“Please don’t bother me,” he said, politely. But the tension was palpable.
Granted, he was up to his elbows in a mechanical nightmare, but jeez, why do men always get so freakin’ testy when they’re fixing stuff? I went away, feeling wounded. Men suck.
But I knew I would get over it, just as I knew he’d emerge from his blue funk once the project was completed. I’ve been avoiding grumpy men my whole life. I know the drill.
But then today at work, I decided to install new casement window handles myself. I mean, they were sitting right there. We have the tools. And if I waited for one of the mechanics to come out and do it, I’d probably be too old and feeble to open or close the windows. It’s only a priority for those of us who feel the wind wafting through the room as the temperature drops below freezing.
And I’d like to think I’m handy. I pretty much remodeled my first house. I used to do my own basic car repairs. It’s been a while, though. With increasing financial security comes the ability to hire someone else to do the scut work.
It should be easy, though. Just aligning screws in already existing holes. So I rolled up my sleeves and dove in to the project. And I soon found reasons to plunge into that same blue funkage myself.
To access the windows, I had to climb over furniture and contort myself into shapes that aren’t usually found in nature. And I’m not nearly as flexible as I once was. Then there’s the fact that some of the old handle screws had stripped the threads. And they had given us too many left handed latches, and not enough right handed ones. And our ratcheting screwdriver no longer ratchets. And I kept dropping the tiny little screws in all but inaccessible places.
Before I knew it, I was cursing like a sailor. And I imagined him walking in and cheerfully asking if I needed any help.
“Please don’t bother me,” I’d say.
I wonder if I’d have the class and dignity to say it as politely as he did? No. I’m thinking not. Definitely not.
Perspective. But at least we have window handles at work again. That counts for something.