All a man needs…

is a workbench.

Mr. Stone loves his workbench. Despite not showing an interest or talent toward fixing up anything construction-wise in our home, he has spent countless hours in the garden shed creating a space to house his peg board of tools and bench full of jars of screws, nails, power tools and all the sorts of things that you’d expect straight out of a 1950′s Popular Mechanics magazine. He putters happily with the radio on and the fan blowing while he fixes little items that need attention. I know I can stick broken objects on the counter and he has the patience to re-glue, re-solder, take apart and put back together. He’s clever like that.

But overall, with anything larger than say, a lamp, Mr. Stone is not handy. He’s a lot of wonderful things, but Mr. DIY–he is not. The irony of course is not lost on me that we bought a fixer-upper of a money-pit house where something is always breaking or leaking…but I wouldn’t have it any other way. To me, he’s pretty wonderful. Even if he does use a lot of excuses to avoid changing Sprinkles. (I’ve got my little list of hand men to call when things start to break.)

Men need a place to tinker. It’s in their genetic code I think. A need to stick nails in glass jars. Why? I’m not sure. But it makes them happy.

Just don’t ask Mr. Stone to hang a shelf. I did, once, and he glued the shelf to the wall with ‘no nails’ glue. You could sort of see why he thought it would work, but no, it didn’t.

I have a friend who’s husband is super handy. He’s so handy that she hires him out to fix other friends homes on the side. Yet nothing in her house ever gets finished. He’s too busy. I know it drives her up the wall. It would for me too. Sure. he can install a kitchen. [Well, most of it anyway, it's not quite done. But what he did do was impressive.] Would I want this? I’m not sure. My handymen don’t get paid until the work is done.  You couldn’t hold that over a husband’s head. But then she’s not paying for the support. So I suppose it can be argued both ways.

I have a bad habit of of using our shed as a temporary storage. It’s an ongoing battle in our house. I just stick a little in here, a little in there. Before you know it, there’s too much on and around the workbench and he can’t tinker. So Mr. Stone gets grumpy. It’s ridiculous. I’d much rather stick bikes and kites and paint cans in there than wait for a vintage vase that hit the floor get reglued. The vase, like so many other things he fixes are boot sale finds and frankly another one for 50p will be found again. The kitchen floor is brick. Things break. C’est la vie.

But it’s not about the vase. It’s about a man. A man and his workbench. He needs it! He wants it clean!! So to make peace, I surprised him and cleaned it out today. This is the before photo. I admit it was a bit trashed:

and this is the after photo:

It’s not perfect but the counters are cleared enough  and he can go back to doing whatever it is that guys need to do at their workbench. And without missing a beat, he was out there in the shed, whistling and smiling this evening. Rewiring the broken Dualit. Happy as can be. Bless. All a man needs is a workbench.

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