A man, his tools and a happy marriage

This is a little different than the standard writing on this site about Bogotá and Colombia. But there is a section of blogs entitled Michael’s musings. This is another one of those times when I just tackle a topic that hits me.

This writing is dedicated to, what I guess you could call, my niece-in-law. She is Colombian. Her husband,who is not Colombian, is a very nice guy that I like. They just purchased their first home in Canada. The house needs a little work.

In that country, just like the USA many home owners are do-it-yourselfers. In Bogotá, Colombia you do not see DIY much. So, I thought that my niece should know a few of the rules in order to avoid any chance of angering a great guy.

This writing may also be beneficial to my step-daughter who seems to be in a serious relationship with an Australian. That is another place where the guys are into DIY. And possibly many other women can gain some useful information from knowing the rules.

Many men are defined by their tools. It is a part of their identity. Endangering that can be harmful to a marriage.

Rule #1: Let him ponder, touch and research what tools he is thinking of buying. What that means is that if you go to the store with him do not look or act impatient or bored. If you let him go by himself do not expect or tell him to be back in a half hour. Expect to give the guy at least four hours of peace at the hardware store, especially a large one, even if he is going to only get a screw.

Rule #2: A good tool is a lifetime investment. Many cost much less than a woman’s piece of clothing that may last only one fashion season. Tools are also often like insurance, you don’t want to have to use it, but sure glad to have it when needed. Rather meaning do not let slip from your lips sayings like, “Do you really need it?” or “Don’t you have enough tools.”

Rule #3: In my experience tools come in three grades, commercial, quality for home use and pieces-of-crap. Of course if you have the money and can afford it always purchase commercial grade. But for most of us home quality is the best value. The third section is usually the cheapest. If your man decides on a tool and you see another brand cheaper, never utter, “Why don’t you save money and buy that cheaper one.” Remember rule #2, a good tool lasts a lifetime. Crap is just crap. And dare I mention that very often more expensive tools have more safety features. Better to spend the money on a quality tool than at the doctors office.

Rule #4: Never compare his work or method of doing things to that of your father. Using tools has a learning curve. Chances are that by the time you were born your father had already made his share of mistakes using tools and learned from them. Saying something to your husband like, “My father made it better,” is equivalent to him comparing your cooking to his mother’s.

Rule #5: Never use his tools without permission. Instead get your own drawer consisting of a screwdriver, hammer and pair of pliers. If a job requires more than that then let him show off his skills.

Rule #6: When he pulls out a boat load of tools just to do a simple job keep your mouth shut. Having tools and being able to use them is just part of the process and an extension of his manhood.

Rule #7: If your husband is working trying to fix something, even if the basement is flooding and electrical sparks are flying because of it, never ever say, Why don’t you call a professional.” Doing such is his call not yours.

While it is probably true that no one has ever cited a wife complaining about a man’s tools for a divorce, doing such just weakens the foundations of a marriage. Let the man be a man.

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