I’d like to learn.
Thanks to a friend’s thoughtfulness, and her husband’s forgetfulness when it comes to buying replacement tools for items he already owns but can’t immediately find, I have an adorable tool box. I’ve developed patience over the years and generally can follow very explicit directions with accuracy. I believe that doing something the right way is well worth the time invested and will result in something that lasts. I can do that. I want to do that.