Thursday, May 03, 2007

Mr. Optimistic and Mrs. Half Empty

I might be wrong about this, but I think there may be an unwritten rule among men concerning the use of chainsaws. I’m not talking about the professional guys you see turning redwoods into chopsticks on those weird sporting event programs on cable TV—you know, the shows where everyone is named either Thor or Gunnar, where they all have biceps the size of Coleman coolers. No, the men to whom I’m referring are the weekend warriors, the ones with names like Bob and Harvey, the guys with normal biceps.

This unwritten rule goes something like this:

If all important body parts are still intact, and there is significantly less than one of those Red Cross drip-bags of blood spilled before noon, then it is now permissible to attempt even riskier chainsaw maneuvers such as teetering atop a six foot ladder and reaching full-stretch into the wreckage of a downed fifty-foot tree.

I came to this conclusion when a storm brought down just such a tree in our backyard. It was obvious that this was not going to be a clean-up job for the faint-hearted. But then, my husband has never been accused of being that. No, not my Dan. I think he comes closer to belonging in the Eternally Optimistic category when it comes to areas of Certain Death or Dismemberment.

“You always see the glass half empty, don’t you?” he asks.

Well, yes. When the glass happens to be fifty feet in the air. And there's spikey, leg-sized tree limbs waiting to impale you below. Yeah, it’s hard to see the glass at all.

This, however, did not deter him from hacking into the wreckage of the tree with all the enthusiasm of a kid with a new plastic Light Saber, while I stood out of harm’s way clutching a phone pre-dialed to 911.

To be honest, Mr. Optimistic has every right to his rosy outlook on high-risk home maintenance endeavors. I remember the time we decided to save big bucks by refinishing the wood floors of our living room without the help of a trained professional. This project required using one of those monster sanders, the kind you always see on sitcoms, where some poor sap is all tangled up in the cord--wrapped like a mummy and spinning out of control from one room to the next while his frantic wife tries to catch him and reach the shut-off switch. Why she never just pulls the plug is beyond me, but I guess that’s what the sitcom reviewers mean by, “and hi-jinks ensues.”

Anyway, our floors turned out great without the aid of an instruction manual, a surprise visit from the Extreme Makeover team, or a trip to the local emergency room.

Chainsaws are another matter altogether, though. But then, maybe I’m only projecting my own ineptitude and klutziness upon my husband. Some repressed, psychological neurosis tucked away in my subconscious perhaps, is causing me to worry needlessly about my husband and sharp implements?

Or could I possibly have, in the back of my mind, that memory of a time during a similar backyard project. I was carrying a hacksaw in my right hand and a glass of ice tea in the left. A bee had landed on my leg and because I am right-handed, I did the only logical thing. I swatted the bee…

with the hacksaw.

Yeah, maybe that's it.

I still have the toothy scar. A reminder that, for me, the glass is always half empty. On second thought, maybe it's half full. I could have been carrying the chainsaw.
photo courtesy
thank ya kindly


At Thursday, May 03, 2007 11:52:00 PM, Blogger Made_To_Love said...

Fantastic redition of the husbands's need for projects of dangerous proportions. A similar event happened to my parents. only in this story the husband and son with the saws were fine and dandy. the wife however ended up with a rather beasty branch falling on her head. Hmm Happy birthday mom! She has fully recovered since then however and needless to say all projects involving timber are viewed from the safty of 200 ft or so. ^^

At Friday, May 04, 2007 12:30:00 AM, Blogger gloria said...

Made to love,

Ah yes, projects of dangerous proportions, I know them well.

Hey, thanks for visiting My Front Porch. I hopped on over to your lovely blog and enjoyed the tunes for a while. BTW, I like Nicole Nordeman, too.

Stop by again sometime.

Oh, and just to be on the really safe side, better make it 5oo ft.


At Sunday, May 06, 2007 11:50:00 AM, Blogger ZaPaper said...

You swatted it with a hacksaw!?! WOW. That is downright... monumental.

I was terrified witness to my man's first attempt at chainsaw use (I wouldn't touch the thing myself). All his limbs remain attached, but I'm still glad we don't own one, or have any excuse to own one.

The Dremel is scary enough.

At Sunday, May 06, 2007 7:46:00 PM, Anonymous Jen said...

Dan is quite the handyman! You know how I hire the Spiderman to clean my gutters? Not Rocketman. Something about climbing up that shaky ladder onto his steep-pitched roof and putting his hand in wet moldy leaves makes him happy. I will never understand men.

Treble Clef! NICE ONE, SLATER!

At Sunday, May 06, 2007 8:26:00 PM, Blogger gloria said...

Monumental, yes. Stupid, also yes. Masochistic, uh-uh.
After receiving your message, I had to go back and revise that bit of the story. I felt it was ok to reveal my stupidity, but I didn't want folks to get the idea I was a masochist on top of it all. I think I have cleared it up now. Curse you, ice tea!

Thanks for reading and watch out for those Dremmels. I almost lost a digit to that little device. I'm not letting Dan near it.


At Sunday, May 06, 2007 8:32:00 PM, Blogger gloria said...

No, I don't understand them either. What's the fascination with bellybutton lint? I just don't get it.


At Sunday, May 20, 2007 12:25:00 AM, Blogger Netter said...

Ok, I would be the nut, up on the ladder with the chain saw. Honestly, I'm a huge klutz and I know that I should not even think about doing something like that but I am a "take the bull by the horns" kind of gal, a do it yourself chick. It's really amaizing that I have lived as long as I have.

I had a pencil in my hand when I backed up to a railing that I wanted to sit on, placed my hands on the edge and jumped to pull my self up. Yeah, I have a small pencil lead stained mark on the back of my thigh. I'm the idiot that also stands on the top of the ladder without anyone to steady it, on a windy day, while I have tools shoved in all my pockets. Yeah, yeah....not such a smart way to roll. Yet, I live. Perhaps I am meant to be some sort of poster child for the other masses of brainless klutzes.

At Sunday, May 20, 2007 6:38:00 PM, Blogger gloria said...

Yeah, I know, it's usually me doing the gonzo home repairs, but I have to let my husband have some of the fun. And for him that requires a chainsaw.

Technically, that would be graphite in your backside, but it still makes a great story, whatever you call it. Did you have to call the paramedics to come with a tiny version of the "jaws of life" to pull the pencil out. That would be an even better story. Hey, you could always embellish a bit. But, for your future safety, I recommend crayons instead.

I'd vote for you for poster child, if I can be your stand-in should you have another untimely writing implement accident and can't fulfill you duties.


At Wednesday, July 04, 2007 12:40:00 PM, Blogger Juliet said...

Gloria, this is fantastic! My husband is out doing projects right now!
It's so nice to know you're out there!

At Wednesday, July 04, 2007 3:28:00 PM, Blogger gloria said...

Oh, I'm out there alright! People have been referring to me that way for years. I take it as quite a compliment.

If you have a Mr. Optimistic like me, I hope you have the phone pre-dialed.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Nice to know you're out there, too.



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