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Lending The Unhandy A Helping Hand

, , , , | Related | February 1, 2021

I have taught myself how to fix most things around the house: plumbing, woodwork, wiring, appliances, etc. I can fix the simple issues and I call a professional to fix anything I can’t.

My father-in-law, however, has no idea; he can barely hang a picture. He periodically enlists my help with household projects. We all have our strengths and I don’t think any less of him; in fact, to think my simple skills are so highly regarded is a really nice feeling. After a while, my sister-in-law also starts to ask for help, much to the annoyance of her husband, my brother-in-law.

Sister-In-Law: “Would you mind putting up a shelf next time you pop over?”

Me: “Err, sure. Do you have the screws, or do I need to bring some?”

Sister-In-Law: “Oh, I don’t know. Do we have the screws, [Brother-In-Law]?”

Brother-In-Law: “I told you I would do it when I get around to it!”

Sister-In-Law: “It’s been three months; you’ve had plenty of time.”

Brother-In-Law: “I don’t have the right tools.”

Me: “Oh, you can borrow my smaller drill. I have a spare spirit level somewhere, too.”

Brother-In-Law: “Yeah, great, thanks.”

They leave, almost “forgetting” my tools, but I manage to flag them down. Luckily, I can make do without the tools; it’s over a month before they let me know they finished. I pop round.

Me: “Thanks. You got it all sorted, then?”

Brother-In-Law: “Yeah, fine.”

Me: “Oh, do you have the spirit level?”

He disappears out of the room to fetch it.

Sister-In-Law: “Don’t tell him, but could you fix that shelf?”

Me: “Looks okay. Why?”

Sister-In-Law: “It’s fallen off once, and now it’s so wonky everything falls off! Look.”

She put a book on the new empty shelf and, true to her word, the book fell over and slid off the shelf. I managed to fix the shelf later that year when he was out of the house. I kind of wish I hadn’t, as he has started to brag about how good a job “he” did, and now wants to buy a load of tools of his own.