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2010-01-21 digital edition

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2010-01-21 / Community News

Improving The Home

So, there we were in the home improvement store again, buying some work. There must be a lot of homes that need improving because there certainly were a lot of people there. It makes you wonder why the builders can’t build them right the first time. Maybe then we wouldn’t need home improvement stores.

We were there because my shower needed improvement. On a scale of 1 to 10 the whole shower experience was a 10. It was when I tried to turn it off that the efficiency level dropped down to 2 or 3. That part definitely needed improvement. It wasn’t a 1 because there wasn’t a plumbing emergency (i.e. -water spraying all over the bathroom) and it wasn’t a five or six because of an annoying drip. This was a constant light stream of water that flowed out of the nozzle and made my water bills go off the charts. Not to mention the streak of bluish-green that it left behind because of some chemical in the water.

We were in the home improvement store to improve the situation. My husband, the allpurpose fix-it person in our house, looked around the plumbing section for a doo-hickey that would make it stop. I’m glad he was there because I would’ve had to ask somebody what part I needed and the only explanation I could give would have been: “I need a doo-hickey that will make the water stop coming out after I turn it off.”

If I asked a woman, this explanation would have been enough, but a man will ask questions just to show you how much you don’t know.

“Well ma’am, what does the doo-hickey look like?”

“I don’t know. That’s why I asked you.”

“Do you need one with a whachamacallit?”

“You think I need one?” “Is it plastic or copper?”

“Does it matter?”

It’s much easier to bring my husband. He’d know how to improve my shower.

At least that’s what I thought yesterday. I don’t know how to tell him, but after all his hard work, my shower doesn’t run when it’s off anymore, but it’s pretty stingy with the water it gives me when it’s on. Instead of my number 10 shower experience, I feel like there is an invisible cherub taking a leak on my head.

How will I tell him that, although the water stays off when you turn it off, it doesn’t really come on when you turn it on. That’s not really an improvement. In fact, I think we need to do some more improving, but it took about a month of prodding my husband to get this “improvement.” He always said “why can’t you remind me at a time when I can do something about it?” The process of a woman trying to guess when that time would be is how most men define “nagging.”

I wondered why he had to be reminded at all. Apparently it is not within his repertoire of skills to write it down like I do when I need to remember something. I can only conclude that improving his home is something he’d rather not remember. unless, of course, it has something to do with installing a piece of audio-visual equipment. This is something he would not have to be reminded about - ever. Weird.

Hey, I just thought of a way to remind him about his home improvement obligations without saying a word! I could simply hide the remotes to the audio-visual equipment until the job is done. Yeah, right. That’s how I’d handle my children’s forgetfulness.

A woman walks a very fine line when it comes to her husband. On the one hand, you don’t want to bruise a man’s psyche by treating him like a child, but you can’t figure out how to treat him when he acts like one.

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker.

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