Monday, January 14, 2008

know thyself

We recently have started getting serious about doing some home remodeling that we have talked about for years. On Saturday, we went to IKEA to look at bathroom accessories/fixtures. The next day, we went crazy at Lowe's and bought most of the pieces we needed. When we got home, I went even more crazy and forced my wife to help me clear out the spare bedroom of all the crap we had been storing there Clean Sweep style. Well, we didn't have a yard sale, or a TV show host or a organization guru, but we need create donate, toss, and keep piles. I moved as much as I could into our storage space in front of our car.

Some time in the evening, I got this idea into my head that I could swap out our old bathroom faucet with one we just bought. The box said it was easy as 1-2-3, and our plumber had said it was a snap. Quickly I learned that 1-2-3 might be easy, but first I had to remove the old faucet, which was impossible without some random tool that only (you guessed it) plumbers own. Plus, I really had no clue what I was doing. The most I saw my dad do that was mechanical was put on new bike pedals.

Not that it is his fault. I don't really have the ability to sit down and learn how to do all this stuff. The wait kills me.

When I was 17, I lived in Germany for a year with a couple families. One host father was a policeman...their version of the FBI I believe. I don't know what exactly his job was for that agency, but he coolly told me one day when I asked him to how something worked that I was the type that paid people to do stuff for me and he was the type that knew how to do stuff. At the time, I was insulted. (He also told me I was panicky and not a warm person, but that was because he constantly critiqued EVERY little thing I did, i.e. forget to turn off a light switch once after 30 seconds of non-use.)

But perhaps on this, he was right. After getting a third way through the sink project, I realized I was stuck and that I had broken a perfectly good sink. We had a guest coming over the next day, and she couldn't even wash her hands in the sink because I had an urge to feel like a handy man.

Somehow, I managed to undo all of the dissassembly and the sink seems to work about as well as it did before. But I learned my lesson: go earn some money and leave the home improvement to the professionals.

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