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Remember when the popular book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus stated that the reason men lack empathy for women’s issues is because they’re genetically engineered not to listen sympathetically but to come up with solutions to our problems? Well, that’s bull crap. Ask any woman who’s ever asked her male partner to install a shelf, hang a drapery rod or perform a minor repair around the house and she will confirm that men are problem generators.

"You have no idea how complicated this is going to be!"
“You have no idea how complicated this is going to be!”

A simple request to install a new towel rack can unleash volumes of previously unknown potential hazards. “That’s a concrete wall and I need a special bit for my drill . . . the studs are in the wrong place . . . it’ll never stay up . . .” Then they haul every tool known to Home Depot up from the basement, spread them out across the floor and the moaning begins. We’re subjected to a litany of reasons why the job we’re asking them to do is not only difficult and extremely complicated but very likely, impossible. They insist we have no idea what’s involved!

All being considered, our preferred approach is to hire someone who knows what they’re doing to perform the work. Once, when I casually suggested I wanted our bedroom painted a slightly different colour, the negative reaction was so profound, I simply called a professional painter who came in one morning after my husband had left for the day, carried out the work to perfection with no moaning, complaining or whining, cleaned up, I wrote him a cheque, then he left me with a lovely new bedroom. It was pure bliss. No muss. No fuss.

Why does it have to be so fraught with angst and bad tempers every time we want a simple job done? Ironically, when a potential problem is explained, we’re the ones who often come up with the solution. “If the studs are in the wrong place, what about mounting a two-by-four on the wall where the studs are in the right place and then installing the television bracket on the two-by-four?” But of course, it’s only a good idea if they think of it.

Handy and/or handsome, we still love 'em.
Handy and/or handsome, we still love ’em.

I have friends who have been reduced to tears while undergoing home handyman attempts at odd jobs. It’s not worth jeopardizing your marriage. If you share a home with a Red Green wannabe, once you decide something needs to be done, call in a professional to do the work. Whatever the cost, it’s still cheaper than the value of all the tools he will need to employ and the collateral damage he may inflict. Plus, the job will be done quickly, properly and without tears. No duct tape involved. It’s just that simple.

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MYTH: Men are problem solvers

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