Been There, Done That by Laura Nethken

Published:

I am most definitely the Queen of Procrastination and I am married to the King. There are tons of things that we manage to leave undone. We just never get around to it.

I think part of our problem is that what is high on my priority list, just doesn't rank quite as high on his.

Like when we first got married and I wanted to put up shelves in the spare room.

I asked him a couple of times about it and then just let it ride. Why nag him? That rarely if ever works. Especially with him.

And I don't like running into the same brick wall. They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. So I needed a new game plan. If he wasn't going to put up the shelves, then I needed to.

Great plan, except I had no idea how to go about that. I grew up doing other things. I cooked and cleaned and grocery shopped. I even cut the grass and took out the trash after my oldest brother moved out.

I never put up any shelves. Never even watched anyone do it. OK, I did watch once when Grandma built me a bookshelf that looked like the Big Top at the circus (in my favorite color -- red) but I was about 7 and wasn't really taking notes.

So, I needed to act like I was going to put up the shelves but really get him to do it. I went out to the shed and got the power saw and the biggest hammer and the biggest nails I could find and headed for the spare room.

That got his attention. He sort of understood the hammer and nails, but the power saw had him stumped. Hey, I needed the saw, I might run into a stud or something.

He decided right then and there that I needed to learn a few things before I killed myself. So he spent the afternoon putting up shelves and teaching me a few important lessons.

First of all, I learned that shelf brackets go up way nicer with a cordless drill and some screws. I learned, thankfully not the hard way, that giant nails will go right through the wall and make an appearance in the shower stall in the next room.

I found out that studs are our friends and so should not be removed with a power saw or not only will you not have a shelf, you won't have a supporting wall either.

I discovered that house builders like to hide electrical wiring in walls that will light you up like the Fourth of July if you drive a nail directly into it.

I've also learned that lots of guys like to teach us girls a thing or two. I'm good with that.

I let an untold number of gas station attendants teach me how to pump gas. All I had to do was stand there with a puzzled look on my face, looking from the pump to the car and back again and eventually, someone would come out of the station and show me what to do.

OK, thanks, I'll remember that. Yeah, right. What I remembered was not to stop at that gas station again or they'd remember they had already "taught" me.

I'm probably really dating myself on this one, but not only did gas stations have attendants, they had mechanics. Granted they didn't have cappuccino machines and sandwiches made to order, but they served their purpose.

I stopped at one years ago that had mechanics on duty. After I pumped my gas (I had run out of gas stations whose attendants didn't know me) my car wouldn't start. It didn't even click.

The three mechanics came running out, popped the hood and told me I needed everything from a new starter to a new alternator and new battery. As I sat in the driver's seat trying the key at the appropriate times, I glanced down and noticed I had neglected to put the car in "Park."

I may not have known much about starters, alternators and batteries back then, but I did know a car won't start in "Drive." But hey, thanks for the lesson anyway, guys.

Copyright 2014 Laura Nethken

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