So my wife and I decided to do a little bit of remodeling before the new baby arrived. Knowing that my fix-it-up man-skills were lacking, I decided to farm it out… call in professionals even if that meant costing a little more. So I started calling contractors and one by one they came over and never called back again. In my mind at first I just thought maybe they were busy and did not want to waste time on a small project, then I started thinking the worst, crap this baby is coming and this project is so hard that even professional contractors want none of it. So panic sets in, we need some of these things done before baby number three( he still really does not have an official name ) arrives. So my parents over to take a look and God bless my Mom (for those of you that know her, you’ll understand). She takes a look at the project and says “No problem. We ( as in she, my Father, Grandfather and I) can handle this.” Relief. I think, “Wow that will be so great just to get this done and my wife will get some peace of mind knowing that something was accomplished.”
Shortly after that, in my infinite wisdom I decided we should tackle our back yard as well. With a few weeks before new baby’s arrival. This consisted of removing an old pool and a deck and shed and, and, and… you get the idea. Now I have to say thank Christ for my family. Alllll of them gave up several days and a whole weekend to help us tackle this. Covered literally in blood, sweat, tears, and mud. Profanities flying as every little victory revealed another challenge. We’ve made progress. As of this moment it’s not done, but we see light at the end of the tunnel. So this first part is to just say thank you for my wonderful family and all of the help they’ve provided. You guys rule!!!!
Now back to my original thought: My complete lack of skills. It is not something I am happy about, it just is. I can do basic things but when it comes to laying out an irrigation system, planning a bathroom remodel or putting up a straight fence–I have no clue. Something I AM good at is demolition. If you want something torn down you have come to the right place. I can destroy shit with the best of them. Putting them back together? Not so much. Now my Dad IS Mr. Fix-It, and both of my brothers are actually pretty good with their hands. What the hell happened to me ??!? I guess I will just have to wander through life relying on my wits to survive and my tool box will have to be my wallet or a clarion call to the family.
I would like to think that it’s not just me. I have a feeling it is kind of endemic of my generation. The Technology Generation. I played my fair share outside but I also succumbed to the temptation of Nintendo. I mean, I was a kick-ass Techno Bowl player, but how does that skill translate into real life? My grandparents and even my parents generation had to provide for themselves with the skills that they had learned or just skills that they had. I am guessing they didn’t have many Early Russian Art Majors back in my Grandfather’s day. Now I know we have many people in our generation that do have these skills passed down from parent to child, but I am guessing it is not the majority of us. Part of me thinks that is why America has stalled after World War II. We started farming it out and we did not want to pay Americans a good wage to do the job that poor people in other countries would do for us. Back in the day when you got your milk it was from a milk man, your meat was from a butcher and your bread was from a bakery. Now we just roll into a Super Wal-Mart where you can literally get everything from birth to death (they freaking sell coffins) and you get it cheap and you get it quickly. Check a label in a Wal-Mart–they have a lot of products that have stars and stripes on them, but they are not made here. So what have we lost? We’ve lost a little bit of what made and still makes in some circumstances America great. We decided cheap trumps quality and instant gratification trumps waiting for it to be done right. Or just doing it ourselves. Now don’t get me wrong at all I love the technology (as I type this on my computer while I check my email on my phone). I do however feel that maybe technology has made us not care about who is making what, as long as we get our shiny new toy the minute we want it. So your father that was a baker no longer encourages you to take up the trade because you can’t compete with these mega stores. So what do we do? How does a man (or man-child) my age learn these things at this point? I can only take the pride-hit so much, buying these For Dummies and For Idiots books. So should I pay to have these things done professionally, knowing the increased cost but to get it done right? Or should I, without knowing how, attempt to do it myself (probably poorly) to save money?
Anyway now some music that I have been listening to the last few days: