How *Not* to Dig a Hole With Your Spouse
“A 12 x 12 hole in the ground? Why, that’s the size of two graves!” quipped my mother when I told her that my husband and I were going to dig a hole together last weekend. Already riddled with misgivings about this hole digging expedition, this was decidedly NOT the encouragement I needed.
I’m not handy. I can barely pound a nail, and I don’t know how to operate a drill or a saw. When it comes to hanging a picture, I just pick a random spot and attach the hanger to the wall. If the positioning isn’t perfect, who will see all the holes I made, right? They’ll be behind the picture, completely covered up.
My husband, on the other hand, is hyper-handy. I think the man can do whatever he likes with power tools or make anything with his bare hands and a few ingredients. Hanging a picture, for him, is a scientific exercise of precision. At least fourteen different tools are required – for measuring, marking, leveling, testing, etc., etc., etc. – until I’m just shrieking, “Hang the freaking thing, already!!!”
Opposites may attract and all that, but they decidedly do NOT perform certain tasks well together. Case in point – our hole. We are digging a hole for a basement that will eventually be an outbuilding.
I arrive at the site in my cute workout gear with my hair done just so. My husband shows up in nasty shorts and a white undershirt. Point one for him.
I stare at the 12 x 12 spot all marked out and think it looks a LOT bigger than the last time I saw it. As I’m pondering this, he attacks the spot and has a whole layer of earth broken up for moving. Two points for the man.
Still dallying, I ask just how long it might take to dig this hole. As he’s shoveling, he cheerily says he doesn’t know, because the top layer is littered with roots and junk. But, he’s working, and I’m still not, worth three points for the dude.
I stare around the site, seeking anything that might keep me from having to DO some actual manual labor. This takes at least 15 more minutes, while the mighty man has cleared the way to the lovely red clay underneath the top layer. “Oh, that will definitely soil my cute workout gear,” I say. “Maybe I could do something else?”
He stares at me wiltingly, picks up a hand saw and says, “You can cut down a few of these brush trees around here. You CAN use this thing, can’t you?” he asks as if he’s sure I cannot possibly work the thing without sawing my leg off.
I’m thinking that I’ll likely saw my leg off when he first suggests such an outlandish activity for me, but the actual challenge to my utter lack of ability makes me forget that I’ve never operated a hand saw or chopped down a tree in my forty-one-year life. Irked, I grab the hand saw and attack the nearest tree – one that, clocking in a almost a foot in diameter, is decidedly too big for a puny girl wielding a hand saw for the first time, no matter how “I’ll show him” angry she is.
My husband calmly dug a hole about four feet deep while I yelled and kicked and sawed myself into a sweaty, filthy froth. Twenty scrub trees perished, but I’ll tell you this much – I can now use a hand saw to chop down a tree.