Because I’m oft inclined to mock trends, I’ve long made fun of the phrase ‘reclaimed wood.’ Mostly, I’m just jealous I never see all this wood that people are somehow claiming. Is there a map to such treasure? Do you hafta know a guy? I dunno.
Shortly after we moved in here, I said to The Mister, “I should like you to build me some shelves over this window in the kitchen.” The Mister said, “Mhm,” which roughly translates to something like, “Pigs’ll be flyin on cold day in Hell when you’re pullin teeth, tryina get blood from that turnip, Missy!” Remind me, why do we buy him tools?
Since no one left unclaimed wood on my front porch, I was left shelfless and sad.
But then, one day, in the midst of one of my DIY projects, I found some wood. I reclaimed some old plywood from myself. It’s real plywood, maybe even birch if its color is true. It was split a bit, off center, pretty much perfect for my needs.
“Just cut it where it splits,” I said. I blathered on a bit about the lost integrity where the split is.
“Then you can adjust the length,” I said. “We’ll use the furring strips to support them,” I said.
Poor man. I do believe The Mister resents my hardware store words. My hardware store words throw more words into the pot of what?-words he needs me to define. I walked to the hall closet, pulled out furring strips, “These.”
We have done a lot of home improvement projects together. We are an awesome team. Seriously. I’m not being sarcastic. However, it takes us awhile to cross the bridge of understanding. I am a visual person and I’m spendy with words to describe my visual. If I can show him or draw him a literal picture of something, he can build it, whatever it is.
Orrr, I can hold the furring strips to the sides of the cupboards and he says, “AHA! I see!”
He said we’d need screws of a specific kind, and I told him to look in the hardware drawer. He did not find suitable screws.
Because I am a woman, I was able to find suitable screws in the exact same drawer where I told him to look.
Because I am a woman, I can find things. I can find anyone’s lost anything. I debate whether this is because I can see with my special woman eyes, or because I can look with my hands in contrast to what I suspect is somethin along the lines of The Mister’s If-I-find-screws-she-will-expect-me-to-drill-them-in mentality.
My son has this same problem. He cannot find things that are blatantly obvious to all women.
My “Water the orange flowers on the porch” text turned into a 20-minute debacle and my sending him a photo of the mums.
(There were three pots out front, two potted geraniums on the steps and one pot of orange mums on the actual porch.)
Children are the same, but maybe not all males outgrow it?
Have you seen the apps and locators you attach to your things? The Mister doesn’t need that, he says, because he has me.
I feel sorry for men, that they cannot see what women see, but then I remember the evils of sexism run rampant in the world and I think, meh, wouldn’t it be worse if they also had the incredible gift of female sight?
Tragically, once I had the wood and the right screws, I did, in fact, expect The Mister to assemble the shelves.
When he seemed unwilling, I held his dinner hostage. I set the chicken on the counter and told him, “I’m holding your dinner hostage. We’re not eating until I have shelves.”
Behold, Hostage Chicken Charlie:
Then I made gravy. Gravy smells really, really good. Smell is an excellent motivator for my husband. This is a man who asked me not to buy any food-scented candles, because he can’t take the disappointment of discovering there’s no apple crisp or cake or whatever. So yeah, smell of roasted chicken, smell of gravy…
And so, he assembled my shelves and then we ate my delicious food and we lived happily ever after. Tit for tat, just like that.
Do you live with a procrastinator? Have you ever had to resort to such manipulation? Do you know where all the unclaimed wood is?