Men are from Home Depot

By Mir
July 20, 2006

I’m just sitting here thinking that I may need a new name for my pseudo-dating category. But that would require more thought than I’m willing to expend right now. Time! Time is at a premium! There are a million things to be done and never enough time in which to do them. Why waste precious minutes renaming a blog category when I could be… trying to pry open my windows.

(Once upon a time, someone painted all of my windows shut. I would like to hunt that person down and use his tibia to bang against the window frame every time I have to try to unstick things just to get a little bit of fresh air in here.)

ANYWAY. Hi! How are you? I am well! But my house is ailing and I had forgotten that Having A Man Around means Fixing The House. Whether I want to or not.

Otto is coming to visit this weekend. Yay! This is a Very Good Thing! I like to see Otto, because, um, I like him. He makes me laugh and he smells nice and good LORD but he has been on his very best behavior with this whole Winning Me Back thing. I am considering breaking up with him again the moment the whole You Are My World routine shows any signs of slowing, because it is THAT AMAZING and if I have to be miserable for a couple of years to get this going again, that’s just a sacrifice I’ll have to make. I mean, at some point he’s going to remember that I am a complete BRAT. But for now, it’s all good. Well, up until I wrote this paragraph, anyway.

I’m sorry; can you wait a minute? I have to go doodle OTTO in a big heart on my spiral notebook. Won’t take me but a second.

Okay, I’m back.

What were we talking about? Oh! Right! So Otto is coming for the weekend, and he is a man on a mission. Any time I mention anything at all that is broken or in need of attention here at Casa Mir, he immediately pipes up with an assessment of what it will take to rectify the situation, and a directive to “put it on the list.”

So far the list contains about 382 hours worth of work. (You think I’m kidding. I’m so not. I will spare you the conversation where I mentioned that I need to paint the fence, but I hate the fence; and then Otto waxed solutionary for half an hour about how we could take the fence out and fill in the holes! Or build an additional piece of fencing where there is currently none! I swear, I had to tell him I was naked to get him to stop talking.)

And I am not bringing these things up to elicit Otto’s solemn pledge to be my handyman, or anything. We’re talking everyday conversations. Like, take today. I hopped onto the computer spitting mad because my mower decided to die when I was ALMOST done with the lawn. There was Otto, on Instant Messenger, and I was sure he could lend a sympathetic ear.

Me: Is there any mower on the planet OTHER THAN MINE that starts up right away when it’s cold but utterly refuses to restart once it’s warm?
Otto: Sure, one that’s running rich or experiencing vapor lock.
Me: Huh. That’s funny, all I heard just then was Charlie Brown’s teacher. WAWAWAWAWAWA!
Otto: [explains vapor lock and gas mixtures]
Me: [doodles “Otto” inside cartoon hearts in my notebook]
Otto: I can take a look at it this weekend. Put it on the list.
Me: I didn’t tell you that so that you’d come up here and fix my mower.
Otto: I know. It’s okay. We can take a look at it before we seal the driveway.
Me: You know, it would be okay if you just came to visit. We don’t have to do all this house stuff. I’ll figure it out.
Otto: I’m happy to help. It’s not a big deal.
Me: Yeah… but… I don’t NEED you to do this stuff.
Otto: I know.
Me: But… ummm… uhhhhh…
Otto: It’s okay.
Me: You smell good.

So that’s going well. My lawn is five-sixths mowed and I’ve apparently made plans for a romantic weekend of pushing tar around and cleaning gutters, but I am complaining out of habit. I know that having The List makes him feel better, much the same way that eating ice cream makes me feel better. And this is a part of rebuilding, too. Measurable projects with visible outcomes. There is comfort in that.

Just as there is comfort, for me, in finding a space between “seal the driveway” and “install new mailbox hinge” and penning in “take a nap on the couch.”

Hey, it’s all right there in my notebook. You cannot deny The List.


  1. shannon

    got a list got to stick to my list…

    just put “take the pretty mir to dinner” on the list, see if he sticks to that part too. :)

  2. chris

    I need an Otto man.

    Also I need an ottoman.

  3. Patricia

    Am I the only person who has visions of the list being cast aside (possibly in a pile of clothes) and forgotten for the WHOLE weekend? But at least there WAS a list.

