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    December 21, 2006

    A Perfect Post - December
    If there is one thing that defines my relationship with Antique Daddy it is this: gutter covers.Before we were even married, we embarked upon a home improvement project together and in the process, we discovered everything we needed to know about surviving and sustaining a marriage partnership:  Never do home improvement projects together.

    Forget premarital counseling. Before couples are allowed to marry, they should be required by law to complete a home improvement project together. If both parties emerge with all their limbs in tact, then that’s a good indication that they can tolerate being married, having kids and having their gall bladder removed without anesthesia.

    I met Antique Daddy in the fall of 1996 and as it happens in the fall, the leaves had fallen off my trees and my neighbor’s tree and all the trees in Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, and into the gutters on my house. Being a childless person at the time, I had more time than sense and things like scrubbing the grout around the toilet and removing leaves from the gutters were on my To Do list. Now my To Do list includes things like brush teeth, bathe, sleep. I am all about goals these days.

    And so.

    One day when Antique Boyfriend was over at my house, I mentioned that removing the leaves from my gutters was on my To Do list and that I thought I would buy some gutter covers so that I wouldn’t have to clean my gutters every year. His eyes lit up as visions of power tools danced in his head. So off we went, hand-in-hand to Home Depot in search of true love and gutter covers.

    When we got to the gutter covers department, as luck would have it, I saw — gutter covers! And I was elated. And like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:36 who said, “Here is some water! Why not be baptized now!?” I said, “Here are some gutter covers! Why not buy them now!?” And I put them in my cart and skipped happily toward the checkout lanes. There’s nothing a girl loves more than a cart full of gutter covers!

    Cue sound of a needle dragging across a record – Skreeeech!

    Antique Boyfriend is not like the spontaneous Ethiopian eunuch, who by the way, was probably a lot more fun to take shopping. Antique Boyfriend needs to study, analyze (notice the root word “anal” in analyze? I don’t think that is a coincidence), read the fine print, go to three stores to comparison shop, take measurements, read up on how gutter covers are made, talk with gutter cover experts, make a spreadsheet and then return to the original store and stand in the gutter covers aisle with arms folded while scratching his chin for three additional hours or until I try to remove my gall bladder with a gutter cover.

    Therefore.

    In the middle of Home Depot, we had a “discussion” about the proper way to purchase gutter covers and I may have even cried. In the name of Bob Vila, was it too much to ask to buy a girl some gutter covers? I think because he wanted to win favor with me because he hoped to eventually sleep with me, Antique Boyfriend acquiesced and we ended up leaving the store with the original gutter covers upon which I first laid eyes and fell in love.

    We went home and attempted to install said gutter covers together, a simple process which involved a ladder, a box of Band-aids, a bottle of Cabernet and more tears. They did not fit or work worth a flip and then I got aggravated, stomped them into an abstract environmental sculpture and then threw them into the garage along with all the other ghostly remains of home improvement projects past.

    Yet we married anyway, because we learned so much about ourselves and each other in the process. We learned that a home without gutter covers is a happy home. We learned that Antique Daddy should be in charge of purchases requiring anal-yzing – cars and gutter covers and that I should be in charge of purchases requiring impulse – gum, lipstick, shoes.

    And we learned why you never see Bob Vila’s wife on the show.

    60 Comments »

    1. Kim says:

      Oh my gosh, that was hilarious! I think Antique Daddy and my husband are cut from the same cloth! Mine can’t hang a picture on the wall without getting out the level, a measuring tape, three sizes of hammers, nine different nails and a pencil. Me, I just bang the one nail and hang it up. So much for the honey-do list!

      December 21st, 2006 at 9:13 am

    2. Big Mama says:

      We remodeled our house while I was pregnant and as I was helping hang crown molding at 8 months pregnant, I knew that if our marriage survived this, then we would survive anything.

      This made me laugh from start to finish. And the quote from the Eunuchs in Acts was just the icing on the cake.

