You might be a very handy person but I’m not.
The mere thought of putting a pair of pliers or screw driver in my hand is enough to raise my body temperature 4 degrees.
So when my wife announced that the cold water wasn’t flowing in the washing machine this morning, fixing it myself wasn’t my first thought. In fact, even while I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, let me tell you what was going through my mind at first:
1. “Let’s call the repair person. I’m too busy to try to fix it. I’m right in the middle of writing a post!”
2. My wife is better at fixing things than I am. “Honey, let me get you the tool kit.”
3. “Isn’t it time to replace that 15 year old washing machine anyway?”
Within 45 seconds, I had dismissed all three alternatives.
First, it was New Years Day and it would be impossible to find a repair company. Also, I would have felt like a complete buffoon had the person spent 15 seconds on the problem and presented me with that ugly $60 bill.
Second, while my wife really is better at this kind of thing than I am, I just couldn’t pass the wrench this time. I had the time and she didn’t. Time to put the big-boy repair shoes on.
Third, this seemed like a minor problem so I couldn’t justify buying a new machine. I was half-way kidding myself when I tried to weasel out of the job with that one.
I resigned to tackle the problem head on.
The first thing I did was consider the downsides to doing the repair. If I failed, we’d be no worse off than before and at least I’d have given it the ol’ college try. Maybe, I’d even score some points with my wife. So in my estimation, it was a win-win – even if the clothes remained dirty.
Next, I assessed the problem – no cold water flow to the machine.
OK. I disassembled the water hose going to and from the machine. I checked it and the flow was perfect. This was what I feared…..it meant the problem lay deep in the bowels of the Maytag monster.
I cleared my workspace and started taking off the hoses and the cover to the inner workings of my foe. There, I was pleased to find, one simple part through which the water had to flow. The problem had to be there. But this looked like a specialty part and since it also had electronics attached to it, I figured we needed a new one. I decided to take a few pictures of it, write down the serial numbers and put my Maytag back together. I figured I’d order the part the next day.
Before I did so, I cleaned out the lines as best I could and prayed for a miracle….just in case.
Sure enough, when we hooked her back up, the water flow was back to normal.
I had become, if you will…..the Maytag Man!
I’m not sharing this story with you because I think I’m G-d’s gift to the washing machine. Far from it. I am still the least handy person you will ever meet. Outside of one good experience with a toilet and door lock, my history in the “fix it” department is dismal.
Do I think my stroll down Maytag Lane saved my money and marriage? Well….it did save a little cabbage. But outside of a few fleeting moments of admiration, I think my wife has forgotten about the entire episode.
And I’m not entirely convinced the repair will solve the long-term problem.
And as I write, the cold water is flowing to the machine, but as it works, it’s howling at me like a very sick wolf. I may have done more harm than good – violating the Maytag Man’s oath.
No, I’ll never be handy guy – but at least I’m not going to be intimidated anymore.
That’s why I’m sharing this story with you.
I’m going to try to fix things even if I don’t know how. It’s OK to learn as you go….right?
Are you intimidated by repairs, or reconciling your check book or something else? What experiences have you encountered when you pushed the envelope of your comfort zone?
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