My wife and I bought a house and most of the challenges we’ve handled fairly well. Forking over the vast majority of our money? No problem. Hiring a contractor to replace the roof, AC, windows, and kitchen? No problem. Finding friends to help us move all of our earthly possessions from our apartment to our house? No problem. Finding a place for all of our junk? No problem. Hanging mini blinds in all of the windows? Problem. Big, huge, annoying problem.
No one has ever described me as “handy.” Probably the best way to convey my skills is to list all of the tools I own:
- 9.6 volt cordless drill
- 2 tape measures
- Needle nose pliers
- 3 screwdrivers
- Channel lock pliers (I had to ask someone what they were called)
- Ratchet set
- Wire cutters
- Wire strippers
The truth is that if it can’t be done with those tools, I shouldn’t be doing it.
My wife, knowing my skills, asked me skeptically “can you hang all these mini blinds yourself?” and that’s when my manly pride kicked in. “Mini blinds? Really? They’re just mini blinds. Your average, every day, village idiot can hang mini blinds.” Over the next few hours I learned that my skill set is somewhere just below “average, every day village idiot.”
At first I blamed my tools- “I obviously don’t have the right attachment for this drill.”
Then I blamed the mini blind makers- “Could they have put the screw holes in a more inconvenient location?”
Then I blamed the windows- “How am I supposed to make a flat connector piece stick to a curved window frame?”
Then I did what I probably should have done from the beginning- I realized that hanging mini blinds is a lot easier when you aren’t complaining about having to hang mini blinds.
It still took a long time. Seriously, it’s a good thing Disney never made a Handy Manny episode about hanging mini blinds because that one still wouldn’t be over. Now all but one of our sixteen windows are covered (My wife bought the wrong size for one of our windows. Yes! Someone else to blame!) so I can move on to easier things like curtain rods, pictures, and mirrors. Maybe I should check the yellow pages for our village idiot’s listing.
A few things I learned from this experience:
- The macho gene must ride along with the Y chromosome. I have never been Mr. Fixit, but put a drill in my hand and suddenly I think I’m Bob Vila.
- Just because I am not good at something doesn’t mean it’s unimportant.
- A task is easier when I am determined to succeed rather than trying to avoid failing.
- When I realize a task is going to take longer than I anticipated, complaining doesn’t speed it up.
- If Adolf Hitler and Bloody Mary had a child together that kid would have invented mini blinds.