Sunday, March 11, 2007

Why women don't understand DIY

So we've been in the house for just 48 hours and I've made a very nice steak, kidney and mushroom pie and we're sat at the dining table just having finished the last morsel and she comes up with her list of things she hates about the place - I haven't even looked in all the rooms yet.

So I ask her to define "hate" and she tells me that they are things that she dislikes about the house so strongly that she's wanting them to be changed, and so like a fool walking blindly and willingly into a huge gaping trap, like an idiot who hasn't been led into this "I want a row and I want it now" situation a million times before, I say "name one then".

"The wall" she says.
"The wall" I say.
"It needs a fence" she says.

Between our drive and the drive of the house next door is a low wall, its low on our side but its high on their side because our house is higher up the hill than their house, so on our side the wall is only a foot high but its a foot thick and its been built from hollow concrete blocks which were then filled with concrete to give it stability, for it is a retaining wall to stop all of the houses in the street from sliding to the bottom of the hill.

Of course when you drive up our driveway you can't see the low wall on the left hand side, its below the level of the front of the car, but you know its there because, well, you simply know its there, it just is, its concrete, its not going anywhere very fast, its been there since 1955 and it isn't going to move anytime soon, you simply keep to the left of it even if you can't actually see it.

But thats not good enough, its obviously causing her a great deal of trouble over the last 48 hours since we moved in and now she wants a fence building on top of it so that she can see it properly.

I just nod, I should have backed out at this point and filed it away under "hormonal problems", but no, I asked for more, I asked her to explain how I, for it would be I who did the job, how I was supposed to fix fence posts on top of a concrete wall, assuming that the next door neighbour would give their permission for me to fix fence posts to the top of what is half their wall.

She had no answer to my practical question and this is my point - women never do.

They never do because they never have to do the fuckin jobs that they sit on their fuckin arses thinking of for us poor fuckin husbands to do all day.

I asked again how I would fix this imaginary fence on top of a structural reinforced slab of concrete that has been strong enough to hold the rest of he street on a sloping hill for the last 52 years, what sort of screws am I going to use to screw the wooden fence posts to this concrete.

She didn't want to know the impracticalities of the ridiculous sugestion, someone else had a fence down the street so we should be able to have one too, maybe they don't have a retaining wall to fix to I pondered out loud, maybe they have a husband who can use a drill she mused, maybe they have a husband who can afford to hire a diamond drill because his wife can't drive in a striaght line without a fence to guide her in I mentioned, mistakedly, out loud.

And then it got worse.
I should have walked at that point
Its my fault.

Then she told me that she hates the front of the garage.
Its taken 48 hours for her to hate our new garage.

The front of it is apparently too garage-y.
It looks like a garage and thats not good enough
She doesn't want it to look like a garage.
It looks like a garage on a council estate apparently
And not being sure what the difference between a council estate garage and a privately owned garage is, I of course asked.

I was taking the piss, she told me, our garage is scruffy and its painted grey and she doesn't like grey garages.

I'll paint it another colour then, I resolved.
It will still be scruffy, she insisted
Not when I've painted it, I informed, black or white I asked.
Black she said.
Black it is then, I replied, there, problem solved
The driveway is awful too, she moaned, its breaking up.
Then I'll re-lay the driveway I said.
We shouldn't have bought this, she continued unlistening, I don't know why we bought this place

And even though I was in familiar territory and even though I had acknowledged all of the warning signs I still didn't walk away,

You never do anything, she informed me, all you do is put obstacles in the way of my ideas.
I've only just heard these ideas, I said, I haven't had chance for obstacles yet but you can't put fence posts on top of concrete and expect them to still be there the next morning if its a little bit windy that night.

Typical, she said and stormed off upstairs.

It is typical actually, it typical of most of our conversations.

For women do not have an ounce of practical DIY knowledge in any single bone in their body.

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