A Husband’s Perspective! :)
How fun to introduce you to Mr. Man and hear his side of what it is like being married to me, a DIY’er. I love him so so much and love him even more for what he has to put up with being married to me! Enjoy his perspective 🙂
|Lake Superior 2010|
Hi, this is Mr. Man, and I thought I would share a few thoughts on being married to a DIY’er. This is taken from my soon to be published book entitled, “Getting Married and Living in the Projects” Okay, I’m really not writing that book, but I am kind of living it.
Shopping for Materials
There is a societal belief that there are specific, and predetermined roles in which both men and women should operate. While it is true that there are traditional roles that men and women have filled over the years, this should never restrict someone from following their passion. And yet, when you accompany your wife to Home Depot, who does the salesman engage in conversation? (Hint – It’s not the female) I will never forget the first time this happened. As we were leaving the store, Bj was not a happy camper. “How come they always talk to the guy?”, she said. To be honest, I never thought that much about it, but did wonder why it took so long for the salesman to “get it”. He would ask a question, and while Bj answered it, he would look back to me to ask the next one. On our next trip to Home Depot (aka Bj’s Candy Land), I tried my best to alert the salesman that I was indeed not the one he should be talking to, by slightly nodding my head and shifting my eyes toward Bj. Let’s just say that wearing an orange apron and being well versed in hardware doesn’t necessarily mean you are capable of picking up on what I thought was obvious body language. I have learned that the best way to resolve this issue is when the salesman approaches, I politely excuse myself and walk in the opposite direction.
The New Normal
As I opened the refrigerator, I noticed a paint roller wrapped in cellophane and foil on the second shelf. I have to admit that I thought Bj was losing it, just a little. To me, this fell into the same category as, “Why did I put my car keys in the freezer?” But evidently this is common among DIY’ers. You may also find lumber in the hallway, paint trays air drying in the sink, and fine “saw”dust on the furniture. And while the Glad Plug-Ins are trying to fill the air with “Morning Breeze”, it is more likely going to surrender to the smell of freshly cut wood or drying paint. No worries, I have learned this is all quite normal. In the winter, the common sounds in your home may include circular saws, air compressors, sanders, and cordless drills. This is also normal considering doing these things in sub-freezing weather isn’t all that practical. I have learned to embrace my new surroundings, but also wear slippers in the dark. Paint brushes and rollers are now in the fruits and vegetables category, and I don’t panic if some of my old t-shirts go missing.
Sharing the Vision
Bj “sees dead people”. Okay, she really doesn’t see dead people, but she can usually see things I don’t. Bj has a vision for what she wants to accomplish, but I can only see the living. It usually starts with the following scenario. She will be in deep thought, turn to me with that glazed look in her eyes and say, “I’ve been thinking”. My brains response? “Please keep your arms and legs inside the ride at all times”. She tries to get me to “picture it”, but evidently there’s no one hour photo here. I try, but all I can see is what I see. She points to the lawn and describes a new garden that includes plants, mulch, a brick border, and flowers. I see grass. When Bj asks what I think of a particular paint color, or what I might think of using this particular (fill in the blanks), my response is almost always “I trust you”. And I do.
Being supportive is very important. “How” to be supportive has taken awhile for me to learn. I have come a long way from that first look I received when I tried to “take over”. Although I thought I was only trying to help, I quickly found out that that wasn’t the help she was looking for. You learn there is a difference between saying, “Honey, let me help you with that” and “Honey, if you need any help I will be over here out of the way, just let me know”. I normally only get that call if something is out of reach, or a little too heavy to lift. It also includes those frequent trips to the store, and loading a lot of supplies. I have always said that I will probably own a truck as long as I live, and being married to Bj pretty much solidifies that. Sometimes being supportive is loading 4 x 8 sheets of plywood, sometimes it’s loading and unloading 96 bags of concrete, and sometimes it’s finding out what’s taking the Emergency Room doctor so long.
Things will Change
A date with Bj used to be … dinner at a nice restaurant and off to the movies. While we still make time for those (which is important), we also have “DIY Dates” which consist of take out and multiple prerecorded episodes of “Renovation Realities”. Magazine subscriptions now include The Handyman, HGTV, and This Old House. While Home Depot helps her with “More Savings, More Doing”, I believe she has adopted Lowes’ slogan of “Never Stop Improving”. But what a blessing to be able to pursue the things you love. The most recent addition for Bj has been sharing her “joy” with others. Building a Blog presence was difficult at first (due to the learning curve), but like anything she does, she wants the end result to be something she is proud of. I have seen how much it means to her to be a part of a community who not only shares in their passions and creativity, but offer encouragement and assistance as well. It’s Bj who finds joy in this journey, but I’m glad I’m along for the ride.
Now you know why I love Mr. Man so much! He is the BEST (for me!) Hope you had a great weekend … I will be sharing my Murphy Bed soon!