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A Not-So-Handy Man

"Um - why don't we just get Pete to do it, my angel?" I asked nervously as Steve began taking measurements of our yard door frame. "I mean, your brother is coming here ANYWAY to do some work around the house, why not just ask HIM to make it?"

"No, don't be silly," Steve muttered through the pencil he had in his mouth. "How hard can it be?"


My point exactly. But that was not what was worrying me. What I was REALLY concerned about was the fact that there is only one thing worse than a man who is not a handyman - and that is a man who THINKS he is a handyman .... But isn't.

Now don't get me wrong - I was absolutely THRILLED that Steve was planning on making an old-fashioned wooden door for my herb garden ... but, I was a little nervous that he would either knock himself unconscious with the hammer (again) or that he would somehow end up with a nail in his hand (again).

"But aren't you TIRED?" I attempted. "You have had such a hard week! Let Pete do it, my angel - as you say, it's not hard. Rather spend your time on something more challenging!"

"No, I'd really like to do it," Steve replied earnestly. "Here, hold the other side of the tape measure."

And with that, he was off - measuring, drawing diagrams, shopping for wood - he was like a man possessed. And so was I. Because, while Steve is more than happy to help out around the house - he also has to have an audience while he does it. At until I figure out how to bribe Kayla to stand and watch her father "make" stuff - that audience is me.

And so, there I stood, oohing and aahing over his muscles as he sawed. I raved about his nailing skills, I marvelled at how sturdy the door seemed, I even told him how impressed I was at the door he was making.

And I didn't have to lie. Because, much to my astonishment, the door was absolutely gorgeous. He had even managed to age it slightly so that it looked as if it had hung in the English countryside for years.

"And the BEST part," I later whispered to my friend Annabel on the phone, "is that when you stand it up, it doesn't fall apart! Maybe I have misjudged him?"

"Maybe..." Annabel hesitated. "But remember what Dr Phil always says - that the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour!"

But I disagreed. Somehow, over the past few weeks, my husband had turned into a Hunky Handyman!

Anyway, later that week, Pete (brother-in-law #4) came round to hang the door for me.

"You mean he actually MADE this?" he asked in astonishment. "All on his own?" 

"Yup, all on his own," I beamed proudly, thrilled that I not only had the BEST husband in the world, but also the handiest!

"Shew!" Pete whistled. "And it's only slightly uneven. I am impressed." 

But not for long. 

Because when Pete actually tried to HANG the door, it was 10 cm too wide. There was not a chance this side of heaven (or hell) that the door was going to fit.

Five hours later, having loaded the door onto the roof of his car, taken it into Timber City, had it cut to the right width, re-loaded it onto the roof of his car, carried it back around the side of the house and hung it on the hinges, my door was finally in place.

"Wow!" Steve marvelled when he got home that evening. "Look how perfectly it fits!"

"I KNOW!" I beamed, shooting a warning glance in Pete's direction. "We were just saying what a perfect fit it is!"

"And you thought I couldn't do it!" he scoffed. "Admit it - you were wrong!"

"I was SO wrong," I crooned while hugging him. "In fact, you never have to make me another THING, because I now know that you are the best carpenter in the WORLD!"

"Never make you another thing?" Steve laughed. "No way! Now that I know how good I am, I am going to make coffee tables and window boxes .... And shelving units. Maybe I can even start a little business from home?"

And with that, he was off - off to plan his next project, while Pete and I looked at each other in horror!

"You do know that I am going to charge you for every project of his that I have to come and fix?" Pete warned. "No more freebies!"

"Of course. Of course," I sighed. "I think I am going to be paying for this mistake for the rest of my life."

(As I type this, Stephen is at Builder's Warehouse sourcing wood for a new coffee table. Oh well, we can always give it away as a Christmas present. To somebody we don't like! Let's put it this way - if you receive a coffee table from us for Christmas - you'll know how little we value your friendship. You have been warned!)


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