For the past few weeks my husband and I have been working on some home renovations and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m mostly useless. Not entirely useless, but pretty close. I’m the equivalent of an eager kid who wants to help but generally just gets in the way. Except for, you know, the eager part.
I have decent upper body strength so I’m able to help move furniture around, and I’m an excellent gopher when I know what tool you’re talking about.
I’m sorry, I don’t know the names of all the types of screwdrivers. I know Phillips. Kind of. (It’s the cross one, right? Never mind, I don’t care.) Other than that you’re going to have to describe it to me.
Like a child, I demand that he show me how to do tasks I feel could be in my wheelhouse, which I proceed to do poorly and he then has to fix. But when I try to stay out of it, (ideally by leaving the house entirely so I don’t have to hear all the grunting and swearing), inevitably he says that actually he does need me and could I come hold this random thing or shine the light this way, or crawl under that thing and loosen that other thing with my tiny raccoon hands?
So, not only am I mostly useless and barely contributing, I don’t even get to sit and read a book. I stand around, fidgety and bored, trying to be helpful. Because I watch him suffer the whole time. Renovations suck. There’s a lot of crouching and kneeling and bending and things are heavy and take a hundred times longer than seems possible. And I know it would take half as long if I was useful.
Luckily, he doesn’t hold it against me. And I’m a very good cheerleader. Also, I’m good at keeping the work area tidy and cleaning up along behind him as he goes. To me, nothing is worse than finally completing that horrible, arduous task, only to creak to a standing position, turn around and see all the mess you have to clean up now from said arduous task. It’s enough to make you light the house on fire and walk into the woods.
That’s partnership though, balancing strengths and weaknesses, cheering each other on and not reminding your spouse when you’re both dead on your feet from exhaustion that this whole thing was his idea. Because it totally was.
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