      December 21st, 2006 at 9:20 am

    3. Merci says:

      Oh my good gravy, that’s hilarious! And I can SO relate! Almost 8 years ago, I was on partial bed rest because I was expecting our 2nd child and having problems – so I decided to host Thanksgiving at our house because I was forbidden to drive out of town to our usual destination. My husband decided our entry hall wallpaper was hideous and needed to be replaced – he finished at 3 am, Thanksgiving Day. And yes, we’re still married too! 🙂

      December 21st, 2006 at 9:31 am

    4. rosemary says:

      You, Antique Mommy, are an amazing writer!

      December 21st, 2006 at 9:35 am

    5. Kacey says:

      My only son is cut directly from the same pattern as Antique Daddy. My daughter-in-law lets him do everything around the house, but knows to put in the request six months to a year before she really wants it done. There must have been something in the air in the late fifties and early sixties. Ill have to tell her that tears work sometimes.

      December 21st, 2006 at 9:41 am

    6. bubandpie says:

      Can I say how much I love a post about home renovation that incorporates multiple references to the Ethiopian eunuch?

      December 21st, 2006 at 9:49 am

    7. Sarah's in the midst of it says:

      You are a spiritual giant, what with a quote about the eunuch, and all. 🙂

      December 21st, 2006 at 9:56 am

    8. Sandy says:

      My dreams of eventually restoring an old home together ended when, soon after we purchased our first home four years ago, my husband and I attempted to install new lighting fixtures in the kitchen. We have vivid memories of me on the inside of the kitchen and him above me in the attic, hollering at each other through the ceiling (northerners might yell; southerners holler). We determined that if our marriage survived that day, then we would no longer attempt any remodeling project together. So when he idly mentions replacing the tile in the bathroom, I look him in the eyes and tell him, “Honey, I love you too much to let that happen!” So don’t snicker when you come to my house and see the puke green tile in the bathroom. We have a happy marriage because of things like that.

      December 21st, 2006 at 10:08 am

    9. Antique Mommy says:

      Sarah,

      And by giant, you mean giant doofus, right?

      December 21st, 2006 at 10:28 am

    10. Pops says:

      In defense of men everywhere, I must say, er, umm, let’s see, oh, never mind…

      December 21st, 2006 at 10:54 am

    11. Kara says:

      ROFL!!! Thanks for the laugh this morning!

      December 21st, 2006 at 11:01 am

    12. Angela says:

      Boy, you nailed something here! I would rather remove my gall bladder with a gutter cover than ever go to Home Depot with my husband. We do home repairs in shifts. “While I’m at work, you can paint, I don’t want to see how you do it, you just do it” and I take baths and long naps while he does his thing, for similar reasons to how AD does things.
      I love this post! We used to go to Home Depot hand in hand. Now we take seperate cars so no one has to walk home.

      December 21st, 2006 at 11:48 am

    13. Shalee says:

      This is why I don’t do anything more than “hold this end” in any kind of project. I like Mr. Right too much to really “help”.

      And my designated job? Drink the wine that was the impulse purchase. Yeah. I’m only good for the tough jobs.

      You, my friend, just cracked me up… at work! I hope I didn’t loose my Christmas bonus over this one. But it would be sooo worth it!

      December 21st, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    14. Kai says:

      You have much knowledge. I shall remember this if I ever manage to snag myself a man! 😛 Happy Holidays!!!

      December 21st, 2006 at 12:53 pm

    15. Beck says:

      WE’re renovating our house and you’re not kidding.
      Ethiopian eager eunuch? Huh?

      December 21st, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    16. melissa says:

      love it! i just love the way you write.

      December 21st, 2006 at 1:03 pm

    17. Ami says:

      Wow, you just described every do-it-yourself job around my home! No job is too small for an argument nor tears in Home Depot!

      December 21st, 2006 at 2:14 pm

    18. veronica says:

      Oh, wonderful. You struck a chord.

