I love my husband and so do other women. Even our lesbian neighbors across the street light up when his name is invoked. Is it his height, his his flowing locks, his worldly sophistication? No, for he has none of these. His wit, intelligence, charm and his abilities as an excellent provider? No–Instead they marvel over our new raised bed or custom build closet shelves. ”He’s handy!” they gush.
Face it, everybody loves a carpenter guy.
It’s true. I live with a guy who knows what to do with a drill. Mentally I give thanks whenever DH aims himself at a problem, tools in hand and says, “don’t worry about it.” This is the man for whom–as Jimmy Carter would say–”I have lust in my heart.”
Was it back when Clean Sweep started that our cultural reverence for the handyman carpenter dude started? I sat through an entire commercial break for Cupcake Wars trying to remember.
Then the commercial for Carter Oosterhouse came on. Built like a hot hockey player, Carter can fix things just by smiling at them. The Clean Sweep guy was a genius with a two by four, some plywood and paint, but Carter can make a project perfect just by taking his shirt off and thinking wholesome thoughts.
The Cupcake Wars dudes aren’t bad either. Twins in plaid, they make your fantasy cupcake display dreams come true.
We don’t seem to have the same kind of reverence for other kinds of delivery men. I don’t know what it was about milk men of yore that had women so hot and bothered, but he has not been replaced by the mail man, the cable guy, or the dude who comes and mows the lawn. (At our house that happens to be DH too. While the women on our street never chased after him while he mowed the lawn, once time our neighbor’s overly affectionate pet turkey did.)
So what’s extra special about carpenters? I’m not sure, but when my husband was a carpenter for a while, I learned a few things about them.
A) Measure Twice, Cut Once. It turns out that there’s a lot of precision that goes into carpentry. The devil’s in the details, DH likes to say. I lick my lips thinking over these words and imagine running my hands over his taut abs under that tool belt. Perhaps it’s the display of absolute competence that thrills ladies to the core.
B) Carpenters Are All Over Educated. My husband after going to grad school worked for as a finish carpenter. No one working for the contractor had less than a master’s degree and a few had Ph.D’s. Even the painter had an advanced degree. Carpentry is one of the few manual labor jobs in America that tends to garner as much respect as being a ‘professional.’ Why? See ‘A’ above.
C) Carpenters Are Conscientious and Patient. It’s the nature of the beast in their job. They have to keep track of everything–there is are all kinds of little things that have to be done at the right time and in the right order for projects to work out right. Meanwhile, most people have a hard time visualizing changes to a space in advance. Then there’s trying to imagine what the trim and knobs will look like when the cupboards are complete, and the floor is in. You think people can visualize this in advance and pick out exactly what they want? Fuhgettaboutit. So Carpenters are used to people changing their minds. They are patient and understanding, remain
flexible and are willing to do something over from scratch. (Of course they put the hurt on you for all this when you get the bill, but that’s a different story.)
Ultimately, the fantasy about having your own carpenter guy is the dream of having control over your home, and not letting strangers come in, rip it apart, and leave it that way for as long as they like. I’m living that fantasy people, and I (mentally) fall to my knees thanking the good lord every day for it.
On Cupcake Wars some finalist will ask one of the carpenter guys to build her a twelve foot high replica of Mt.Rushmore from recycled materials with the words “All We Want Is Peace” spelled out in fairy lights and native plants across the bottom of the rotating display. In an hour. The carpenter dude usually takes a second to give her a kind of “really?” look and then he says ‘okay’ and makes it happen.
That is the number one reason why we love carpenter guys.