About a year ago, our garage door was not feeling well. It wouldn’t go down on it’s own. To close it required my loving embrace. Specifically, I had to lean against it as the door goes down the tracks. I’m sure I looked like the “mystic” trope in the “action” movie who, at a crucial moment in the action, resurrects the hero so he can go whoop the bad guy.
This is the part about home ownership that sucks the most. I had a strong suspicion this would work out one of two ways. The repair person will come out, look at it for two minutes, bang on something with a hammer a few times and everything works. Easy, cheap. Or, the repair person will look at it, tinker with it, and pronounce the motor dead, to the tune of a few hundred dollars. It ended up being somewhere in between; I think some kind of specialized garage door grease was involved.
I avoid these things because, through hundreds of logical and unintended decisions, I have chosen the life of an extremely specialized knowledge worker. I enjoy making sense of complicated systems that involve people, computers, and uncertainty. I am nearly useless with everything else.
Luckily, ours is an age where that specialization works out pretty well. I am fortunate that I can pay others to worry about typical “male” tasks like changing the oil on our cars or painting the bedroom (cue applause from the economists in the audience). That said, sometimes the interactions with those folks feels a little odd. I usually have to prefix them with the disclaimer that I am “the least handy dude on the planet”; it’s important to set expectations.
Another thing I’ve learned about home ownership is that repairing my garage door will almost certainly be worth every penny I pay for it. I know this because some time ago, we got around to having someone fix our toilet. It would run for quite some time after you flush it. At least thirty minutes. I let this linger because it was easier to not think about spending money on it that it was to do something about it. But, for not too much money, a professional (read: not me) fixed everything. The toilet flushed and stopped running mere moments later.
The psychological release this brought me was incredible. I found myself noticeably happier that our house was less broken. It was like I got a new toy. And exciting, rejuvenated, toilet toy!
…and that’s the worst part about home ownership. That you can sit down and write more than five hundred words on the joy of home repairs. I’ve been working with some folks that are several years younger than I am. These events are interesting to me, but I know that if I were to breach the topic with them, it would confirm to them that I am indeed the lamest trigenarian they’ve ever met. I know this because in college, I worked with older dudes and the summer I spent listening to them talking about the pH balance of their pools was notably tedious.
So here we are, five hundred words later, telling the whole internet I’m the lamest trigenarian they may ever meet. The good news is, everything in my house works. We got it inspected, and we know this with certainty. I highly recommend it if you have the means.