Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Great Shame

I don’t know how to build anything. I don’t know how to fix anything. I know nothing about cars. I really have no skills at all. But it’s not my fault. I grew up with a father who also lacked skills. He is the kind of guy that when something breaks, calls a repairman or gets a new one. This way of handling a problem has been passed down to me.

I think handiness may have skipped a generation. As I recall, my grandfather was handy. But for some reason, it didn’t transfer to my dad. Maybe it was some form of rebellion that my father perpetrated against his father. But it’s left me without a mentor.

Sure I can do the easy stuff. I can change a light bulb. I can screw together Ikea furniture. I’ve even replaced a ceiling fan. But if the toilet is running or a faucet is leaking, I’m stumped. I don’t like being like this. I want to be able to fix stuff. I hate shelling out my hard earned cash to repairmen whom I know are over-charging me. But I have nobody to teach me.

I don’t feel that I should experiment home repair skills on my own house. If I break something, as I’m all but certain to do it’s going to cost me even more money to get it fixed. I bought a set of Black and Decker home repair books, but they will only take me so far. I wish I had the wrenching gene. I wish I could walk into a hardware store and actually know what I was talking about.

I know we're almost done with the Aughts and we should be beyond old fashioned gender roles. But as a guy, this is my great shame.

What’s yours?

-Daddy Geek Boy


Kevin McKeever said...

Hi. My name is Always Home and Uncool and I don't follow football.

matt0701 said...

I'd have to say I'm right there with you. Any type of handy work is my downfall. My dad was fairly good with handy work. After all, he was a farmer. He never really took the time...and I probably didn't show a lot of interest in these kind of things. Now that I'm married and have a home, I wish I did know how to replace a window, change the brakes, put new shingles on the roof, etc. Oh well, at least there are people that have the skills and I can pay them to keep things repaired for me!

Karin Mitchell said...

I'm absolutely terrified to buy a house for this very reason.

Unknown said...

You need to befriend a handyman or a really butch lesbian. My partner Steve is pretty handy...too bad he's not in your area.

TentCamper said...

I'll tell you what ... you school me on Java, HTML, and how to hack, and I'll mentor you in the arts of household repair.

My father(s) were not handy, and when I was little, I used to have to fix anything that I broke, etc.

I guess I just learned to fend for myself early on.

OneZenMom said...

Okay, first: You totally have skills. You just don't have these particular skills.

But, hey, it's never too late to learn! You should take TentCamper up on his offer!

My shame: I have the opposite problem. The ZenHusband is one of those Handy Guys. So, I've become spoiled.

I used to just grab my tools and go for it when something needed fixing - now I call for the husband almost every time. I'm ashamed of that. Makes me feel all "girly" and useless. (Yeah, I know, that's not PC to say. Sue me.)

dadshouse said...

My toilet has been self-flushing at odd hours for years! I asked the old guy at the hardware store how to fix it, and he pointed me at some plastic thing that I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with it. I asked him to explain, and he just looked at me.

Like I said, my toilet has been self-flushing at odd hours for years...

DGB said...

My other problem is that I don't know how to hack now what can I use to barter with TentCamper? I have access to beer!

Trooper Thorn said...

Investement. I understand economics and finance, but everytime I put money into anything other than a GIC, I lose it. Every stock, mutual fund etc. have gone down, regardless of the climate, and my friends are making 1000's.
Being the anti-Midas with money is my shame.

Derek Armstrong said...

DGB, I think my predicament is worse -- had a totally handy dad, who totally wanted to show me how to do everything, and I totally wasn't interested. I have no excuse except for sheer laziness and a lack of predisposition.

What are you going to do. Some of us are poets. Or, failing that, pop culture nerds.

Steph said...

DGB- I agree- you are handy, just not at fixing things around the house.
Having access to beer should be a great bartering tool!!
I bet my DH would come to CA from SC for beer.

ZenMom- I too am spoiled by having a handy husband and at times hate having him tell me that he doesn't have time to fix something b/c he's traveling for work.
My dad was not handy at all, so having a handy husband is a great thing!!

TentCamper said...

DGB - Beer will work for sure!!!

chocdrop said...

I don't see the prob in picking up the phone and letting the pros handle it.

Not a soccer mom said...

I too was raised by a father who wasn't very handy, but also didn't have the funds to hire help.
As a single mother I have had to jump right in, ask a lot of questions at Hoe Depot and jut learn as I go.
Now I help my own father with his house.

Oh- and I am an engineer so that helps

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I'm ashamed I can't go to the movie without getting popcorn and twizzlers...

DGB said... LA they don't have Twizzlers, they have Red Vines. Hideous, waxy, horrid Red Vines.

OneZenMom said...

Oh, DGB, now that's just sad. Red Vines are FAR superior to Twizzlers!

DGB said...

Zen were raised on the West Coast, weren't you?

OneZenMom said...

Yes. California girl born and raised. :) We know our snack food, dude.

Which is how I know Twizzlers are to Red Vines as Tang is to OJ. Blech. ;)

TentCamper said...

East Coast rules West coast for growing up!!!!!

Sorry ZenMom

OneZenMom said...


Pacific Ocean? Disneyland? In-n-Out Burger? Incredibly diverse natural beauty?

California freakin' rocks.

DGB said...

East Coast:
Snow Days
Buffalo Wings

OneZenMom said...

Okay, wait, lemme get this straight: You're listing "snow days" as a *good* thing?

That's enough to make this hot-blooded California girl shudder right there.

When I want snow, I take a short drive and play to my heart's content. But shoveling a drive and plowing a road? Again, I must "p'shaw".

Also, while I concede that cheesesteaks and buffalo wings are quality additions to the culinary world, they're really no competition to the fabulousness that is authentic Mexican cuisine.

DGB said...

Snow days are one of the greatest things ever.

The night before you listen for the weather report. They say there might be snow. You wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is look out the window. Everything is covered in white. Next, you had to go to the radio and wait and wait and wait until they announced the school closings. The moment they announced school was closed and you could climb back into a warm, cozy bed--knowing that in a few hours you would be outside sledding--is bliss.

That is a snow day. As much as I love So Cal, you DON'T have those here.

OneZenMom said...

Well, you do make it sound all fun and romantic when you put it like that. But I'll still take sunny California over *brrr* snow days, thankyouverymuch.

It does sound a tad more magical than the "foggy days" we get here in the Valley. :)

TentCamper said...

OK you two please...calm down. I will settle this for everyone.

NEW ENGLAND is the ruling section of this entire country.

Better schools
4 distinct seasons
Real (straight forward) people
and yes....SNOW DAYS!!!!

OneZenMom said...

And yet you both live WHERE, now?

Game. Set. Match. :P

TentCamper said... me out here!

Susan said...

I can't keep a plant alive for more than a week. Thankfully, I do better with my kids.

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