No, we are absolutely NOT getting a plumber!

Jul. 12, 2014 @ 05:16 PM

There is one kind of husband that invariably causes a longing envy in virtually every woman on the planet.  He is not necessarily the hottest or even the cutest; he isn’t always the smartest or the funniest; he’s not automatically the tallest or the most romantic. No, this husband has something much greater, much more important than any of these virtues: This husband can actually fix stuff.

I say “husband” not because a guy can’t fix stuff if he’s single. (And not because a woman isn’t capable of fixing stuff herself, if she’s into that. I know a few women who like to do that kind of thing, and I say more power to them! ... We aren’t close.) It’s just that a single Mr. Fix-It doesn’t prompt this envy, whereas a married one sparks the envy of wives everywhere. If you find a single one, ladies, invite him over immediately: bake lasagna, turn on ESPN, mount a keg in your living room, buy a hefty toolbox, dab a little Pleasure behind your ears, and stake a claim on that boy as quick as you can!
Now, I don’t mean the man who uses 17 tools to change a lightbulb, or the one who tackles the broken toilet with a wrench and some masking tape and declares it functional even as water streams across the floor. I’m not referring to the man who climbs a giant ladder to replace the batteries in the smoke alarm that has been going off every 23 minutes since he replaced the batteries last month. 
Also, I am not referencing the guy who, after finally being convinced that the peeling walls in the living room (which were mentioned in your fourth-grader’s essay on “Where I Live”, resulting in donations from his entire class) do require repainting, goes to the Sherwin-Williams store and returns with enough paint to do the entire house, which is what he -- now feverishly exhilarated -- intends to do. And, he regales you all with how he cunningly negotiated with the store clerk (who is at this moment laughing with his fellow clerks at a bar somewhere) to buy out the store’s complete supply of “Electric Lime” for half the price, because how great would that be in every room of your home!
Another man I am not alluding to is the one who says he can fix the sprayer hose on the garage sink where you wash the dogs, and we are NOT calling a plumber, and he gets on the Internet to find out what he needs after spending 20 minutes on his back underneath it muttering threats of retaliation against the manufacturer of said sink.  Then he orders the part, and when it comes (two weeks later) he gets under it again and the part doesn’t fit because it’s the wrong part and he swears he ordered the right part, and he swears ... well ... that’s it, he just swears ... so he sends it back with a descriptive letter to the company about his intentions toward the their mothers and their dogs. (Speaking of which, you’d really like to rinse off your dogs’ feet before they come in the house, but the sprayer has been non-serviceable, and now, somehow, your fearless leader has also loosened and twisted the faucet to the point that you cannot direct the stream of water anywhere but up the dog’s nose!)
Finally, the right part arrives, and after another couple of hours sweating, swearing and swatting away the mosquitoes and no-see-ums that swoop around him -- the sprayer hose is restored! The faucet is still messed up, but he halts any discussion and heads back to his computer and we are NOT getting a plumber!
No, it’s none of these guys. It’s the magnificent, colorful and rarely glimpsed man who says he can fix something -- and then, actually does. Like tightening the stair railing that the children regularly climb on, slide down and leap from. Like repairing the bathroom door that has come off the hinges because the children have slammed it so many times.  Like figuring out why the bathtub keeps backing up during a shower, and using a plumber’s snake to retrieve the Lego’s that the children have stuffed down the drain.  (Are you sensing a theme?)
Anyway, this man is a treasure. This man is golden to a woman. Her sunglasses fall apart -- he fixes them. Her heel has broken off -- he reattaches it. One of the stove burners is on the fritz -- he gets it operational. Her car is making a burping sound -- he raises the hood (and actually knows what he’s looking at) and puts it right, no fuss, no muss, no muttering. Can you imagine? 
Most of us can only dream, ladies. Most of us have the “other” kind of husband. My advice to all you single gals: Call a plumber ... and start that lasagna.

Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker.  Readers may contact her at, or by visiting her website at