This morning, my husband informed me that the landscape lights at the end of the driveway were burned out. I told him I’d email the landscaper and let him know. Maybe I was reading too much into the tone of his breathing (I do that) but I detected a hint of “Gee honey, I could do that myself.” In return, I breathed back “Why don’t you, then?” picked up my Iphone and fired a quick note to the company I paid a small fortune to install the aforementioned lights.
I feel bad for my husband sometimes. He’s the only person in the household that takes any interest in how things actually work. He has a scientist’s mind and an engineer’s soul. He can rewire the house and build a computer from spare parts. He reads Maker magazine and built a model that predicts how long a power outage will last based on prior performance. I think he should sell it to Dominion Power. His assessments are pretty accurate. Most importantly, he ensures the cable and internet work no matter where we are in the house.
The Dude and I, however, have no interest in the inner logic of the universe. My general troubleshooting mode is turn it off/turn it back on/get the hubby. If he’s not home, I might try Googling the problem. I was quite tickled to have figured out how to turn off the shake-to-shuffle option on my IPhone all by myself. The Dude is even less adept at all things mechanical. It took him awhile to figure out that the basement lights weren’t broken–the dimmer switch was turned down.
Yesterday, my husband was doing some plumbing work and asked my son if he thought the water heater would empty with the intake valve shut.
“Yes, he said. I mean no. Yeah. No. No?”
“Do you know why?” my husband asked.
“Because it sounded like the answer you wanted me to give you.”
The Dude is nothing if not honest. I knew the correct answer, but only because that’s why the extra-large Tide bottle has a vent along with a spigot.
It’s not that I don’t understand basic scientific principles. I just don’t care to remember them. This is why I have a masters in business and not nuclear physics.
My husband knows this about me, yet when repair people come to the house, he has a million questions about how they performed the work we paid them to complete. It’s hard to explain how the plumber fixed the upstairs shower leak when I spent the entire time in my office on the first floor. He once asked me if I was even the least bit interested in what the people were doing in our house.
Exactly how big is the micro**** I don’t give? Let me think about that. I’m the woman who loves a robotic vacuum. If I push the button and it works, I’m happy. If he wants a play-by-play, he married the wrong gal.
I know my husband appreciates me for who I am–Luddite tendencies and all. I’m unlikely to change at this point, and he doesn’t know how to cook. Since I have to do that every day, I consider it more than a fair trade.
That being said, I understand my husband’s efforts to educate the Dude on the basics before we send him out into the world. One can’t always rocket an email a third party to solve their problems for $100 an hour plus parts. The Dude will need to know enough to assemble IKEA furniture someday and shouldn’t be as clueless as his mother. Since he’s majoring in business, however, I’ve taught him how to cook just in case. Find yourself an engineer, Dude. Trust me on this one. You’re welcome.
Photograph : “Monkey Wrench” by Shaggy © 2009 Creative Commons/Flickr