      My husband is not so much into the anal-yzing, but he has very strict standards. Everything must be done properly, and that is way more work than some projects are worth. The girls and I just leave the house when he works on something. He has improved over the years in one way, out of respect for me and the kids: instead of blaspheming, now he just roars wordlessly.

      December 21st, 2006 at 2:41 pm

    19. Deanna says:

      We learned that early on as well. Watching other young couples build their first house/threaten each other with death. We once attempted to install a new counter top -the trouble all began when he got all hung up on measurement stuff and I was trying to get him to focus on which counter top looked better!!
      My job is purchasing the Sterling Cab for myself while he fiddles around with all that measuring stuff!! 🙂

      December 21st, 2006 at 3:17 pm

    20. aggiejenn says:

      oh, man. My husband sounds just like Antique Daddy. There must be adequate research into EVERY.STINKING.PURCHASE. *sigh* But our savings account thanks him for it!

      Thanks for the laugh!!

      December 21st, 2006 at 3:21 pm

    21. Marian says:

      Oh, so funny! Thanks for the laugh.
      But you do have a little boy, no? Unless you’re unusually blessed, it’s likely that scrubbing grout around the toilet will make it back onto your To Do list sometime in the very near future…

      –Marian, mom of a few little boys

      December 21st, 2006 at 3:38 pm

    22. Romie says:

      This so sounds like my own hubby. Except his thing is electronics. He has to find out every detail of any (and I mean any) electronic piece I want. It drives me batty!

      December 21st, 2006 at 4:08 pm

    23. Julie says:

      I told my sister-in-law several years ago that I think all engaged (or seriously dating couples) should be required to do 2 things:
      1) go on a long (over 14 hours) road trip
      2) do some sort of home improvement project together

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees the sense in this!

      December 21st, 2006 at 5:18 pm

    24. Diane says:

      Absolutely, profoundly, hilariously, TRUE!!!

      Who says truth is illusive?????? 🙂

      Merry Christmas!

      Diane

      December 21st, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    25. Desert Diva says:

      Before You Get Married

      I told my sister-in-law many years ago that any couple contemplating marriage ought to be required to do two things: 1) go on a long road trip together – something over 14 hours2) do a home improvement project together You

      December 21st, 2006 at 5:29 pm

    26. Laurel Wreath says:

      In my household, I do the “home improvements” but then manly man comes in and tells me how he would have done it differently.

      I pretty mean with a hammer and nails and a many other tools (thank you father in law).

      December 21st, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    27. Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) says:

      I have found in 9 years of marriage, the only way that we’ve survived ANY home repair project, is for me to purchase copious amounts of duct tape. You know, to hold us over until we can hire a professional.

      You crack me up.

      December 21st, 2006 at 7:57 pm

    28. Roxanne says:

      We did fine building our house. . .we had the PROBLEM before the marriage even began when I (who have NO middle name) wanted to use my maiden intial as my middle initial on my monogrammed post-marriage thank you cards. . .oh. my. goodness. It took John Ludlum, fine stationer extraordinnaire in Houston to convince my future hubby that it is COMMON PRACTICE for a woman to use her maiden initial and that me taking his name meant I didn’t plan on keeping my daddy’s–I just needed a middle initial. Maybe we should have bought our stationery at home depot.

      December 21st, 2006 at 8:08 pm

    29. Lynn says:

      Totally hilarious and oh so true. I like to start whining months before I want something……then just start doing it myself, sighing deeply as I go and making lots of noise…….then miraculoulsly my DH shows up to show me how to do it and I quietly slip out of the room. Works almost everytime. If it doesn’t. I call a professional handy man. Then DH brags about what a great idea, project, and outcome.

      December 21st, 2006 at 8:14 pm

    30. On Fire For Him says:

      Too good! CJ and I bought an old fixer upper and all but divorced in the process. Jesus was the one who saved us! We learned much about each other and even grew to respect each others ways. The fixer upper proved to be a good investment into our future. Now we live in an apartment and call the maintance when there is a problem!

