Failing as the Man of the House

My mom has always filled the role of the “man of the house.” That’s just who she was…instead of having a “honey do” list, she’d just do. The other week, while I was kibitzing to some of you fine folks on Twitter, there was a ruckus in the kitchen. My mom was sawing off the top of a metal wine rack just to make it fit in the cabinet better.

What my dad’s role was, which I’m finding out now, is that he would know who to call when something went wrong. Of course when I finally realized this it was Christmas Day, there was something scurrying around our attic, the roof had rotted, the gradient heat wasn’t working, and the thermostat found a way to turn the heat up ten degrees even when it was shut off.

The fact that I have no idea how to fix any of these things is a blog post for another time, and the thermostat was fixed by my brother-in-law figuring out how to open it and change the batteries. The problem was that I’ve only been the man of the house for two months, and I was already failing at it.

Let me break for a minute and just point out, because I’ll be writing about this a lot, I in no way mean to make this sound like “whoa is me” and that no one knows the burden I bare. I realize that this is a normal part of the grieving process, and just adapting to a new life minus a parent. Shit happens, but it is still shitty.

Regardless, now that I have a sense of all that can go wrong in a home (and usually, multiple things at once), and would prefer not being ripped off by someone I blindly call from the phonebook, there’s a list of people that everyone show know at least one of and one that they trust:

An electrician
A plumber
An exterminator
A mechanic that can recommend a body shop, or a body shop that can recommend a mechanic.
A carpenter
A “jack-of-all-trades” that you can call short notice.

You may not know one of each, but your friends, family, and/or co-workers will. Make the list and get yourself on a first name basis with these people now, before the uh-oh’s happen.

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