The word handyman and the husband that is French do not get along. If there is one thing I could change it would be that, and his long need for silence. To make matters even more interesting that man who is French does not like anyone to do things that need to be done. So hiring a handyman is out of the question. Kinda really drives me to swear under my breath and often out loud.
The woman he married has a tendency, oh wait that might be too mild of a word... to change things, add things, likes old things that need repair. So a lack of handyman and a woman who loves home decor can create for quite the game of: "How to make this happen?"
Learning to let go and let be is awfully aggravating at times. Usually I am not successful, not at all zen, and well basically a brat.
Prioritizing my handyman jobs is high on my list of learning, "How to make this happen" and keeping peace at home. Don't get me wrong that man of mine who dislikes doing things around the house, appreciates a beautiful home, but could so easily live in a tent... maybe prefers a tent.
As we planned our trip to Paris, to stay in our apartment and visit our children I knew I had limited time to get things done. I wanted the bed to be raised... but that didn't happen. I wanted the large bust that I bought in September to be fixed so it could stand upright... that didn't happen. I wanted to paint the front door but that didn't happen. Instead I focused on hanging the collection of 1700s French antique platters that I had been collecting this year for the two walls in the apartment.
I know how to drill holes, I prefer nails, but funny how nails and stone walls don't get along. Also another amazing fact is how pictures can cover big holes. So like I was saying I know how to drill holes but French Husband unravels if I daresay, "I can do it." If I want him to unravel all I have to say is, "I am going to drill holes." Can you hear me laughing? You see French Husband is for the most part easy going... but that is because I know what not to say... well sometimes.
List in mental hand I picked the moment carefully to ask that man who hates to do handyman jobs, and dislikes anyone doing them, and goes nuts if I attempt to do it myself, to drill NINE holes.
Nine holes is serious business. Serious reflection. Crime worthy. Stressful. Ridiculous to ask.
The day before we left Paris I asked Sacha if he would drill some holes, he said, "Sure."
Just like that. Sure.
Wow, what a concept.
French Husband didn't know what to say.
Why hadn't I figured out that trick before?
The power of the son. Trump card. Magic trick. Love. Happiness. Nine holes with one.
For the record I ask for a handyman every Christmas only to have someone sigh and roll their eyes. Now I have Sacha. If only he lived closer.
Sacha is a perfectionist.
His tendency to have things just a certain way is actually a plus when you want something done right. I remember when he was little if I asked him to sweep the terrace he would literally sweep it lickable clean.
Perfectionism can be annoying. But not this time.
That other guy called husband didn't know what to think.
Mom thought genius!
Son worked on.
Most of the platters are from Gien, late 1700s, they are perfectly imperfect: Cracked, crackled, chipped and stapled.
I could read his regretful mind. I asked, "Don't you like them like this? Tricky question isn't it?" I giggled and nudge him but he wasn't buying my "let's move on" ticket.
Years ago when the children were children my parents came to visit us. I had been begging Yann to drill some holes in the kitchen so I could put up a rack to hang pans on. After days of asking Yann to do it, my dad bought me a drill. I dared not use it because Yann would not appreciate it. Weird I know, but don't all couples have weird things in their relationship that they have to work around and be mindful of?
Anyway, one evening after asking Yann for the millionth time to drill two holes, he said, "We (like he had a mouse in his pocket) had to think about it some more, since the house was old and not standard, there could be electrical wires to consider, or a pipe or something... we couldn't just drill a hole just like that." My dad had had it, he stood up, grabbed the drill he bought me and drilled a hole in the place I had marked.
POOF the wall exploded, and I am not EXAGGERATING! POOF! Hot water came flooding out of that rapidly ever growing hole.
As the wall became a sideway volcano, our children cried, my mother covered her mouth, my dad swore, I ran to turn the water-line off and Yann's point was proven.
Nobody ever used the drill my dad bought for me again.
French Husband grabbed the pliers.
I teased, "Isn't it fun to have a family project."
His smiled did not crack as charming as the platters.
The corner piece I found in Paris a few months ago. French Husband had a helluva time getting it home: The shop was closing, we were leaving the next day, it didn't fit in a taxi or a car... so he carried it home. He is generous like that.
Handy man or transporter?
While in Paris this last week I painted it. Which I did instead of painting the front door. Some painting projects are more creative, inspiring, more fun than others. I tend to do the fun stuff first.
"Nine platters hanging instead of nine ladies dancing!" I cheered.
French Husband didn't respond.
Son shook his head.
Mother didn't care.
Son stepped back and offered his opinion, "A few more platters are needed." Which was music to my ears, he asked if I had anymore?
I wished. I agreed. I thanked him.
At that moment I saw that man called my husband calculating the meaning of more platters needed: More holes to drill.
Though even he agreed, more smaller platters were needed.
Love can shine through cracks.
... and they lived happily by the end of the day.