The Guy You Want

“It’s a sheep shank,” said handsome supportive husband, happily holding up an organized tangle of my yarn for inspection. 

He’d briefly plopped down on the other end of the couch for a chat while I was knitting.

“That’s the name of a knot?” I said, hoping it could be easily disassembled.

“Uh-huh. It’s for when you have more rope than you need.”

Personally, I’ve always had just enough rope, so I didn’t know having too much could be just as problematic.

I’ve been trying to talk my husband into letting me create and produce a You Tube channel around his copious talents.  I’d call our channel, The Guy You Want.

I don’t mean to brag, and I’ll have to post this before he sees it, but the man knows how to do just about everything.  And for those odd times when he has encountered a thing he didn’t know outright, we now own a reallllly dry manual describing how to do it, fix it or build it. Or more recently, a bookmark in a how-to You Tube video.

Even his relaxation time revolves around learning things. One of his favorites TV programs shows a thing being made in a factory or workshop, start to finish. I’m not kidding. It’s called “How it’s Made.”

We don’t watch a lot of TV together. 

When I dreamed him up a few decades ago, my only requirements were that he was handsome, lived in a cottage in the snowy woods, liked talking philosophy, was a fan of huge Christmas trees, looked just right in Levis and didn’t swear too much.

Needless to say, he checks all those boxes, but he’s so much more than I’d ever thought to wish for.  

For the sake of brevity, though, I’ll limit this discussion to his skill set, which is vast.

Greg is the grown-upiest person I have ever known.  He has a respectable working knowledge of  and respect for how things work and how to fix them if they stop working.

I must admit, for quite a few years, I took his knowledge, skills and high level of motivation for granted. I naively thought, “That’s what husbands do.” 

They build houses, fix vehicles, repair equipment at home and at work, grow their own veggies in the summer, plow snow in the winter, and so on. In all things, they dig in and keep things working. 

He is not the norm. 

At this point, I’ve heard females gush, “Your husband can do everything!”…often enough to  know that he is the exception.

Which leads me back to my idea. Schools haven’t offered much in the way of Home Economics/Life Skills for several generations. Not being an educator, I don’t know the first thing about curriculum prioritizing for the 2020’s. While there apparently is little room for it, I think there is a need for it. We need life skills! The earlier the better! 

They make everything child safe now because adults are children,” Greg observed. “They do not know how things work. The only working knowledge they have of things is an on/off switch.”

Wouldn’t it be great if along with everything else on You Tube, there was this nice, funny, handsome, unassuming guy whose anthology of videos you could consult when things go awry? Or better yet, before they go awry? It’s The Guy You Want, a Life Skills class.

He has yet to get on board with my idea. Truly, he doesn’t have a lot of free time. If anything, my suggestion has made him question his decision to give me a video camera for Christmas a couple of years ago.  

“Instead of diving in and figuring things out, people seem to run away from learning how things work. Just because you don’t know how to do something, doesn’t mean you can’t learn,” said Greg. 

Earlier this week, Christmas Day in the Morning a short story by Pearl S. Buck arrived in my inbox.  

“That’s a GOOD story!” Came the text from my librarian sister, who promptly shared it with a co-worker, who I imagine shared it further. How did we miss this classic?

Man, that’s so much better than The Gift of the Magi, I thought.  I mean, self-sacrifice is necessary, blah blah blah. But really, end story, you have a guy with a watch-less fob not too thrilled with his wife’s makeover. I’m thinking five minutes after that gift exchange? Long, awkward Christmas Day.

Christmas Day in the Morning?  Guy finds that using the skills his father taught him to lighten another’s load..Joy. Joy joy joy joy joy.  Really, if you haven’t read it, grab a tissue and a fresh mask and treat yourself.

Having been inspired by Pearl S Buck, I sat down at my desk with the intention of writing a Christmas post. But as you know, I have this desk-swerving issue, so I’m at the end of my word-allotment and just getting to Christmas.

We’re probably all going to continue to rush around and stress out and try to provide our family and friends with physical gifts and baking and dinners that delight them. That’s fine. I know I am. But there’s this other possibility that’s rolling around in my mind. Instead of just practicing gratitude when handsome supportive husband shares yet another skill to make my life easier, what if I became a bit more enthusiastic about building my own skill set? Might I make the world a teensy bit better? I think I might.

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