Aside from killing spiders (or chasing snakes), I prefer to do my own home improvements and other chores. Sure, it’s wonderful when people offer to help, and I sometimes will take you up on it. Especially from tall friends who aren’t afraid of heights when I want to place Christmas decorations on that ledge in my living room that’s 20 feet off the floor.
Recently I assembled a kitchen island. It took quite a while — three Cary Grant movies. When I was finished, I had one injury and a satisfied feeling of accomplishment.
I actually would have been finished sooner if it weren’t for the plentiful offers of assistance from male friends. That’s what I get from posting on Facebook that I was assembling furniture. It really wasn’t a cryptic call for help. I know how to dial (or text). I just thought it was more interesting than what I ate for breakfast.
While I appreciated the offers of assistance — at least one of those who offered is an engineer — I didn’t want that. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, one was from my roommate. The comments I’m about to make don’t apply to him.
Soon after becoming single again, I learned that a shy guy’s way of flirting is to offer to fix stuff. When I was dating my ex-husband (before he was my husband), he showed up at my house with a tool box on a regular basis. I’m not falling for that trick again!
I thanked everyone politely but said I could handle it myself. What I really wanted to say is this: “If you are trying to get into my pants, you’re going about it the wrong way. I don’t need a guy to assemble a kitchen island for me. I need a guy to take me to a movie. Or dinner. Or for a drink. Or a walk.”
But I didn’t say that. For the record, at least one of them (the engineer, no less) has taken me to dinner and drinks. He’s also offered walks, hikes, trips to tourist attractions and all manner of other date-ish activities. He also has offered to fix my toilet.
I’ve declined all offers of dates and home improvements because I’m not interested in dating him. He knows this. But he still texts me every couple of days to see how I’m doing. I have determined he’s just a nice guy. Or maybe he thinks he will catch me in a weak moment of gratitude after he’s installed 1,000 square feet of flooring. Nope. It’s not happening. I’m not going to lead him on by letting him assemble my furniture.
Some women like it when men do things for them. If a guy isn’t fixing something, cleaning something or cooking something, they aren’t quality prospects for them. Not me. I don’t want a guy wasting time by fixing something or cleaning when he could be spending quality time with me. Cooking is another story…unless he is doing it because he is cheap.
This doesn’t apply to my roommate or other men who are friends and not “romantic prospects.” If you’re a guy friend, I might ask you to help me fix the toilet. And even a potential romantic partner might get roped into killing a spider if he’s around when one emerges from the web.
After you reach “relationship” stage and are spending every waking minute together, it’s different. Things need to be fixed, cleaned and cooked. Errands need to be accomplished. Bills paid. Sure, it’s more fun to do that together sometimes.
But unless they’re sleeping in my bed at least four nights a week,* hands off the power tools!
*Since this post was written, I started sharing my home with my domestic partner who regularly fixes things. Sometimes I even help.