Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?

A few minutes ago, I cut my finger changing my air filter. Apparently my new house has some very unusually sized air vent…so I had to “cram” it in for lack of a better word. Ouch. A few days ago, I hung some pictures in my new house…and yes, if you were to look behind the pictures you would find multiple nail holes. I don’t use a level – I barely use measuring tape – no surprise to anyone who knows me or has read previous blogs. The day before that, I spent too much time trying to hook up my new XBox 360 – and I still can’t get the audio to work. Last week, I spent 2 days without cable and internet – because after unplugging the system to place into my new armoire, I hooked it back up incorrectly. A month ago, I backed my car into my garage door, knocking it off its rails, and thus trapped my car inside. I had to call a repairmen, who luckily came within 2 hours, so I could escape and drive to Charlotte to start my much needed Napa vacation.

I could go on. That was only one month of my life. If you have read my previous blogs, you already know that I have never changed a flat tire, nor have I ever used a lawn mower. I say it’s good to know my limitations – and safety should always come first.

I am sitting here – chagrined at my ineptitude when it comes to fixing anything mechanical or electrical. It is just not in my skill set – or “wheelhouse” as too many people say. It’s like my brain freezes, and reading any directions seem like I am trying to translate some foreign language. You can not imagine how proud I was when I assembled a desk for my living room last year…maybe one of the drawers doesn’t open without a firm tug – but hey, it is functional and looks great in my living room!

Did I miss my calling as a 50’s housewife?? Would I have been happier staying at home, cooking, cleaning, raising children and making things for my house while my husband took worked and took care of all that stuff? I love listening to Paula Cole’s song Where Have All the Cowboys Gone…I always seem to sing it to myself in these situations when I could use a partner to take care of something. Like fixing my freaking toilet.

But then the fantasy always falls apart when it gets to that line – “I will wash the dishes while you go have a beer…” Uh – nope. How about you clean up since I cooked, while I go have wine with the girls??

I do have skills. I can sew curtains and pillow covers – and even designed some without using patterns. I have made my own soap, candles, and designed jewelry for many years. I can cook some really fantastic Italian food. Last week, I had 8 friends over to show them how to make Magnolia leave wreaths for the holidays (doesn’t it look nice on my front door?)

My handmade magnolia wreath

AND I fed them homemade chili – on a work day. I can decorate – and I can throw a pretty good dinner party. I am having 12 family members over tonight as a matter of fact.

I’ll admit, part of me likes that fantasy of the Marlboro man in the song – someone strong take care of me. But that is all it is – a fantasy…for a short song or a 2 hour movie.

I think that the answer is really that I have strengths and weaknesses in different parts of my brain. If I liked research (I don’t), I would spend hours on the internet trying to figure this out. Rather – I sat down with my thoughts and my computer to think about what this means to me as a single woman, trying not to burn down her new house.

So – I have a list of things that I am going to ask my brother in law to help with when he arrives in a few hours for his Thanksgiving holiday – I hope he’s ready! These include – figuring out with the HECK is wrong with the audio on my XBox. Changing my gas tank on my grill (I don’t think ANYONE wants me messing with propane). Minor toilet repair. Moving a couch.

Once he leaves, I’ll start a new list…I believe I will have a partner at some point to help me with it…and in the meantime – heads up – because I am not shy asking for help.

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