You’ve seen the ads for the insurance company featuring the guy who causes mayhem? His latest target is the DIY crowd. We know who we are. We want to prove we can do it. We can save money doing it ourselves. Once we’ve had a turn, it will cost even more to fix what we broke as well as do the job right. Perhaps the smartest thing we can do is have an emergency contact list strategically placed nearby. You never know when a plumber, an electrician, an EMT might be needed.
The Family Handyman Website has a section entitled: “10 Marriages Almost Destroyed by DIY Projects.” Here are two samples from the world of ceiling fans:
- A man decides to replace a ceiling light/fan fixture. Knowing he should have cut off the power at the box, he turns off the light switch. The day was growing dark with a passing storm overhead, but the man thought he had enough light to finish. His wife came in to see if she could help. He asked her to pass her some tools. Looking around in the dim space, she said, “Why are you working in the dark?” and switched on the light. They were treated to an impromptu light show as sparks flew from his screwdriver. Luckily no one was hurt. What are the lessons to be learned, kids?
- They had been renovating the great room. New hardwood floor had been installed. New furniture had been purchased. Now it was time for the expensive ceiling fan. No problem. Been there, done that. The man laid the instructions aside and got busy. He noticed this one red tag but was hurrying to finish the project. Adding the extra bracing for the fan, the man finished the installation and called to his wife to show her his handiwork. He flicked on the switched and watched in horror as the fan unscrewed itself from its support pipe and crashed to the new floor, leaving deep scratches in the hardwood and pieces of fan all over the room. His wife began to speak words he didn’t know she knew. In the pile of rubble, was that red tag – which he finally picked up and read: Once the support pipe is installed, use the locking screw to secure the pipe to the main support.
Paul wrote to the Galatians: “Be honest in your estimate of yourselves …” I’m not sure he meant DIY projects, but who knows? I envy people who successfully complete DIY projects with fingers and toes and pride and marriages intact. Personally, I have learned after almost 37 years of wedded bliss to pick up the phone before I pick up a tool. Happy wife, happy life.