If your husband is a Mr. Fix-It like mine, you have learned – or will learn – a few things along the way. We have been married for twelve years and have had at least as many vehicles over the years. We don’t do car payments. Not one of our one-dozen-plus fleet of vehicles has ever been to a mechanic or a shop.
The only thing we have taken to a professional was our vacuum. Mr. Okayest repaired it himself the first time it broke, but thought he needed a pro the second time it broke. However, the actual vacuum-repairman said he was stumped. My husband brought that thing home, ordered a part on amazon, and brought it back to life himself once again. He has repaired our used dryer more times than I can count. He can fix anything, even when a professional can’t.
Am I grateful? Heck yes. Am I lonely? Heck yes.
Here are a few things that wives of these kind of manly-men have learned – or will quickly learn:
- There are two kinds of repairs: “It should be an easy job,” and “It will be a pretty big job.” The former means you will see him at some point that day. The latter means you will hear him refer to the vehicle as a “dirty dirty whore” and you won’t be able to drive anywhere for the entire weekend.
- Your kids will be able to identify an air compressor and mimic an angle grinder at the age of one.
- You will have to pay a car payment to yourself every month to cover the cost of the repairs he does. Yes, it is wonderful to have no car payments and the flexibility to buy very old vehicles. But it does come at a (literal) cost.
- You can probably get antique plates for at least one of your vehicles, saving you the hassle of yearly inspections, which it never passed anyway.
- You will double or triple the amount of time he estimates that the repair will take. He’s not slow; repairing things simply breaks other things along the way. On a related note, you will have to budget two or three trips to Advance Auto Parts into each day.
- You will pray that it will not rain during the car repairs. If it does, you will be trapped with three toddlers in the house from Friday night until Monday morning, with no vehicle and no ability to play outside.
- You will learn to love the smell of grease and carb cleaner, because any smell on the one you are madly in love with becomes familiar and sweet.
- You will also wonder if that chemical smell is the reason you never got pregnant.
- There will be times that you will wish you could send the car off to a shop and have your husband back, no matter how much money it would cost.
- Your UPS man will know you by name. (One of them said to us, “So that was the car I brought in piece by piece, huh?”)
- He will curse UPS and FedEx and DSL until he is blue in the face.
- At least once a week, you will check on him in the garage and be mortified by the chemical smell and demand that he open the garage door RIGHT NOW. You start to think of yourself as a Geiger counter.
- You will have greater tolerance for his hobbies, because of the amazing amount of money he saves your family.
- You won’t do normal Saturday family activities, because he will always have a new repair or preventive maintenance to accomplish.
- You will have incredible peace of mind knowing that any engine noise you describe to your husband can easily be explained away. You will also take comfort in the fact that he always knows what each vehicle will need, in order, for the next three years.
- You will have incredible non-peace of mind, because “the cobbler’s child has no shoes.” You will hear, “Well, it should be okay,” and he will weld things and duct tape things and rig things. He will be MacGyver. You will be amazed and terrified by his creativity (i.e., taking liberties) with the half-ton of metal under his dependents.
- You, the kids, and the house will have to get in line.
- You will never own a new, or even new-ish, vehicle, since he can keep anything running forever.
- Your triple stroller could cost more than your truck. And it doesn’t even have an engine!
- The phrase, “As long as I’ve got the thing apart…” will send chills down your spine.
Sons, your mother is seriously looking forward to the time when all three of you are in the garage with your father, helping your father, rather than doing whatever the heck it is that you were doing to me during this long, chaotic, rainy weekend. Hurry up! I really want to finish reading a book again someday. Oh, well, at least our minivan has new shocks and brakes and a whole bunch of other stuff that helps it feel less like a boat.