Living Happily Ever After


When You’re The One Who Has To Fix It

“The fellow that owns his own home is always just coming out of a hardware store.” (Frank McKinney Hubbard)

I’m pretty sure that’s how #5, my new husband, feels—especially since moving in with me and my four children! Gone are those carefree days he enjoyed as a single dad with one self-sufficient 12-year-old son, living quietly together in a townhome, retired from yardwork and a plethora of other things that now keep him busy! Like trips to Home Depot. Out of necessity. I’m pretty sure his new mantra is, “Well, I’m off to Home Depot!”

In the two months we’ve lived together, I’m embarrassed at the extra work I’ve caused #5. And I’m not just talking about the myriad of little things around a house that have needed to be taken care of—like the kitchen pantry door that broke and needed to be painted and replaced; the holes in the wall my youngest and his neighborhood friends made when trying to hang off shelves that used to be bolted to the wall; the hole in the wall caused by a child throwing open a door a little too fast with a little too much energy; toilets; clogged drains; doorknobs; garbage disposal issues; smoke detector batteries; and lots of burned out light bulbs that need to be replaced!

I’m talking about the day I stood and flushed the toilet at the exact moment a bottle of lotion fell off the shelf above it, STRAIGHT down the hole, at the exact moment the swirling water went with it. GONE! And then the toilet didn’t work anymore. (It had to be completely taken out of the bathroom and the lotion bottle practically surgically removed from its innards before replacing the toilet again.)

Or the day a decorative painted bowl, of its own free will, spontaneously fell off the shelf above the kitchen cupboards onto the Jenn Air stove top and shattered not just the bowl, but the entire stove top! (Not only was that one a lot of work for #5, but it was expensive, too! Oops.)

He has fixed it all without comment or complaint. He just smiles at me and goes to work to take care of it despite the fact he is NOT a home repairman. (I think he’d much rather be singing, playing the piano, acting, working out, dancing, or even reading instead.) In fact, he uses it so often, he has taken to keeping his toolbox at the ready beside his side of the bed!

And then one day, he broke something. Or at least, I thought he did. He looked at me with a stunned expression, and I started celebrating. “Yes! You finally broke something! I am SO glad! Think of everything I’ve broken and all of the extra work I’ve caused you, now I’m not the only one! I’m so relieved you broke something!” But no. I celebrated too soon. Turns out, #5 hadn’t broken anything after all.

But he remains a trooper and continues to fix, without complaint, all of the little things. He inherited a yard when he thought he’d never have to maintain a yard again. And, most importantly, he took on four additional children, including a four-year-old, when he had mostly raised his family. The impact he has made and everything he has helped “fix” around the house and in our lives astounds me.

Second marriage moment #9.

“There are a [heck] of a lot of jobs that are easier than live comedy. Like standing in the operating room when a guy’s heart stops, and you’re the one who has to fix it!” (Jon Stewart)

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