For effete assholes like myself, there are few things more potentially insulting to what remains of our manhood than a visit from a repairman. These guys, with their toolbelts, plaster-dusted hair, workboots-really-used-for-working, and ability to, you know, fix things with their hands, represent everything I am not. But hey, when the bathtub is leaking through the ceiling of the downstairs apartment, you gotta call someone, right?
Actually, my plumbers are pretty great guys, and not at all intimidating in that “Hey, you catch the Jets game? Hand me that roll groover” way that usually terrifies me. Joe and Kev showed up when they said they would, cut holes in the wall, dug around inside, and replaced a bunch of shit that needed replacing—without making me feel like I was a pussy for not being able to do it myself. Partly, this was because whoever put our tub in originally, 10 or 12 years ago, did an extremely bad job, and Joe loudly complained about their stupidity, and about idiot clients who hire cheap, inexperienced plumbers to do work that should be done by seasoned pros. Translation: You were smart to hire me instead of trying to do it yourself.
Which: yes. In reality, I can take care of a lot of most several some basic home-maintenance issues, and am not really as helpless as I’m making myself out to be. I can install an air-conditioner and assemble Ikea furniture; I even own a power drill, for goodness sake (not cordless, alas). But the better part of valor here is knowing when you’re outclassed, and sitting down to write a ludicrously large check to someone else to fix it for you. That’s what I did, and if you think that’s somehow less manly than wrecking the tub myself, I’ve got an extra-large pair of balls for you to suck.