      December 21st, 2006 at 9:27 pm

    31. Jill says:

      This has to be one of the most hilarious things I have ever read…even though I know it was not funny then. Thanks for the laughs!

      December 22nd, 2006 at 7:32 am

    32. Stacey says:

      Very funny! I know what you mean about working on home improvement projects together! I never thought about the Anal-ylizing before but that makes sense : )-

      December 22nd, 2006 at 12:00 pm

    33. Sarah says:

      Reminiscent of my advice that a couple try to purchase a couch they agree on before they marry. Or not — ‘lest they never marry. It’s the contrast that keeps life exciting, no? 🙂

      December 22nd, 2006 at 2:10 pm

    34. Kvetch says:

      I think I smell a whole new reality/talk show coming out of this. Mall Marital Therapy with the Antiques. You can ambush couples in a variety of differnt home-esque stores (ever try redecorating a bathroom w/ a man? Go to Linens ‘n Things) and have them work out their issues. I’ve been blogabsent lately and am catching up — as usual you never disappoint and always inspire.

      December 22nd, 2006 at 4:29 pm

    35. Wendy Boucher says:

      That was really funny. You are such a great writer. Thanks for my daily belly laugh.

      December 22nd, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    36. Kit says:

      🙂 LOVED the “anal”yze analysis. So true! Sad to say, though, I think I tend to analyze more than he does. Hmm… what does that say about me? This is such a great post, I can’t wait until I can share it with hubby tomorrow.

      December 23rd, 2006 at 12:12 am

    37. Lisa says:

      I can’t take it! You are too much. Honestly, I hope you get paid for some of your writings, because you are just hilarious, and the world could certainly use a good (great) laugh now and then. I read your posts to my friends, and we crack up. I even printed one for my husband, and he cracked up. You truly are an original!

      God bless you for giving people the gift of laughter!

      Take good care,
      Lisa

      December 23rd, 2006 at 11:27 am

    38. Jan says:

      HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! SO. VERY. TRUE!

      I also loved: “We used to go to Home Depot hand in hand. Now we take seperate cars so no one has to walk home.”

      December 23rd, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    39. Barb says:

      I never noticed “anal” in analyze. Amazing. I refuse to go to Home Depot with my husband. I’m not risking twenty-eight years of marital bliss because he spends twenty minutes looking at screws. We have ground rules. He’s not allowed to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond with me, I refuse to go anywhere power tools are sold.

      Merry Christmas to you and the whole Antique Family!

      December 24th, 2006 at 9:15 am

    40. sarala says:

      Very funny. I’m married to one of the anal ones. Except where it comes to electronics. Then the dynamic is: honey, what size T.V. should we get? Why are you asking me, when we already know you are going to get the biggest one?

      December 24th, 2006 at 1:59 pm

    41. Michelle in MX says:

      Amen to the above!!! LOL!
      I married a handy man, love ’em, but our walls are still empty because we CAN NOT agree on how or where to hang the pictures.

      December 25th, 2006 at 11:59 am

    42. Carola says:

      anal.yzing? that was very VERY funny.

      December 26th, 2006 at 11:26 am

    43. Terri says:

      I laughed and laughed while reading your story. But, I have to admit…..home improvement is the ONLY thing my husband and I do well together. I think it’s because I do the measuring and the figuring and he, being the patient one, does all of the other stuff. Your story describes every other aspect of our life, though.

      December 28th, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    44. margalit says:

      You never see Bob Vila’s wife on the show because he’s divorced. And before he was divorced, his wife, Regina Hertzlinger was very busy at her own job as a professor at Harvard Business School. She’s a true witch (said from one of her former students) and I don’t blame Bob from running. And oh, they lived in a huge mansion that was absolutely gorgeous and there is NO WAY he did any of the work there.

