Thursday, December 22, 2005

Bob The Builder

I’ve never been a Bob. Always Rob, Robert (when Mom gets mad at me) or Robbie (from those who knew me as a kid). Maybe that’s why I don’t share Bob’s famous building skills.

Admission #173 – I’m not handy.

There, I said it. I’m just not. On most things, MLB is way handier than I am.

Of course, she’ll read this and say “That’s not true, dear. You’re handy.” I love her for saying stuff like that to bolster my wounded male ego but I know it’s not true. I think she also says it because if she doesn’t, I’ll quit trying.

It’s a few days before Christmas. Why the rant about handiness?

As I type, I have two bloody fingers wrapped in bandaids, a big splinter in my left palm and a gash in my right wrist that I didn’t even notice until 5 minutes ago.

How’d I get the injuries? Putting an addition on the house? Building a sleigh for Santa? Nope. I mounted some framed pictures on the wall and hung some pre-fab shelves from IKEA.

Lame, I know.

My Big Brother is handy. He’s so handy he gets tagged hanging all the stuff my Mom ever wants hung in her house. (Hey, maybe there’s some upside to this non-handiness.)

My Brother-in-Law is Mr. Handy. He’s a contractor and has a work truck loaded with more tools than the local Sears. Whenever I get in a jam (usually at 10pm on a Sunday night), I call him to talk me through shutting off the gas line or doing something else to save the family from Rob-inflicted peril.

I have no excuse. So I’ll blame my parents.

My Dad wasn’t especially handy. At least not that I recall. He was pretty good with car maintenance (another gene passed along only to Big Bro). But overall, handiness wasn’t a trait prized, valued, nurtured in my family. Maybe it’s the Jewish thing again but school and studying were the major priorities in our house (both my folks were teachers at some point in their careers).

Biology? Get to work.

Metal shop? Must you?

I think the theory was always that if you study really hard and become successful, you’ll always have the dough to PAY someone to do the things you can’t do yourself. I frequently tell MLB that I’d rather pay someone to DO a house project rather than paying them to DO IT OVER after I’ve tried and failed.

There’s always the odd chance that I’ll get it right and we’ll save both time and money.

But really, let’s be honest. How frequently does that happen?

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