Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Busy Spouse, Happy House-Advice From the Trenches

Galatians 6:9 - And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Do you ever get some harebrained scheme into your head and realize it’s a huge waste of time and money? Happens to me all the time. Except that at this time, what at first appeared to be a harebrained scheme, has proven to be a truly great idea that begs telling. Yes, ladies and gentlemen—today I’m offering some free marital advice coupled with a concrete foundation of personal experience, and though it does have a cost attached, well, kind of a lot—we did buy the least expensive package—it’s still less than most of those options you want on your automobile— and definitely cheaper than counseling-- so grab a seat and listen to my story unfold.

I am so excited about this stellar suggestion—it will either save your marriage or end it for good, in which case he probably had it coming anyway--that I’m bubbling over with excitement. First, let me explain that we recently moved [for family reasons] and my man had to quit his job, leaving him moping around an empty garden looking for weeds and all kinds of trouble. Downcast and missing his colleagues he turned to craft beer and, more on the positive side, his wife of 22 years, for help. I looked out my lovely new window with my imagination in full gear and decided what the garden really needs. Little did I know that this might be what every wife might also need and thus my PSA (public service announcement) about our decision to order a gazebo from the Amish! Yes, that’s exactly what we did. 

First, I ordered the catalog and shopped online and after weeks of comparative research, we ordered a gazebo kit. It came on a rail car from Pennsylvania. The truck stopped in front of our home and the deliveryman pulled it off the truck with some contraption you might use to haul a small country. This stuff was heavy. The next day we hemmed and hawed about opening the bulky package and I dug in with a knife that slipped and poked my finger. That’s when I decided this was a man’s dream come true. Don’t guys love putting things together? Of course, I'd be there for politically incorrect, wifely support but no hammering of nails for moi. Minutes later, I was searching for bandages when he came to show me the directions and asked me to come look at the amount of pieces this skillfully crafted creation came with. The nebulous directions seem like they were written by freelancing carpenter or lumberjack trolls, who used different symbols for letters of the alphabet that were translated and then re-translated. Even Ikea directions are easier to understand and those things come from Europe!
Love has no limitations.

 “Wait a minute--we can do this,” I said,--sounding like the friendly soldier in the foxhole. First of all, step one doesn't even apply to us. (Judging from the hazy black and white photo, step one was about the foundation and we already had one.) There are only 15 steps. How hard can this be? The sales video said some folks put it together in four hours! Anyway, many times four hours later, we’re still on step 12 and he honestly didn't mean to hit my finger with the mallet. Still, he is enjoying this project and loves seeing it come together. Meanwhile, I’m getting worried about step 15. What happens when we’re done?
Still several steps from completion....


  1. Putting anything together as a couple is always a marriage test. My wife usually just leaves it to me.
    Hey, it might not be done, but it looks great!
    And for the record, I hate putting things together. It always takes twice as long. I am not a man who craves a hammer...

  2. hahahahahahaa....
    This looks wonderful, and I can't wait to see it with the landscaping done.
    I had had several whaalaa moments too ! but your story is so much better,

    cheers, parsnip

  3. I love this! And gazebos are very romantic.

    When you're finished, have a ceremony. Renew your vows in it.

  4. Trying that would have *ended* my marriage!

  5. It looks great. But the way I know this is a fiction story is that you said a guy looked at the instructions. Guys don't look at instructions until after the thing is put together wrong. Condolences and solidarity to your hubby.

  6. Are you kidding, step 12? It looks complete to me! lol

  7. The next step is giving your hubby a big hug in the gazebo. As for instructions, why is that you find out you have the wrong instructions and the wrong parts? Talk about a literal wardrobe malfunction. All the very best to you and your husband, Eve.


  8. Wow! I love the finished product:). Looks like a great place to get cozy with your honey;).

  9. Hi Eve, I’m going to send my friend Felicity over to read this. Her husband retired earlier in the year and is still moping around. His ‘big project’ at the moment is to empty and clean the garage; the trouble is he can’t bring himself to throw anything away. Step 1 (in the morning) empty the garage step 2 (in the evening) put everything back. This has been going on for weeks and is driving Felicity around the bend! I’m sure she would enjoy a nice new gazebo.
    Maybe you could get your hubby to install a swimming pool next, cleaning it and checking the chemicals should keep him nicely busy ;0)