      January 3rd, 2007 at 12:22 am

    45. Sarcasmom says:

      Hello Am. I have been directed here by Momma K. No wonderr she gave you the Perfect Post Award. This is well written, funny, and oh so true!

      January 3rd, 2007 at 5:43 am

    46. MommaK says:

      I just love that you are still in charge of the wine 😉

      Brilliant post and truly funny. I adore your writing, AM. Keep it coming!

      January 3rd, 2007 at 7:34 am

    47. Jennifer says:

      This is all so true, but with us it’s the other way around.

      I’ll be the one that needs to let it percolate, think about comparison shopping, maybe look up the best way to do it on the Internet.

      My husband is all about the instant gratification. This weekend he thought the girls would enjoy a sandbox, so he called and had a big pile of construction sand delivered. Box? Sure, there’s going to be a box. With a lid. Umm, at some point.

      The kids were ecstatic and played in it for hours. That day. Now we’ve got a 3-foot-high pile of dirt/sand on a tarp in the yard and the girls haven’t so much as looked at it since.

      January 3rd, 2007 at 9:50 am

    48. angel says:

      Thanks to Perfect Post awards I found this post and now I see why it was chosen. Hilarious! I love the way you write. And, as coincidence would have it… I just used that “anal – analyze” thing in my blog post yesterday! I thought I had come up with that all by myself, until I read your post today. Darnit, I’m not original or all that smart:)

      Great post!

      January 3rd, 2007 at 11:06 am

    49. Susan says:

      Awesome – congrats!

      But, really, I think all of your posts are perfect!

      January 3rd, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    50. Bobita says:

      You have humor-prowess! Excellent post! Perfect, actually!

      January 3rd, 2007 at 11:29 pm

    51. Mary (Mert) says:

      This is indeed a perfect post. Great advice too! Here via Between Diapers and dishes.

      January 4th, 2007 at 10:42 am

    52. Katherine says:

      Bravo! Thoroughly entertaining and indeed a “Perfect Post!”

      January 4th, 2007 at 10:56 am

    53. Riley says:

      Mmmm… Sterling. You definitely picked the right job. Who wants to deal gutter covers anyways?

      January 4th, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    54. Jenifer says:

      Perfect Post and perfect timing…. my husband and I are in the middle of remodeling AN ENTIRE HOUSE…. and when i say remodeling I mean we-ripped-it-down-to-nothing-but-studs-and-rebuilt-the-whole-thing…….. by ourselves. AND….the kicker….. while we are doing this we are living with my Mom …. I have said numerous times over the past 7 months that if we survive this we can survive ANYTHING….

      January 4th, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    55. The Wooden Porch says:

      LOL! Very true!

      January 5th, 2007 at 12:06 am

    56. merrymama says:

      Fantastic. Love it.

      January 5th, 2007 at 7:51 pm

    57. becca says:

      What??? I thought my hubby might be the only one who did those kinds of things. If I even see the anal-yzing look enter his eye, I leave the aisle and wander around the garden department until he comes to find me. Tears in my eye!

      March 7th, 2007 at 6:29 pm

    58. Mosaic says:

      love it! i just love the way you write…This is indeed a perfect post. Great advice too! Here via Between Diapers and dishes.!!!

      April 17th, 2007 at 4:05 am

    59. just like that says:

      ROFL. Gutter covers! Laughed my way through this post. If Antique Daddy refrained from saying I-told-you-so or even refrained from giving you meaningful looks, he is a GEM. Hold on tight to him.
      But yeah, anal-ysing Lololol is best left to the men. We have better things to do..

      August 23rd, 2007 at 2:28 am

    60. WendyP says:

      New here!

      This entire blog site is hilarious, but this especially got me ROFL.

      I had plans to get things done today, but instead I am catching up on 4 yrs of great stuff.

      Thanks!

      October 5th, 2009 at 4:25 pm

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