Nick Fixed It

posted in: Confessions 17
Men at work. Image: Texas iron worker. Wikipedia.



Nick fixes things.

I had a sconce. It needed installing. He installed the sconce. My toilet was running; he fixed it. I didn’t even ask.

I had two heavy, mirrored shelves and I asked him to hang them. He did. He did that today, in fact, so that while he went about his work, I could fling my body into my black leather recliner and read about quilts in America. I am always, always reading about quilts in America, and because I am always, always reading about quilts in America, I have not the time nor the patience to learn how to install a light or fix a toilet or hang two heavy, mirrored shelves. But I want these things done so badly and I know I don’t know the first thing about them, so it’s incredibly frustrating.

In order to keep my house from falling apart, I hired a handyman awhile back. It did not go well; a story for another time. But if you want to get wooshy about Nick, let me share a conversation we had awhile ago while eating pizza. (Note: Nick often helps his dad out with projects, but I didn’t realize how much.) This is pretty much verbatim:

M: (Chewing.) So your dad rents these couple apartment buildings.

N: (Also chewing.) Mm-hm.

M: Well, I need a few things done around here. Does he have a handyman I could call? To hire. Like, a fix-it guy?

N: (Grins.) We are the fix-it guys.

“We are the fix-it guys.” He might as well have said, “There’s a cab waiting to take you to Barney’s for a shopping spree; make sure to get something appropriate for the opera, Mary. Because I’m flying you to the Met for opening night of Tosca tonight. I love you, darling.”

The glory of having a man help me out has attendant pain: Should I value this so much? Is this joy, this gratitude, this almost sycophantic love I feel for a man who helps me with simple things just awful?? I could learn how to hang a light. I could learn how to fix the toilet for real instead of just jiggling the handle (which, by the way, sort of works.) I felt vulnerable and stupid when I gushed over Nick today, praising him up and down for helping me to hang those mirrors today. I wasgrateful in the extreme, but … is there something wrong with me that this is the pinnacle, the zenith of love? Completing a honey-do list?

Maybe it is. Or maybe helping each other is what it’s all about. I help Nick, too.

I will say this, though it’s silly to bring up such a large/sore subject and then get out: I didn’t have a father around, you know, growing up. But before Dad left and it all went to hell with the divorce and all, my dad was amazing at fixing things. He built stuff, he designed structures, he repaired cars. He was the fix-it guy. I’m really, really not comparing Nick to anyone, least of all my dad; I’m only looking for causes. Causes and roots and reasons why.

I’m always fixing, fixing, trying to fix, too.

17 Responses

  1. Suzan
    | Reply

    Dear Mary,
    We are good at somethings others are good at what they do. I feel,that a relationship is a give and take. Sometimes you give and sometimes you must take. Say thank you and give him a hug and kiss and there will,be a time when you have something to give ( and I do not mean sex) and he will need something so you will freely give it. Relationships are making it easier for each other to live a good life.
    Suzan Ladybug Cottage

  2. Colleen
    | Reply

    Mary being welling and able to “fix” is in you or not. Nothing to do with the “dad” issue.

  3. Chris
    | Reply

    Yes–you could learn to fix things. But I have yet to meet a guy who doesn’t like ‘fixing’ things and then being appreciated for it. And he could learn to make a quilt, but it would mean so much more coming from you. As you said–helping each other is what it’s all about.

  4. Nancy Pederson
    | Reply

    It’s always nice to have a Mr. Fixit around. My Dad was a great fixit person. He may not have gone about it in the best way, but he got there. My first husband didn’t have time to fix anything. He was too busy working or sleeping. My second, and current hubby of 32+ years is great!!!

  5. Helen Marie
    | Reply

    Yes. We all want to feel needed by those we love. For whatever. So we give of what we have to give. It’s never 50/50. Love your wonder!

  6. Daisy Dianne Bromlow
    | Reply

    I know I Am an old fashioned woman ! I think it’s great you have a Mr. Fix it but that’s his job. Thank him , not profusely , and if anything comes of it let him be the one to initiate it – let him be the man. In the journey of life God created male and female and we each have specific traits so you be the female and allow him to be the male – he will appreciate it and respect you for being woman and being so wise and sensitive.

  7. Georgia O'Neal
    | Reply

    we are all trying to “fix” stuff Mary -some of it is the material stuff !

  8. Marj & Jim
    | Reply

    Look at the bright side – at least you have the ability to feel gratitude. It’s a sign of humility AND it’s the key to being happy. Enjoy!

  9. Barbara Y.
    | Reply

    I think it is great you have someone now who knows how to fix objects and is so willing to do it, happy to help out with these jobs around the home. I don’t believe in “fixing” in relationships; I believe in building in relationships. It sounds like you are both doing great building your relationship based on what you’ve written before. Celebrate, enjoy, and love while building because that ‘job’ is never done. I’m so happy for you.

  10. LisaE
    | Reply

    Love this story. My husband is a terrific fix-it guy. He does that and the yardwork. However, I do a lot of stuff that he doesn’t want to handle such as insurance, taxes, airline reservations, altering his pants, washing the sheets and towels, calling the cable company to complain, etc. We do what we’re good at! Nick sounds like a great guy!

  11. Lauren Matheson
    | Reply

    I’m our fix-it “guy”, and can say that the inherent satisfaction and a bit of appreciation (especially later, when something is successfully used) is enough.

  12. Robin T
    | Reply

    I have one of those great guys, don’t know what I would do without him.

  13. Virginia
    | Reply

    I have a guy who fixes things – just over the weekend not only did he give my car an oil change but also replaced a gasket. I didn’t know I needed a gasket replaced. And I took him out to dinner and paid too much but I love a man who fixes things because I am always working and quilting and piecing and am sooooo not mechanically minded in any way. It is a great thing so spoil and gush because that is why they do it – for us. We are special!! Enjoy your day Mary.

  14. Judith Coates
    | Reply

    Having my own tool box (not a pink one either) was always my delight. I could fix almost anything – as long as electricity was not involved. Now in my senior years I have learned to put away the tools and call the handyman. I delight in seeing them balance off the ladders or crawling around on their bellies to find the leak under the house instead of me. I just smile as I make the phone call and write a check as the job is done.

  15. Brenda King
    | Reply

    I too have a wonderful, talented, and willing “fix it” man, my husband of over 49 yrs! I am blessed, because he can build, or repair just about anything. How many times a year do I just tell him if something isn’t right, and come back later to find it in repaired condition? Since retirement, he has been helping in the house too, something he wouldn’t do when working. Since I have him, his talents, and his willingness, I don’t plan to learn how to screw in a new light bulb! Instead, I’ll praise him, and be thankful that he takes such good care of us! (I do most of the cooking, most cleaning, and ALL the quilting!) : ) Brenda King, Bend, Or.

  16. Sarah Pegg
    | Reply

    Pretty sure that helping each other is what God had in mind. You go girl!

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