    Opps, sorry — I forget Mir’s parents read this….Ahem, I’m sure they will be focusing on fixing all of the stuff in the house and the pile of clothes is just the sweaty laundry that needs to be done after all the driveway fixing and fence building. Right ;)

  4. Sheryl

    I know I’m old, because reading about a man who can do home repairs is making me swoon. That just doesn’t happen when you’re in your twenties.

  5. Elleoz

    Sheryl~ it doesn’t happen in your thirties either. At least not for me.

    I hope that you have a great weekend. Sounds like you will be doing a lot of work, but I’m sure it will be nice to get those things you have been putting off done. Definately make sure to include, have fun, on the list.

  6. Nic

    Um Mir..? If I promise not to snuffle his neck or doodle anything unappropriate on his to do list can you send the Otto my way after your weekend? I’ve got this ceiling fan that does not seem to be installing itself.

  7. Carmen

    I’ve got one of those myself. I have to actually WRITE down things like “rest”, “play” and “eat”.

    Can’t wait to hear what this weekend brings…..

  8. Jules

    Wait…is he coming for a weekend or a week?


  9. Bob

    Seems to me that one of the most important entries, a must, on the household chores list is to “take care” of the “house”wife.

    if momma ain’t happy, ain’t no-one happy.

    just sayin’

    P.S. the second most manditory entry is the appearance of the handyman buttcrack. some would argue it’s the highest as it seems to be the most “widely” observed phenomena of the species. here’s another set of “quotes” just in-case I haven’t used them up yet.

  10. Red

    I sure could use an Otto to fix the house. I have friends to ‘fix’ me. *sigh*

    You go Mir!

  11. dad

    Yes Patricia, Mir’s parents do read her blog,regularly but not necessarily religiously. Having been around a few years we understand the conflicting tensions of work versus play.
    It’s important to maintain a fixed house but a lot easier if you are smiling while it’s getting that way.

    Balance. That’s the key. And stay well away from that ceiling fan.

  12. Woman with Kids

    Where can I find Otto part 2? I have a list already started…

  13. Aimee

    I have one of those, too. As long as you add “make Mir swoon” to the list you’ll be fine. Have fun!

  14. Ei

    Nothing clever to say…you are just making me giddy by reading this. Who knew it was contagious? I’m gonna have to draw cartoon hearts with somebody’s name in them now.

  15. Ben

    Ok, you are so not naked.

    Are you?

  16. Jenn2

    That is SO cute. Seriously, I’m having dating my husband flashbacks. Have a fabulous weekend!

  17. juliloquy

    Very funny post! Have a great weekend with Otto.

  18. udge

    Measurable projects with visible outcomes. There is comfort in that.

    That is true wisdom, grasshopper. Besides, being so busy will prevent you both from worrying about “how it’s going.” Good.

  19. ishouldbeworking

    Hopefully he doesn’t need to be reminded to “tell Mir she’s pretty”, but maybe you should write it down for him, just in case!

  20. Diane

    You are funny…really funny. My life is the same as your and yet I do not blog because I cannot find humor in it…I so enjoyed reading you. Have a great day! Diane

  21. jennster

    i like men are from home depot. RAHR. lol

  22. Mom101

    Even with a man in the house, we need an Otto. Otto may be from Home Depot but I think Nate is from Beersylvania.

  23. Susan

    Let’s get to the Really Important Stuff: what will you be WEARING while “Otto” is resurfacing the driveway?

    Inquiring minds want to know. Or perhaps only I want to know. Whatever.

  24. Tug

    I’ll happily do the home repairs if you can find me a man that will cook & clean….HATE those things, love my power tools!

  25. CelticJig

    YAY Mir! I’m cheering for you! Have a great weekend. I have to say that I married a carpenter, and there is nothing like being well fixed. Or something… what am I trying to say here? Have fun, Mir!

  26. Lisa

    Just think about the extra cash you could make by renting Otto out. And, you must doodle his name in bubble letters, and practice signing important documents, Mir Otto.

    Have fun! And -seriously- less work, more fun!

  27. kay t

    There is that guy thing about making a relatively small project much Bigger – Like say, “if we had a screen door we could leave the door open and get a cross breeze.” and he says, “well, I am going to install a whole house fan (some techincal stuff).” So you go from hanging a screen door (not always a simple task), to cutting holes in attics and walls and assorted… Just saying

  28. Shiz

    We love the list!

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